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Thread: Segway Article (Back to Original Name!)

  1. #1
    maudit anglais
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    Segway Article

    (CNN) -- Segways went on sale Monday to the general public, giving consumers a limited-time chance to buy a gyroscope-equipped, two-wheeled "human transporter" that designers say can go anywhere a person can walk.

    The electric-powered transporter is available only at Amazon.com with a $4,950 price tag. Orders, with a 10-percent down payment, must be made by Dec. 31, with delivery scheduled between March and July 2003.
    So, has the hype over these things gone away, or are they still on track to revolutionize urban travel?

  2. #2
    The Ambassador Task Force of Atlanta has a couple of the industrial Segways that the city paid for. I've talked to a few guys who work for them and have heard mixed things - one guy was happy at how easy it was to manuever & how he didn't have to walk around so much; another guy told me that one of coworkers went over a pothole and messed up one of his legs to the point where he will spend the rest of his life limping.

    I think it's good to try new things in a city like Atlanta but I don't know if it will spur the right infrastructure needed (better sidewalks & crosswalks, increased visibility for police & citizens, more density, etc.) I think the whole concept might be too far ahead of its time.

  3. #3
    My prediction is that these things will be a plaything for the wealthy and a novelty at best. Who wants to shell out $5000 for a toy??!? I am so sick of this guy and all of his bs about how revolutionary this thing is. Yeah, he came up with a cool thing and and he is excited about it, but it is expensive and very impractical.

    They also should not be allowed on sidewalks. If you can't ride a bike, a skateboard, or even rollerblades on a sidewalk, you shouldn't ride a motorized scooter on them either.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Poof it's gone before it started.

    I'm not feeling the buzz. Its the new Yugo. For 5K I can get a used Volvo 245, a bus pass for a year, some running shoes and a nice $500 bicycle. That gives me far more flexibility for my transportation needs. Or I can shell out some serious cash to not walk where I would normally walk. When it gets an alarm, exploding dye packs and Lojack it will be ready for primetime. You know these things are going to be stolen left and right.

    It will result in a fatter America, and let's hope with snow tires it gets some Canadians fat too... Can't you see these things carting fat bastards through special Segway drive ups at the Taco Bell or Pizza Hut. They will put drink holders and special dispensers for fries and ketchup on the handlebar.. BK will have a special edition Segway with a bench seat for the lard asses that are too tired to stand up on theirs. Viva la Gyro!

    But then again, I'm an optimist!

  5. #5

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    El Guapo, you have expressed my opinion amazingly well. In the words of the immortal one "Dittos." (Can I choose Barry Goldwater as my new "conservative" avatar?)

    Why do we need a machine that makes life even easier. It is already too easy for the average American. Ban them from the public sidewalks!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Re: Poof it's gone before it started.

    I agree EG, but I do think the technology is going to lead to some other amazing applications.

  7. #7
    The technology & the drive need to be focused on where its needed: automobiles.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Who would buy a Segway?

    Me !!! I'd sell my second car and convert my garage into a pool hall. The wife and kids can have the mini-van and I'll take the Segway. If you live a moderate distance (2-4 miles) from work and shopping, the Segway would save me tons of money. It would pay for itself in a year since I wouldn't have a car payment ($400 x 12 = $4,800), insurance ($80 x 12 = $960) and gas. Think about the savings to local government on reduced road maintenance and reduced police time to respond to fender benders. An oversupply of parking, which already exists, would be exacerbated forcing redevelopment of obsolete parking lots. Reduced envirnomental degradation, energy savings and reduced congestion are positive things. Agreed!!! Planners have been racking their brains for years trying to deal with the 2 ton lumbering metal giants that clog our cities. Coupled with mixed use and moderate density infill, the Segway could go along way to solving the traffic problem.

    Some developer will come forward with a TND proposal that will include 1 car garages and a Segway with every house. They're legal in over 30 states. We'd better start thinking about integrating this technology, because it holds promise. Just share a little of the Right-of-Way. Cars have dominated our public spaces too long !!! I guess the computer is nothing but a fancy typewriter !!! Model T's were stuck in the mud too, so why are we concerned about LARGE infrastructure investments. Has anyone bothered to look at the gluttonous sums we spend on Roads !!!!

