One More Reason to Stay Home
July 31st, 2008

A state bill that united unlikely allies Transportation Alternatives and the New York State American Automobile Association was quietly signed into law last Monday, offering New Yorkers a good reason to stay within the relative safety of the city. Segways, the wildly expensive motorized standing scooter things that you can’t park outside (and, at 120 pounds a pop, can’t possibly carry to your third floor walkup), are street legal now. And sidewalk legal. And bike lane legal, at least anywhere in the state with a population under a million. Within the five boroughs their legality remains hazy.

The bill, Assembly Bill A 11429-A / Senate Bill S7509-A, doesn’t name the Segway specifically, referring repeatedly instead to “electric personal assistive[sic] mobility devices,” as though any exist that fit the requirements of a device “designed to transport one person by means of an electric propulsion system with an average output of not more than 750 watts” and aren’t Segways.

Sen. Owen Johnson‘s sponsors memo describes the unnamed device as one “which transforms a person into an empowered pedestrian, allowing him/her to achieve more than they could by simply walking” and promises that “unlike bicycles, scooters and mopeds,” these “electric personal assistive mobility devices” are “designed to be pedestrian friendly.” He offers no particular explanation of the curious stipulation in the bill of a $50 fine for Segway riders who forgo helmets.

Pedestrian friendly, but riders … or rather “empowered pedestrians” need protection?

By on July 31, 2008, 5:32 pm
In category: Albany,Transportation | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “One More Reason to Stay Home”

  1. Amanda Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 10:00 am

    PS, if you want to know how your legislator voted on this one, visit Albany’s bill tracker and search by Bill Number for “S07509” from 2007 (the legislature orders intros by the year they were introduced.)

    To look at the money that went into getting this passed, take a look at Project Sunlight NY’s lobbying records — for their bill search you’ll need to know that they’ve got it listed under bill number “S1353”

  2. Auxil Benevosoc Says:
    September 8th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I had no idea this bill was passed. Until now, I thought Segways were illegal in NY State because they could not be registered with the Motor Vehicle Bureau.

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