Miami Beach Might Ban Segways From Pedestrian Areas

Categories: Road Rage

segway.jpg.jpg
Photo by Mauritsvink via Wikimedia Commons
Segways: They're silent, they're funny-looking, and they never go faster than 12 mph. And soon they could be banned from much of Miami Beach because of apparent clashes with pedestrians.

At a public hearing later this morning, Miami Beach Commissioner Jonah Wilson will propose an amendment to city code that would ban Segways from practically everywhere in Miami Beach where people might use them. The devices would no longer be allowed, among other areas, on the Beach Walk south of Fifth Street and between 15th and 23rd and 64th and 79th streets; on the sidewalk east of Ocean Drive between South Pointe Drive and 15th Street; and on the Marina Bay Walk south of Fifth Street.

Local Segway tour operators, unsurprisingly, aren't taking the news sitting down.

"This is not a Segway issue," said Jeremy Rothschild, marketing director for Bike and Roll Miami, a South Beach operator that gives Segway tours and also rents them individually. "It's basically an issue that has to deal with the conflict between pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists."

Rothschild said that if it were to pass, the restrictions would shut down his company. Instead of moving to ban Segways, he said, the city should work to solve the real problem: a lack of proper infrastructure, such as bike lanes, that leads to too much congestion. Segways, he said, have been singled out simply because they're popular.

"We're a tourist destination. If something is popular, do you shut it down?" he asked. "No, you try to find solutions to make sure people are safe."

Segways are allowed on sidewalks in most states. Other metro areas, such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have banned them from sidewalks but permit usage in bike lanes, a solution Rothschild supports. In the past three days, more than 200 people have signed an online petition against the proposed ban, and numerous Segway operators and groups are expected at this morning's public hearing on the third floor of Miami Beach City Hall.

The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m., with the reading on the proposed Segway restrictions slated for 10:25.

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21 comments
plopes04201
plopes04201

What I'd like to see is the city to convert ocean drive parking on the east side of the street to a bike lane. We need bike lanes all over the city mind you, but this would be a good start. Surely there are enough parking garages around and if there aren't enough spots, I'm sure we can find a lot to build a small 2 story one to compensate.

The city of MB really needs bike lanes. It's absurd we don't have them in abundance.

Davy Jones
Davy Jones

Segways are lame unless you're wearing aviators :D

Chgo Dave
Chgo Dave

sidewalks are for people not yuppie liberals

Jo Braga
Jo Braga

Dude segways are actually pretty fun to ride on if your going full tilt lol

Rosita Vee
Rosita Vee

Ha, David, you don't have to be super fit to ride bikes, you just gotta love life and get your sweat on. I'm far from super fit, but I still manage to ride 50-150 miles per week. Fattys can ride bikes, too!

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Don't see enough of them for it really to matter to anyone ? Don't see many, if any rollerbladers either anymore ?

Chris Funk
Chris Funk

Thank you!!! Those fat Midwesterners really oughta just walk anyway

Bobby Dazzler
Bobby Dazzler

Good! Anything motorized shouldn't be on a walkway . Called a walk way for a reason.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

The city can rent out all the sidewalk space and make it impossible or anybody to use the sidewalks.  That would solve the problem.  I propose DecoFleaMarket open shop in South of Fifth.  What is going on with South Pointe Park and Nikki Beach parking lots this weekend?  Are they closed to black people this weekend? 

Davida LaBlanca
Davida LaBlanca

stupid stupid stupid.... this is a world destination. bikes, rollerblades, wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards all ok? sounds like someone didn't get a kickback.

windmichael21
windmichael21

miami beach where city attorney and code compliance and the police are criminals.

jdomar
jdomar

Lack of bike lanes is the real problem, as it is downtown. This is a typical Miami way to tackle the issue: lets destroy business rather than address infrastructure problems..

Rosita Vee
Rosita Vee

Segways are lame. Get on a bike, you lazy fucks!

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

The city should ban walking.  It is far too dangerous to walk in Miami Beach.  Is the South of Fifth mafia behind this? 
I don't see how you can enforce this in different neighborhoods.  Last time I checked city services cannot enforce anything anyway.  The violators will have to go to where to fight their tickets?  County court or the kangaroo court in Miami Beach? 

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