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First run in with a Segway...

PlannerGirl

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OK I was good and tried not to judge till I encountered one for myself. The seem cool as hell but I saw the conflicts over where it should and should not be ridden.

A couple weeks ago I was out walking in Clarendon with my boyfriend after a nice dinner. This part of Arlington is packed full of resturants, bars, shops etc. with medium size sidewalks.

Well we walk up the street to notice folks a couple dozen feel up jumping out of the way of something, we are looking at the ground expecting a dog or a stroller. NOPE

Its a Segway!

Now I have seen them on quiet residental streets in the area but only from the car and not had a close encounter with one. Until now.

The gent driving the thing was going right down the center of the sidewalk at a fast clip (I did not realize how fast they could scoot along) and folks were having to jump out of his way or be run over. This thing was much bigger than I expected, it took up a large chunk of the sidewalk.

Now on a side street or in a residental area I can see where these things are great but on a crowded city street with kids, dogs, strollers, old folks etc this was a mess waiting to happen. Someone yelled at him to slow down or get it off the sidewalk.

As a planner I would love to see us get away from cars but the Segway does not belong on busy sidewalks. Maybe bike lanes? They are installing them all over Arlington.

Anyone else run into this?
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
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27
You'd get the same jump out of the crowd if someone rode a bike down that bust sidewalk. And bikes aren't allowed on sidewalks.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
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the Sunday NY Times had Segway in Paris... cover of travel section. They use them for tourists...
 

BKM

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29
But bicyclists are no longer uber-hip, cutting edge, the future of transportation enganged in totally transforming the built environment,. Mike. (sorry, Budgie :) )
 

Big Easy King

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1,361
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23
I've seen this new means of transportation on the tube, but not yet in person. Segways are very innovative, but could definitely be better served through proper use on public rights-of-way. There's been talk about supplyng police officers with segways here in the Big Easy, especially to assist with patrol efforts in the French Quarter.

It want one of those damn things!
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
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3,194
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26
Anyone see the new Tom Green show where he was riding a segway down a City sidewalk. It was pretty funny.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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3,208
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28
I remember ten years ago when I was an undergraduate and the kiddies who thought they were cool-as-shit rode around campus on roller blades while chatting on their cell phones. They thought they were badass - I thought they were dorky looking morons. I mention this because over the Labor Day week-end, I was in Chicago and saw the Segway in actual use. The geeky dumb-asses riding the goofy-looking devices cruised along the sidewalk, appearing just a tad bit smug. They looked funny, just like 14-year-olds footing along on those new-fangled scooters all over the neighborhood. I think Segways do not belong on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Perhaps if Segway drivers had more balls, they would ride with the automobile traffic, like bicyclists do. Put on a helmet already and scram.
 

el Guapo

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Alan said:
I remember ten years ago when I was an undergraduate and the kiddies who thought they were cool-as-shit rode around campus on roller blades while chatting on their cell phones. They thought they were badass - I thought they were dorky looking morons. I mention this because over the Labor Day week-end, I was in Chicago and saw the Segway in actual use. The geeky dumb-asses riding the goofy-looking devices cruised along the sidewalk, appearing just a tad bit smug. They looked funny, just like 14-year-olds footing along on those new-fangled scooters all over the neighborhood. I think Segways do not belong on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Perhaps if Segway drivers had more balls, they would ride with the automobile traffic, like bicyclists do. Put on a helmet already and scram.
Amen Alan. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Not everyone can move fast enough to dodge a Segway going full tilt. Think elderly, infirmed, the blind and the deaf. The Segway drivers will eventually be as inattentive as car drivers are now. You are allowed, encouraged even, to be a bit inattentive as a pedestrian in the downtown. Merchants want you to stop and gaze at their wares. The last thing you want is to get a blindside clip by a $5000 Radio Shack skateboard.

I think SHT's should have some form of liability insurance if they are allowed on our sidewalks. Otherwise, let them compete for lane width like us bike riders without insurance. Once they are out with the roadraging idiots in real traffic the glamor will disappear. They will be just one more thing slowing Chad and his BMW SUV down. Taste verbal wrath of Yuppie egos like the rest of us slow movers!
 

PlannerGirl

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Yup this guy was hauling hinny and never swerving for the people who had to jump into doorstoops to get out of the way.

Next time I think Ill call the cops and let them figure out what to do with him.
 

Budgie

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Here I go.

