Segway markets its electric motorized scooter as an eco-friendly alternative for short trips, but in New York, Segway owners will be hard pressed to find a place to ride after a stroke of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's veto pen yesterday.
Already banned from public roads because they travel only 10 mph and lack turn signals and the like, the New York law approved by the legislature would have allowed local communities to approve the use of Segways in bike lanes and other routes typically reserved for bicyclists and pedestrians, according to Newsday.
The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that half of the 900 million car trips Americans take are to run errands very close to home, and Segway says its vehicle would offer an alternative to filling up a tank of gas for such trips.
Environmental groups, including NYPIRG and the American Lung Association, opposed the use of Segways because they would add energy-consuming vehicles to sidewalks, bike and skate paths and roads -- but not displace cars.
"Segways don't move quickly enough, cannot be used in inclement weather and cannot carry passengers or bulky items and thus are not a practical substitute for cars. And of course, at around $5,000, they're just not in the price range of the average consumer," said Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel for NYPIRG.
Anyway, short trips in a Segway seem a viable alternative, relative to the 4,000-mile long journey two wacky filmmakers took to make their documentary, 10 MPH. That film was just released on DVD.
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