A requested zoning appeal for Segway rentals and tours at 420 Commercial St. did not receive support by the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association in a vote of 7-22 against the proposal.
The corner site at Hanover & Commercial Streets was formerly a Mobil station. It is owned by Frances Lauria and currently leased to Boston Gliders (or Boston by Segway). The City issued a use violation in June 2012, which the property owner is seeking to correct with the proposed zoning change. Boston Gliders operates seasonal Segway tours March 1-December 15, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily; closed on Sundays.
Residents raised concerns with the Segways and the tours that have come under regulatory scrutiny, most recently through a City of Boston ordinance that is being contested by the operator. Segway tours are prohibited from using sidewalks, although they can use the bike lanes.
Tour routes were mentioned as approved by the City but were unavailable for viewing at the meeting. One attendee mentioned that the Segway tours were often seen in parks and public/private spaces off the approved routes. Another resident said he had seen riders fall and speeding Segway use by the tour operators when they ride on their own through the North End. The Segway operator was not present at the meeting.
View the video above for the full presentation and discussion at the NEWRA meeting held on February 14, 2012 at the Nazzaro Community Center in Boston’s North End. The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear the request on March 12, 2013 at City Hall, Room 801.