Having been a Segway owner for 5 months, I prefer to use the streets. They are better maintained, wide, etc.... Where I live the sidewalk system is in complete disarray except in downtown. This past weekend, I glided through the crowd at the Leavenworth River Festival. Regardless of the speed I was going, people automatically step aside just as they would if they were about to walk into someone, only slightly exagerated. No one has every commented to me on being a nuisance on the sidewalk. Most of the demonstrations I give are on sidewalks. I would love it if ROW's included light vehicle lanes, but most don't.

I don't want to discount Plannergirl's experience. The footprint of me standing on a Segway is just about the same as me standing on my feet. My shoulders are the same width at the Segway platform. However, when you are 8 inches taller you are a more visually imposing figure.

I still maintain that a direct comparison between Segways and other modes of transportation ignores the unique capabilities and safety features of the Segway. Can we legislate against stupidity? Some people are apt to go too faster than they should. Take someone who walks in Fort Smith, Arkansas and put him/her on a sidewalk in NY, NY. The person from Arkansas will get ran over and be uncomfortable.

So if I use my Segway on the street, should I cry about cars going too fast? Where do you draw the line. I've had cars purposely whiz by too close to me. Anyone who rides a bicycle has experienced this. It sounds like the glider Plannergirl saw was not being safe or considerate. Can you legislate manners?
 

Budgie

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Having Balls

Alan:

I think people in Hummers look like smug assholes. So what is your point? Did they belittle you or is this a natural reaction you frequently have.

As for, Segwayers having balls, don't you think having enough balls to buy a Segway and face the ridicule of thousands of misinformed imbuciles isn't enough. I suppose we need to prove that it's safe for your pansy ass, before you would consider stepping on one.

Look !!! I'm replying to your mindless pathetic diatribe and I've put over 600 miles on my Segway on roads with speeds up to 40 mph. Do I have balls?
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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3,208
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28
Re: Having Balls

Budgie said:
So what is your point?
The eight Segway drivers I saw in Chicago were all on the sidewalk. None were on the road. Obviously not every Segway driver on the planet is cruising on the sidewalk. However, my impression is that the Segway drivers I saw felt more comfortable and safe on the sidewalk than with traffic along Michigan Avenue. If I were a Segway driver, I certainly would chose the sidewalk, too. Yep, I'm a mindless pussy.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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69
Moved to Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
 

Cardinal

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Mike D. said:
Shoulder block if I see one coming for me.
Agreed. It is the only way to deal with the problem (assuming there is not ordinance or ordnance available).
 

jordanb

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Re: Having Balls

Budgie said:
As for, Segwayers having balls, don't you think having enough balls to buy a Segway and face the ridicule of thousands of misinformed imbuciles isn't enough.
You mean segways don't come with a "dork deflecter" that projects an image of a man in a Klingon costume on a nearby wall to deflect mockery like The Onion said?

'Not worth $5k then, imho.
 

Budgie

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Re: Re: Having Balls

jordanb said:
You mean segways don't come with a "dork deflecter" that projects an image of a man in a Klingon costume on a nearby wall to deflect mockery like The Onion said?

'Not worth $5k then, imho.
I spent over $20,000 for a planning degree, which says "dork" as much as any Segway. Or maybe it's just me. Most people think Segways are extremely interesting and more people call it "cool" than "dorky". I've had over a dozen Harley Riders on the Segway and not a single one had a derogatory comment.
 

Jen

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Now I've been reading Moving Violations (again) by John Hockenberry and I would like to know what John thinks of the segway, for his descriptions of being a wheeled pedestrian and whizzing along in the chair within the ROW and his competiveness with the bicyclists speaks of this culture of pedestrians and wheeled peds sharing the pavement against the auto-world.

Budgie what happens when it rains? does the segway kick up a mean drizzle line up the back of your slacks? Fenders? How does it handle on slickish sometimes flooding surfaces, like in a downpour or on icing surfaces?
 

Budgie

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Rain and Ice

There are fenders that keep water from being kicked up onto the platform. If you're in a downpour you can wear a coat, hat, and/or my personal favorite a poncho. Of course you could use a car as well, if rain is going to hurt. As with any vehicle, ice is treacherous. I haven't had to go through any flooded areas yet.
 

el Guapo

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Budgie,
I should say this, while I don't think the thing will ever catch on, except in limited uses, I admire early-adopters like you. It does take guts to go against the mainstream and lead a movment.

IMHO – they don’t belong on the sidewalk unless the speed is limited to that of the average pedestrian.
 

