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Segway Article (Back to Original Name!)

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Tranplanner

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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?
 

giovannitp

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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.
 

Repo Man

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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.
 

el Guapo

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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! :)
 

BKM

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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!
 

Chet

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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.
 

Budgie

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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 !!!!!!!
 

Budgie

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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 !!!
 

el Guapo

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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.
 

BKM

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

Tranplanner

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.
 

Budgie

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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 !?!
 

seannelson

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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.
 

Cardinal

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Re: anything is possible

seannelson said:
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?
 

el Guapo

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Re: Segway Articles

Budgie said:
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?
 

NHPlanner

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Re: Re: Segway Articles

El Guapo said:


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.
 

Budgie

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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.
 

el Guapo

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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. :)
 

Budgie

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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
 

Budgie

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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
 

el Guapo

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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.
 

Budgie

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Are they in your town?

December 8, 2002 Sunday STATE EDITION

A Segway under the tree

By AMY ABBOTTSunday News Correspondent
BEDFORD --Dean Kamen and Segway may be household names in the Granite State, but increasingly that's becoming true for other parts of the country where the inventor's Human Transporters are being used by municipal and corporate organizations such as the U.S. Postal Service and Disney Cruise Lines.

Now Segways are available to the public; but who is buying them and for what sort of use?

[color=royal blue]Administrator's note (Dan) - snipped off the end of the qouted newspaper article. In the future, please provide a link to the article, and quote only the first few paragraphs.[/color]
 

BKM

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Another cute article (anti) from ESPN.com

Segway: the SUV of the Sidewalk Amazon.com has exclusive marketing rights to the first production run of the Segway rolling metal broomstick. For a nonrefundable deposit of $495, Amazon will grant you a place in line to spend $4,950 on a Segway; preposterously, if you write an essay on why you love Segways, Amazon might deliver one by Christmas. Requiring customers to write an essay for permission to spend $4,950! Of course, colleges require customers to write an essay for permission to spend $125,000.

You'll love being passed on the sidewalk by some rich guy using a cell phone while riding his Segway.
TMQ, who recently inspected a Segway in Aspen, Colo. -- I waved as Nan departed on her ultra-glamorous itinerary -- predicts these devices will be a, what's the word, oh yeah, fiasco. Why? They will become the SUVs of the sidewalk.


[color=royal blue]Administrator's note (Dan) - snipped off the end of the quuted newspaper article. In the future, please provide a link to the article, and quote only the first few paragraphs from the article.[/color]
 

Budgie

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200 lbs ?

Note that the comments off of the ESPN website say that the Segway weights 200 lbs, when in actuality the "i" series Segway that is on sale weights 80 lbs and can is designed to carry a 250 lb person. The "p" Series Segway weighs less than 80 lbs and has been reported to be released late next year.

In addition, it should be noted that Segways have 3 different keys. The black has a maximum speed of 5 miles while the red has a maximum speed of 12 miles. The yellow key is somewhere between. Plus, Segways don't operate like all other traditional vehicles. Segway's react to slight movement of your center of gravity. There is no brake per se. Your natural reaction when approaching an object or person is to slow down. Who among us tries to sprint through a crowd? No one, so I think pedestrian safety concerns will prove unfounded. However, when you are standing on a Segway, you are 8 inches above your regular height making you an imposing figure even though the area you and the Segway occupy is only slightly larger than you would by yourself.

You can park 12 Segways comfortably in 1 parking space. All you need is a bike rack.

http://www.bookofseg.com/secure.html

PT has also added his Segway commute route in Seattle at the Book of SEG Website

http://http://www.bookofseg.com/images/myglide.jpg
 
Last edited:

Runner

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Re: 200 lbs ?

Budgie said:
Your natural reaction when approaching an object or person is to slow down. Who among us tries to sprint through a crowd?
Unfortunately, this has not proven true with the SUV behemoths on the highways. Who among us has not experienced or at least observed a SUV roar up to and ride the tail of the poor soul in front of them on the expressway. I'm afraid "get out of my way" through intimidation of size and speed may very well be the MO of some users.

On a lighter note:
http://www.satirewire.com/news/0112/bin_laden_segway.shtml
 

Budgie

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SUV vs Segway

Any comparison between a 2 ton SUV at 70 + mph to an 80 lb Segway at 12 mph makes no sense (apples and oranges or pumpkins versus grapes). The psychology of a person on the sidewalk is far different than the psychology of a person behind an SUV on the highway. My sister in-law is a reserved person in every respect until she gets behind the wheel. Are you suggesting that "SEG Rage" may mimic "Road Rage"?
 

