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Segway Hearing Held as Preamble to New Regulations Against Sidewalk Use

The Herald covers the City Council hearing on potential legislation that would prevent Segways from using the sidewalks and instead have them use the streets, similar to bicycles.

“It’s not that I want to ban them like other cities have, but Boston is a walkable city. It’s ranked as one of the top walkable cities in America. It’s a city with narrow sidewalks and roadways,” City Councilor Sal LaMattina. “Frankly,” testified Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin, “sidewalks are for pedestrians.” “People feel very threatened. There have been children and seniors who have complained about feeling forced off the pathways,” said Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak.

Boston Gliders co-founder Allan Danley — who says he operates the city’s lone Segway tour company, with 40 North End machines — charges the regulations would kill his business, which has boomed 1,000 percent since 2008. “If I was a tourist coming to the city, I would definitely not get on a Segway and be out in the middle of the street,” protested Danley.

Read the full Herald article.

Segways in the North End: The above clip shows the Boston Gliders location that recently opened on the corner of Commercial and Hanover Streets in the North End.

4 Replies to “Segway Hearing Held as Preamble to New Regulations Against Sidewalk Use

  1. I find the owners/managers of this company extremely rude to those of us who walk along the sidewalk in front of their store when there are several people learning how to use the Segways. It would make a lot of sense to keep them off the sidewalks.

  2. Actually Boston IS the Most Walkable City, Sal. D.C. –and only D.C.–has ever "beat us"; but this was a result based solely on this one metric: The "number of walkable communities withing the Mestropolitan Statistical Area" (MSA). That has nothing to do with the City itself. D.C. is pretty hard to walk in during tourist seasons and many neighborhoods are off limits to non-locals due to a near guarantee of crime victimization. It is also perilous to navigate D.C. on foot in many areas even during the day, and highly advisable not to walk it at all (or in very many parts) at night. Mugings in D.C. are so common, they are accepted as a daily inconvenience.

    Back to Boston.

    The Segways are not just a hazard, the operators (and I am talking the tour guides) absolutely force one to get off the sidewalk. They do not yield, slow down or even acknolwedge the pedestrian they endanger. Segways are, sadly, a product of laziness and sloth as part of a larger food consumption-obesity crisis we have in The States. They are whollly inconvenient to all around them except the operators. Either discover the City on bike or foot or vehicle. The Segway is a redundant, ineficient and hazardous mode of transport.

    We need to protest these vehicles by stopping in their way on sidewalks, and making them reverse or dismount. If this is too much for many, we need our representatives to do away with this ridiculous mode of transport.

    Let's make Segways history.

  3. The North End is the most walkable neighborhood
    in Boston and last place you need to use a Segway.

    Why didn't they set up an office over in the Back Bay
    or the Seaport/South End neighborhoods?

  4. I'd rather see this guy's Segway business close than see any more people having to get out of the way of fast cruising Segways on the sidewalks. This company has disrespected the North End/Waterfront neighborhoods and the people since Day 1. Millions of tourists have been enjoying our neighborhoods for decades before there were Segways. Motorized vehicles should not be on sidewalks. I hope Boston Gliders looks for a new home in another city.

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