    Don't get me started !!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    NEWS FLASH !!!

    American's have been getting fatter for years in part due to car's and fast food. How is the Segway going to make matters worse? In modern suburbia you can't walk and get anywhere. Cul-de-Sac's, low-density residential and no sidewalks are part of the problem. Once again, how will the Segway make matters worse?

    I wish more people rode bikes. But they don't !!!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'd commute on decent days on a bike, but they have yet to make it safe and I'll stink like a hawg when I get there. So what's a chunky planner to do? No shower at work + Missouri roads and drivers = No Go at this Station.

    Whoops I did say the segway would make people fatter. I meant to say fatter people would use it to get even fatter.

    I think they would be great for certain uses. But let's remember one of the great things about a car is it allows you to get out of the weather. Climate control is a good thing. Not too many people will want to segway in my midwest 6 months out of the year (Read: it gets real hot and real cold) California wins again.

    Eventually it will get a weather proof cab, a 30lb York AC Compressor, heat exchanger, horn and wipers after we Mericanize it.

    Then it becomes a sideways motorcycle.

    Then BTurk puts Loud Pipes, cause they save lives, on it and it will cost the same as a Harley.

  11. #11

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    California ALWAYS wins, Guapo. Its 68 and filtered sunshine, and we still have colorful leaves on our trees

  12. #12
    maudit anglais
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    I still haven't made up my mind about the Segway. I think the hype has definitely died down quite a bit. I still can't seem them being used too much in Toronto, at least downtown, on our packed sidewalks. Maybe out in the 'burbs, for some trips.

    I definitely do not see them "revolutionizing" the way cities are built.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Proactive vs. Reactive

    This Segway discusssion makes me wonder if there are any planners who are proactive to make positive change happen.

    Fact, Segway's are on sale and legal in over 30 states.

    Might I suggest that one of the reasons Segway only had to spend 1 million dollars on lobbyist to get it approved in over 30 states is because the functionality of the Segway can not be understood until you've been on one. Segway provided legislators ample opportunity to try it out and it was the unique sensation of the device that sold it. Since government is extremely resistent to change, there must be something to it. Hell, grumpy old white male legislators enjoyed taking Segway for a spin.

    Fact, Communities will have to determine how to accommodate them into our public spaces.

    Fact, No one knows to what degree this technology will be adopted by the general public.

    My opinion, planners should be proactive to accommodate this new technology, because like it or not the public will have a legal right to use them. Obviously the real benefits will only accrue after widespread use. As a hypothetical, let's say in ten years (by 2010 the price of a Segway may make them appeal to a larger consumer base) a modest 10% of local (0-4 mile) trips are taken via Segway. What impacts would that have on the use of public spaces, automobile parking demand, infrastructure costs (expense and savings), etc... I'm just suggesting that planning as a profession should imagine intergration of Segway's into the community. The alternative is to be reactionary. Let's be wary and not get blind sided by this one.

    I'm tired of being a hypocritical planner. Many of us decry auto dependency, yet the only way we personally get anywhere is by car. Am I the only one who has this internal conflict? Does anyone else think about how their personal actions conflict with their professional doctrines? Hello is anyone out there !?!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Cartoons


  15. #15
    Member seannelson's avatar
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    anything is possible

    If you were around in the 60's, did you think it was possible to put a man on the moon?

    Were you all this adverse to computers, microwaves, and cell phones when they were first available to individuals? These were used primarily by governments and businesses when they were developed. As the technology is improved, the prices will drop and become feasible for ownership by the masses.

    The life cycle of these products is cyclical. You will have people that will be the first in town to have all the new gadgets. These people have the plasma TV's, and whatever else is new. These people also get stuck with things like the Beta video players (yes, I know they actually were better quality). You'll have those that will purchase the products when the technology has been around long enough for the bugs to be worked out and the price to drop some. Then you're left with two more groups, those that will purchase the products after they are becoming obsolete and the prices are bottommed out. The last group is the people that will never have nor want the product.

    Honestly, how many of you saw the possibility of the internet and how pervasive the computer would become in our lives back in the 1970's - 1980's? Not even the phone companies or the then infant cable TV industry, thats why they're playing catch up now.

