That’s no golf cart on PTC paths; that’s a Segway

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:03pm
By: John Munford

Reversing its course from a vote in April, the Peachtree City Council has approved the use of Segways on the city’s golf cart path system.

The two-wheeled vehicles are driven by one person standing on a platform with no room for any passengers. To be path-worthy, Segways must be registered the same as a golf cart, and it’s likely the city’s ID decal will be displayed on the bottom front of the device.

Council also adopted age restrictions for the Segway, requiring either a valid driver’s license or permit; otherwise the driver must be at least 18 years old. Also, only one person be allowed on each device, an attempt to prevent what could become dangerous tomfoolery.

The Segway has no accelerator or 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.

The April vote to keep Segways off the paths was based in part by police findings after they evaluated the vehicles on the cart paths. Among the noted problems were difficulty in navigating uneven paths and the lack of protection in case of a collision with a golf cart.

Segway has had a dealership in the city for some months, and one citizen criticized council for the flip-flop on its decision. Nancy Larson said she walks on the cart paths, and thinks the Segway is not a good addition to the mix of golf carts, bicycles, walkers and other pedestrians on the paths.

Larson said the city’s rule that golf cart drivers use an audible signal when approaching pedestrians from behind is seldom if ever used.

“I think the Segway will be a dangerous addition to our paths,” said Lynda Wojcik.

A Segway representative said the devices can go no more than 12.5 mph even downhill, a feature even golf carts don’t have.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett was the lone dissenting vote against the measure, which passed 4-1.

At a previous meeting, Councilman Mike Harman said he had test-driven a Segway at the local dealership and he didn’t see any problem with it.

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Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 12:48pm.

I fail to see the demand for a 1 person vehicle with such a limited use. Factor in the price, and you won't hardly ever see them on the paths.

Submitted by blazing2006 on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:55am.

This decision by council will ultimately lead to the death or serious injury of someone someday. These vehicles have limited uses. Golf courses, police or personal use in wide open downtown districts. I doubt Mr. Harman put it through a real life test and staged teenagers and drunks coming around corners. Does anyone find it funny how this company puts in a store first before approval of these things and now they get approved about a year later. So Mr. Harman, what's your discount going to be on one of these when you leave office. Interesting

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 12:00pm.

No doubt he got one for free.

eodnnaenaj1's picture
Submitted by eodnnaenaj1 on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 12:16pm.

Visited Lenox Mall yesterday and their mall security people are on segways. I found that the person on the segway hampered shoppers movement as they went in and out between people walking through the mall. I do not honestly see how they could get where they need to be if an emergency happened. Either people are creating a stir trying to get out of the way of that pesky little scooter, or they are busy looking at the segway. Just got to wonder how smart this idea is. Just imagine the story - well I got run over by a segway while Christmas shopping.

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 1:11pm.

The Atlanta Ambassador Force uses them widely in downtown Atlanta without problem. And that's on crowded Peachtree Street sidewalks during lunch hour rush. No one is run over, blocked, impeded or inconvenienced. Having this kind of debate truly reinforces characterizations of some people in the 'burbs being technophobic at best and bucolic at worst.

Submitted by d.smith700 on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:56pm.

I remember some people in the paper who got hurt in Atlanta on a Segway!
How much you want to bet it is like our patrolling of the cart paths--nothing happens?

As to being bucolic, I certainly hope we have one little piece of the earth that is ours!

That thing at it's cost is a joke!

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