Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SEGWAY - coming to a Greenbelt near you!

The Boise Parks Department has announced their approval of the use of "Segway Human Transporters" by disabled folks on the Greenbelt.

I don't know if that will have any impact; I've never seen a Segway in real-life, in Boise or elsewhere. There must be one, and it's operator must've requested permission, I s'pose.

Segway riders will join pedestrians, pedestrians with dogs, cyclists, cyclists with dogs, cyclists with cell phones, roller skaters, roller bladers, and skateboarders in the usage mix.

They will also join MOTORIZED traffic - parks golf carts, "security/volunteer" golf carts, the occasional police team on motorcycles, etc. (Does anybody else have a problem with all that motorized traffic? Although some of it is necessary and justified, it's as though somebody in a high place doesn't understand the attraction of the Greenbelt. I believe a lot of people enjoy getting AWAY from motorized traffic, and that's why they gravitate to the Greenbelt. Why not have physically-fit volunteer patrols... people who can navigate on foot, or on a bicycle? I just think it sends the wrong message when the Greenbelt is clearly posted "No Motor Vehicles," and yet it's occupied by a wide assortment of bureaucratic motor vehicles, leaving just the common folk without motors. (And besides... is it legal or illegal for people with various motorized bicycles, skateboards, scooters, carts, etc., to operate those vehicles on the Greenbelt?)

The Greenbelt is a diverse mix of transportation modes and speeds. On nice summer weekends when traffic gets heavy, it can become a "heady" experience to try to navigate through the mix. (Add in the people who stop and stand, bovine-like, on the Greenbelt, and the motorized traffic... you better be paying attention, for your own safety.)

(I'm attaching a series of photos of Dubya trying out a Segway. He didn't get it down the first time, apparently. I'd rather see him riding his bike on the Greenbelt, than a Segway anyway!)


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