Tranplanner

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Re: SUV vs Segway

Budgie said:
Are you suggesting that "SEG Rage" may mimic "Road Rage"?
It's possible - we already have conflicts between cyclists, rollerbladers, and pedestrians. I think that some of those articles above have been rather alarmist though. Personally, I'd much rather see Segways on the road (I consider Segway a vehicle, just like a bike) than on the sidewalk. While that may not work on 60 km/h+ suburban arterials - my focus is downtown roads.

I do think though that eventually a balance/compromise will be struck that will enable the SHT to find it's role and "location" in urban transport.
 

el Guapo

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I'm not nearly as negative towards the SHT as my prior posts and this next one suggest. I’m just trying to figure it all out.

I'm guessing many of these will be stolen.
Will they have easily readable VINs?
Will they have license plates? Even mopeds have plates.
How easy will it be for one person to toss it in the back of a pickup and speed off while the owner is in the local Starbucks? A high percentage will end up in Mexico.
Will kids kill each other like they do now with shoes and jackets to steal a SHT?
Will they come with LOJACK?
Will there be special SHT parking racks with easily lockable fixtures?
Who will paint theirs pink first?
Who will open the first SHT custom shop?
Where can I get chrome rims for one?
Will they come equipped with a GPS and a hands free phone?
How can I find a SHT racing league near me?
Can I get mine in black?
 

Chet

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Re: SUV vs Segway

Budgie said:
Are you suggesting that "SEG Rage" may mimic "Road Rage"?
Reminds me of the Sienfeld where George is being chased by the blue hairs.
 

Budgie

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"Ticket to Ride" Event

Hey El Guapo:

When there's a Segway "Ticket to Ride" event in KC, we could attend and grab a beer afterwards? Perhaps SeanNelson could join us?

Sean are you out there?
 

el Guapo

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I'm pumped! Please let me know when that goes down. I'll have a Boulevard Wheat please.
 

Budgie

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I'll take a Stout. Have you been to the High Noon Saloon in Leavenworth? Has there been a thread on microbreweries?
 

Runner

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I think it's a real mistake to allow the SHT on sidewalks. They are closer to a bicycle than a pedestrian so I would put them in the street / bike lanes. SideWALKs are for walking!

They offer the mobility of a bicycle w/o the benefits of exercise... I'll pass.

Now for $4950 I can buy a couple of fine bicycles... or a whole wardrobe of running outfits and more running shoes than Emelda Marcos ever dreamed off :)
 

Budgie

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The Next Big Thing

http://www.megway.com

Smart Growth Grant/EcoDevo Segway
http://www.nctimes.net/news/2001/20011221/95601.html

Wait and see.
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ar...ies/05local.htm

This approach is much better than San Francisco's knee jerk reaction to something that has had no observable negative impact on pedestrians nor has city staff or elected officials ridden or even seen the device.

I'll see and ride one this spring when I am trained on Segway use. Shortly thereafter, "IT" will be delivered to my house.

[color=royal blue]Administrator's note (Dan): Merged several posts into this post, to prevent post padding.

Budgie - please post future trains of thought in one message, rather than in several separate, consecutive messages. The moderators shouldn't have to manually merge messages; the next time this happens, such posts will be deleted.
[/color]
 

Repo Man

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I think that SF's reaction was dumb, but I also think that all these cities passing laws allowing them on sidewalks was also dumb. Is Santa Cruz is the only City with any common sense out there?

The Segway people are to blame for the SF decision. They went around forcing this down peoples throats, pushing cities and states to pass legislation allowing this when nobody really knows what kind of impact these things will have.
 

Cardinal

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It would seem to be a good choice - an unrealistic form of transportation in an imaginary form of community. Hey, isn't Disney also into monorails?
 

Injunplanna

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It's matter of convenience and conditioning

I think the segway has a market for commercial use and gizmo gobblers. the whole segway argument made me think why don't I use other alternative sources of travel apart from my feet and car. I realized its because of convenience.
I bike occasionally to office and find it cumberson in relation to walking. it's a good hike of 3 miles to the transit stop from where I take a train to work. When i bike I have to go through clumsy routines of getting into and out of the station, lug my bike up and down a few steps. it's a huge unmanageble accessory that i have to deal with. Hence I prefer to walk/bus/drive to destinations rather than bear the hassle of having to deal with bikes....despite all the facilities for bikes at the station and my office.

The same goes for a Segway. No revolutionary change in the urban transport, just one of the many nice but generally impractical alternatives.

BTW keep them off the sidewalk....let them eat into the R.O.W. of cars....heck make a dedicated lane for bikes/blades/boards and segways

MODERATOR's EDIT FROM BTURK:
I merged this post into htis thread.
 
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