Developer wants Segway on PTC paths

Tue, 04/03/2007 - 4:23pm
By: The Citizen

The Peachtree City Council will consider Thursday night whether to allow the two-wheeled Segway to be used on the city’s cart path system.

The Segway, which is a platform on wheels with a handlebar, can travel up to 12.5 miles per hour. But the question likely will be whether the vehicle is maneuverable enough to dodge a fast-oncoming golf cart speeding ‘round the bend. Another significant factor will be whether or not the vehicle can handle the frequent bumps on the path system from tree root intrusions and the like.

The request for Segway approval on the cart paths comes from shopping center developer Doug McMurrain, who has already leased space in the McIntosh Village shopping center to a Segway dealer.

The city’s path ordinance specifically forbids all vehicles that the ordinance doesn’t list, and so far Segway is not on the list.

The Segway is a unique device in that it doesn’t have an accelerator or a steering wheel. Instead, the rider navigates forward and backward by leaning in either direction. The device’s computers process that information and vary the speed based on how far forward or backward the rider is leaning.

On older models the Segway turned using a rocker switch located on the handlebars. The newer models feature a “leaning” handlebar that slides to the left and the right, gauging the size of the movement to determine how sharply to turn, according to company literature.

Segway contends that its Personal Transporters, as they are called, can go places a bike and car cannot, including inside stores, office buildings, businesses, airports, elevators and trains. They are powered by electricity from a household socket, and they are ideal for short trips of five miles or less though they can go as far as 24 miles on a single battery charge depending on terrain, payload and riding style.

The Segway also has a leg up on most golf carts, which are highly vulnerable to theft: Each Segway comes with a security system that when activated causes an alarm to go off and the Segway to vibrate if its tampered with. Also the wheels will lock and an alert will be sent to the user’s key controller.

In recent years, the City Council agreed to allow an electric-powered bicycle on the city’s path but declined to allow a “mule” utility cart to be used on the path system. Also given a “no” vote were mini-motorcycles called pocket bikes.

Safety on the paths is sometimes a delicate balance because of the heavy golf carts being used along with bikers, joggers, walkers, skaters and regular, plain-old pedestrians. Also, the path’s winding design and foliage can block sight lines in some areas.

Last year the city recorded its first fatal accident on the path system when a Tyrone woman fell off a golf cart, causing a head injury.

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Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 6:07pm.

Hey buddy, don't ask for permission... just do what you want too.

The kids have been doing it for years. A couple weeks ago I was walking my dog and almost became a hood ornament for a red 4 wheeler driven by a screaming, swearing, brat. The motorized scooters are used dailey on the path system.

Don't ask ....just do whatever you want to....they don't patrol the paths and they never will. Use your head....The teens aren't the only ones who have the corner market on breaking the's a game everyone can play here.

Submitted by Full Time Observer on Wed, 04/04/2007 - 8:17am.

Speaking of which, I am concerned about the volume of golf carts which regularly use Sumner Road. Often, there are more golf carts on the street than motor vehicle traffic. My understanding has always been that Sumner Road is actually not within the Peachtree City city limits and, therefore, is governed by the Fayette County regulations. If I am correct, I also do not believe that Sumner Road is one of the streets in the Fayette County ordinance which is approved for golf cart use. Could someone from the Fayette County Sheriff's Department please tell me whether I am right or wrong about this?

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