    This product could be the first step in transportation advances promised by futurists (I use the term loosly) as seen in the Jetsons. On the other hand, it could be another Edsel.

    If you don't see a future for this and/or other changing technologies, I would like to know your vision for the future.

    I don't know what will happen with this devise or the total impact it can have on how we travel, our infrastructure, or even our culture, but I realize there will be an impact on how some will live.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Re: anything is possible

    Originally posted by seannelson
    If you were around in the 60's, did you think it was possible to put a man on the moon?
    Of course it was possible to put a man on the moon, but I note we have never put a woman up there. Maybe things would be better if we had. Sometimes I think it would be better if we put all of them up there. But I digress. We may have accomplished it, but so what? In a practical sense, the moon is not a very worthwhile destination. We are not likely to live there or to use it as a waystation for exploration of further reaches of space.

    On the other hand, the race to the moon spun off a whole series of new products and technologies, including many that have been applied in ways never envisioned by their inventors. I do not see the Segway fostering a revolution in personal transit. On the other hand, its technologies may be applied in other ways. Can anyone see its use in warehousing, for instance, incorporated into the pallet jack or forklift? Or other applications for moving heavy materials?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Segway Articles


  18. #18
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Re: Segway Articles

    Originally posted by Budgie
    Has anyone noticed the rash of Segway articles lately?
    Budgie,
    Have you purchased your's yet? If not have you had a chance to ride one? Has anyone here even seen one in person?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    So is this like the "IT" that Mr. Garrison created?

    it was gyroscope like-
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  20. #20
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Re: Re: Segway Articles

    Originally posted by El Guapo


    Budgie,
    Have you purchased your's yet? If not have you had a chance to ride one? Has anyone here even seen one in person?
    I saw one. My hometown was one of the tests for the postal service. I know several people that have ridden on them....since Kamen manufactures them in the City next door to where I work.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Purchase

    El Guapo:

    My personal financial advisor (a.k.a. spouse) has given me clearance to purchase a Segway in late spring. Although I have not seen one or driven one, I have read hundreds of first hand accounts, articles, e-mails; seen dozens of videos and photos and discussed in detail the invention with several people (advocates and skeptics). It's only a matter of time. It's interesting that you ask the question because I wonder on what rational basis San Francisco can ban something that has not presented a legitimate concern. Has anyone in San Francisco been hurt by a Segway user? You can't regulate based on hearsay and unfounded fear. At least that's what we (planners) tell our Planning and Zoning Commissioners and other decision-makers.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Well done.

    Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Budgie! May I now hope that I will see you and your machine at the spring KS-APA meeting? Perhaps you could get on the agenda and present your experiences and demonstrait the machine to the membership. That would be great. I bet your appearance would double the normal chapter meeting turn out. Heck you might even give this old skeptic some hope.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Segway in Seattle

    Here's a couple's experience with their Segway in Seattle. This site will likely be updated as they use it around town. Please note why they bought one.

    http://www.bookofseg.com

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    This was posted today by PT in Seattle concerning his commute via car, Segway and walking.

    ****************************************************************

    today, i took the car to work.
    -30 min.
    -maybe used 1/2 gallon of gas ($1 or so).
    -paid $7 for parking.
    -walked 5 blocks with 2 bags to the office.
    -went home, 40 min (traffic).

    yesterday i took the ht to work:
    -25 min, cost zero (i supposed it cost a few cents to recharge).
    -carried my laptops, etc on the segway.
    -rolled her right in to the office.
    -went home, 25 min, actually 30 someone wanted to chat with me about the ht on the way home.

    a few months ago i walked to work, 70 minutes, no load carrying.

    those are my experiences, feel free to comment or whatever-- i have one now, so i thought i'd share things like this.

    i'm also tweaking my route with a pocket pc and a gps, i think i can get to work a little quicker on the ht.

    so far so good.

    cheers,
    pt

  25. #25
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Just a thought. All those ADA improvments to sidewalks will be great for getting over curbs with a SHT. How hard is it to lift the thing over a normal city curb? Have riders figured out a way to jump, climb or crawl up a curb yet? If these things catch on it could mean ADA improvments to sidewalks all over town instead of just new and rehabed areas. That is a plus for all.

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