Vote to allow Segways on footpaths takes place today

Later today the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled 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.
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This is worrying the US Bikes Belong Coalition who have sent out an email urging cyclists to lobby their senators. There should be a wide-ranging discussion of the Segway issue before there's a vote to allow them on to footpaths and cycleways, believe Beikes Belong.

"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 Richard Olken, executive director of Bikes Belong.

The bill's sponsor, Bob Smith (a Republican from New Hampshire) is 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.


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