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Segway Tour Operators May Cause Congestion On Main Street

Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Jun 26, 2014 in General Interest

Segway-Image

The Segway was first introduced in 2001 as the human transporter. It never quite took off in the ways that the company imagined. Many organizations including the U.S. Post Office and Disney experimented with the Segway in their business operations. Within the first year, the Segway was recalled to fix a battery problem that led to injuries.

Though the use of Segways never proliferated like the company imagined they would, they have found a reliable niche in the tour-guide industry. This has led to a clash among individuals, businesses, pedestrians and city governments who are all interested in using downtown Anderson, South Carolina.

On the one hand, tour operators in Anderson are training new Segway users to mosey around the city. On the other hand, city officials want to keep city streets readily accessible. Segways are legal on sidewalks and are a great option for people who want to take a tour without walking all over a city.

The speed and bulky nature of Segways can cause conflict between Segway riders and pedestrians on the streets. The citys staff have found that congestion is a particular concern during arts events on and during Saturday Market.

In response to these complaints, officials at a City Council workshop considered whether Segways should be prevented from special events and treated like dogs, bicyclists and skateboards for purposes of zoning issues. Tour guides such as Dianna Ward make it a point to avoid heavily trafficked areas and regions.

Segway Owner Dies On A Segway

In September of 2010, it was revealed that the second owner of the Segway Company died after falling off a Segway and going over a cliff. That incident, among others has kind of marred and plagued the history of Segway.

Segway has close ties to Greenville County where the Segways tires and wheels were engineered by Michelin. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how tours of downtown can be incorporated without inconveniencing everyone else. 

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