US-wide Segway vote delayed due to lobbying - BikeBiz

US-wide Segway vote delayed due to lobbying

This site reported last week that the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee was due to vote on a bill which, if passed, would allow Segways (upright Dysons that can throttle along at 17mph) on footpaths or cycleways built or maintained with federal funds. Thanks to lobbying from a variety of concerned groups, the vote was shelved
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"It appears that the vote has been postponed because of the heavy influx of mail etc. asking that the proposed legislation be given a public hearing. We believe that airing all sides on this issues is of critical importance to all concerned," said Richard Olken, executive director of the US-based Bikes Belong Coalition.

"We express no opinion on the Segway itself."

The state of New Hampshire - where the Segway was invented and will be made - has already legislated to allow Segways on to footpaths.

“[The Segway] has the potential to revolutionize transportation in this country,” said Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

The New Hampshire legislation was sent to all other US states by Segway.

Worried that Segways could soon be allowed to mix with pedestrians and cyclists, Bikes Belong had sent an email to members urging cyclists to lobby their senators.

"Make a call to your senator today and ask that a potential vote on Segway legislation S204 be postponed until a full and fair hearing can be held," said the email.

The bill's sponsor, Bob Smith (a Republican from New Hampshire) was said to have bypassed the normal hearing process to bring it directly to a vote.

S024 would "amend title 23, United State Code, to authorize the use of electric personal assistive mobility devices on trails and pedestrian walkways constructed or maintained with Federal-aid highway funds."

It's the Segway Corp which is pushing for this bill to be passed (and has spent $741 000 lobbying senators) but could it also mean golf-carts and other such devices could be allowed on US sidewalks?

"To our knowledge [Segway] have not done any outreach to bike and pedestrian interests. Bikes Belong Coalition thinks it is only appropriate to insist that those with concerns about Segways on sidewalks and trails be provided with a forum for discussion before this bill is passed," said Olken, before learning that the vote had been successfully suspended.

http://www.bikesbelong.org

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