Segway segue

April 24, 2003

With Segways starting to appear in the city, the state Senate is considering a bill that would permit them on sidewalks everywhere except New York City. Segways don't belong on the sidewalk, but they don't belong on the streets either. Like bikes and inline skates, the Segway is an intermediate-speed transport: faster than walking, but slower than cars and buses.

As ridiculous as some people may find the Segway, I hope that it gets more widely adopted here in NYC precisely because it is yet another intermediate-speed mode of transport and will increase demand for bike lanes (or alternatives for intermediate-speed users.) Adding more bike lanes will only make it more comfortable to bike and skate (as well as Segway) within the city by separating these intermediate-speed users from high-speed (auto) and low-speed (pedestrian) users.

If NYC becomes more like Copenhagen and other European cities by adding more bike lanes, perhaps Dean Kamen's prediction that cities will redesign themselves around Segway will be proved correct.

As a follow-up to The End of Free at NYT, some NYT links may still work. Gothamist linked to Scooters for Technophiles back in January, and the link still works without redirecting to the pay archive. However, the link does redirect through "" which appended "?ex=[10 digit number]&en=[16 digit string]&ei=[4 digit number]" to the end of the link. (I'm not sure what the numbers refer to in terms of unique identifiers, so I'm not including them.)

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 24, 2003 3:55 PM
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That's interesting, about the Times pay-or-play system... I was wondering when the other shoe would drop... People and EW are now subscriber-only, which I was annoyed with until I realized I can get the same info in other places. The movie reviews on the Times, however (and thankfully), are still free.

Posted by: Jen on April 24, 2003 4:59 PM


i used to live in nyc and i totally agree. i now live in seattle and use a segway ht. have for over 145 days / 700+ miles, the choices people have encourages more modes of non-car travel. in seattle we have many choices, and because of that (i feel) we're have the lowest pedestrian incident rate in the usa for large cities, healthiest city as far the population and all sorts of other great metrics.

not everyone can suit up in lycra to ride a bike, i do cycle-- but not to work, i need to be dressed up, no shower at the office, so the ht is a great non-car solution. and yah, it's quite a but of fun too.


Posted by: pt on April 24, 2003 5:05 PM