Quoted from appended news release:
[The Segway motorized scooter] "is designed for use in pedestrian environments..."
The National Park Service is playing right along with the promoters of the Segway Motorized Scooter, giving it credibility, green cover and valuable public exposure. Pedestrians should not be forced to compete with motorized users for use of public spaces that until now have been off limits to motors (and in many case off limits to wheels in general!!)
The NPS is allowing itself to be used by private commercial interests to accomplish private commercial objectives. The NPS should be ashamed of the role they are playing in facilitating the motorization of pedestrian environments.
What, I ask, is so different about a Segway Motorized Scooter compared to a Harley Davidson motorcycle? If the Harley were powered by a fuel cell would it be compatible for use on sidewalks or on hiking trails?
If a snowmobile is powered by a less noisy, less polluting engine, would it be compatible with cross country skiers on skier trails?
This news release talks of NPS staff using the Segway in the National Parks to increase their visibility, mobility, etc. Personally I liked it much better when NPS staff were LESS VISIBLE and LESS OBTRUSIVE than they have become in recent years.
And... assuming these tests are successful, how long do you suppose it will be before parks offer commercial Segway Rental Concessions for visitors (customers) willing to pay $80-100 per half-day to ride one of these toys in a National Park setting?
--- begin quoted ---
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Park Service Expands Testing of SegwayT Human Transporter to Grand Canyon National Park
GRAND CANYON, AZ, June 26, 2002 - The National Park Service (NPS) and
Segway LLC today announced the start of a second feasibility trial of
the SegwayT Human Transporter (HT), the self-balancing,
electric-powered short-distance transportation machine. NPS rangers,
interpreters and supervisors will test five Segway HT units in various
locations on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Grand
NPS staff will use the Segway HT's to navigate the park, interact with
visitors at the park's new transportation and orientation hub, Canyon
View Information Plaza and along new segments of the Grand Canyon
Greenway, a trail system designed to offer park visitors a wider range
of transit options into and around the park. Park rangers will also use
the Segway HT units to patrol campgrounds and for administrative uses
throughout the developed area on the South Rim. The Grand Canyon trial
follows a successful trial within National Capital Parks-Central in
Washington, D.C. that was completed in May.
"The Grand Canyon trial will build and expand upon the initial trial in
Washington, D.C. to determine productivity gains-specifically
increasing the mobility and accessibility of NPS staff with minimal
environmental impact," said Brad Traver, Project Management Team
Manager, National Park Service.
The Segway HT is the first self-balancing, electric-powered personal
transporter designed to enhance the productivity of people by
increasing the distance they can travel and the amount they can carry
anywhere people walk. It is designed for use in pedestrian
environments, providing a non-polluting, low impact, short distance
"The Segway HT provides a viable, safe and environmentally sound
mobility solution, and could offer added opportunities for park staff
to interact with and assist park visitors in many of the park's
developed areas," said Segway LLC Founder and Chairman, Dean Kamen.