Jeff

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Re: Having Balls

Budgie said:


As for, Segwayers having balls, don't you think having enough balls to buy a Segway and face the ridicule of thousands of misinformed imbuciles isn't enough.
He's got you there Alan.

Budgie, how quick can you swerve one of these things out of the way of say, a car door?

Reason I ask...bicyclists are frequently "doored" by cars parked between a bike lane and curb. If a segway was whipping down the local bike lane at 20mph an a car door opens up 10 feet in front of you, could that thing veer out of the way?

Just curious.
 

Budgie

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Stopping Speed

Here's the deal. Try to imagine leaning back abruptly and automatically kicking into reverse to catch yourself. You don't break per se. You go in reverse. You can't do this on a bicycle and it's hard to understand until you've experienced it. If you run head long into something the point of contact with the handlebar shaft forces the platform to tilt backwards, which automatically makes the segway run in reverse. Once the platform is level the machine will stand still with the handle bars against the surface of what the machine came in contact with. Sometimes I step off the Segway and let it ride itself into a wall. All it does is stop against the wall and the wheels stop. If I'm not on the machine and it rolls more than 5 feet, it automatically shuts off and falls to the ground.

Specifically to your question. The Segway can only go 12.5 mph, which allows plenty of time to swerve out of the way. However, the rider needs to shift his/her weight properly to make it work. If you don't shift your weight properly and you're turning at a high speed, one of your wheels can leave the ground or you could be thrown in the opposite direction of the turn. Once again, it takes practice to turn sharply. I had to stop abruptly at an intersection when a driver didn't use their right turn signal and ran right in front of me after he came up from behind quickly and didn't indicate where he was going.
 

Bangorian

Member
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7
completely different issue

One thing that has not been brought up is the fact that all other forms of personal transportation all use human energy to move, except, of course, cars.

How is the segway powered? I'm assuming its run on a rechargeable battery... how long does it last? How much juice does it take to charge it? Though the segway requires a lot less pavement to drive and park, it still requires a bunch of energy to operate - energy from coal, oil, hydro, or even nuclear plants. So in my view it isn't the environmental champion that some have claimed it to be.

Also, along the human-power lines - walking, cycling, rollerblading, etc. all are good for our bodies. Riding a segway is, in this regard, is akin to driving a car (except that you might get some fresh air and sunshine). Just a thought, since we've been hearing so much about sprawl-induced obesity lately.

But I'm not tryng to be a nay-sayer - I'd take one to work everyday, if ony someone would buy one for me...
 

Budgie

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Questions

The Segway runs on a rechargable nickle battery, which changes in 6 hours (if you run the battery all the way down) and runs 12 to 15 miles. The machine recharges through any standard grounded outlet and can complete recharge using about 8 cents worth of electricity. I have seen a Segway being recharged with solar panels on someone's deck.

I think standing and leaning for long periods of time is better for you than sitting in a car. The biggest impact on my health has been that I find it much easier to get motivated to leave the house and enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately one of my primary destinations is the pub and I have little fear of getting a DUI.
 

SkeLeton

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Well if there is at least one benefit of living in a country that is on it's way to development (a nice way to say poor), is that I won't be ran over by a Segway in quite some time :p
I doubt anybody here in Chile even has one... considering the price tag, and if somebody does I have a nil chance to see the person on it...
 

Budgie

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Cops don't know what to do or say when I glide by. It's kinda fun and the pub staff let me charge my batteries and give demos around the pool tables.
 
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Budgie - what do you think needs to be improved with the Segway? There is always room for improvement.
 

Budgie

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Improvements

Battery Life, which I've heard is about a year out. Supposedly the new batteries will increase the range by 4 times.

Speed - An increase in speed to 15 mph would be nice, however, the current batteries would run out very quickly and safety is always an increasing concern the faster you go.

Performance Data - Every Segway monitors hundreds of performance variables, however, this data is only accessible with a special handlebar shaft, which is not available to the public. I'd like to be able to download performance data.

GPS - In addition to the performance data, it would be nice to have a GPS display and recorder for several obvious reasons.

Suspension - There is not suspension system on the HT, but perhaps it's the lack of suspension that makes the sensors and balancing work. I don't know.
 

Budgie

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Sighting in the Wilds of KC

I finally saw my first Segway rider other than myself "in the wild". Actually, including myself there were 3 Segway riders at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City this past weekend. I was gliding around through should to shoulder crowds without a single mishap. The other two people were passing out literature on the Segway and illuded to a possible "Segway Experience" dealership in KC. I gave over 30 demonstrations in 3 hours and enjoyed the art and food vendors.
 
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