Segway asking for Federally-funded 'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago...

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Luigi De Guzman, Feb 24, 2003.

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  1. Comrades:

    So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary' product on
    a market that doesn't want it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html

    am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).

    -Luigi
     
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  2. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:28:11 -0500, <[email protected]>, zenit
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?

    Most assuredly, when the funds come from transportation spending instead of money appropriated for
    recreation.

    Bike paths are long skinny parks that don't necessarily go anywhere.

    Bike paths and special "SegWays" are not what cyclists nor Kamenites need if they're to be seriously
    taken as alternatives to the growing glut of stinking fossil burners clogging our streets.
    --
    zk
     
  3. Zenit

    Zenit Guest

    On 24 Feb 2003 12:56:42 -0800, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) had to open a new box of
    zerones to say:

    >Comrades:
    >
    >So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary' product
    >on a market that doesn't want it.
    >
    >http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    >
    >am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    >'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    >remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    >Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).
    >
    >
    >-Luigi

    Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?

    <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
     
  4. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    A good point. However, based on most requests for funding for bicycle lanes and paths, I doubt
    they'll have much more luck with this idea. I'm not convinced that they'll sell many Segways anyway
    to be honest. Their sales have been dreadful to date (I believe they're largest corporate customer
    so far bought 24 of them..). They're producing perhaps 1-10 in a week, as opposed to the thousands
    per week they expected. And they are running short of cash in this venture. I expect the Segway will
    quietly fill a niche market or will disappear altogether and that will be that. I don't buy the
    "build it and they will come" theory here. If they want, build them as bike lanes that could be used
    later as Segway/bike lanes, but you know what? It won't happen. Show me someone who commutes by
    bike/Segway in Chicago in winter and I'll show you 20,000 cars doing the same thing. Who do you
    think wins the money grab?

    Cheers,

    Scott..
    --
    Scott Anderson

    "zenit" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > On 24 Feb 2003 12:56:42 -0800, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) had to open a new box of
    > zerones to say:
    >
    >
    > Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?
    >
    > <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
     
  5. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Zoot Katz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:28:11 -0500, <[email protected]>, zenit
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?
    >
    > Most assuredly, when the funds come from transportation spending instead of money appropriated for
    > recreation.
    >
    > Bike paths are long skinny parks that don't necessarily go anywhere.
    >
    > Bike paths and special "SegWays" are not what cyclists nor Kamenites need if they're to be
    > seriously taken as alternatives to the growing glut of stinking fossil burners clogging our
    > streets.
    > --
    > zk

    I just watched webcast on MSNBC about the iBOT wheelchair that he built before the Segway. It's a
    fantastic device that makes a difference in the world. Being cyclists, it's a privilege to be able
    to cycle, and if I couldn't cycle i'd still want to see the world.

    I reckon it's a great device, although the public jumped on the secrecy stuff and felt cheated when
    they discovered that it doesn't float off the ground like Michael J Fox's skateboard in 'Back to
    the Future'!
     
  6. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > Comrades:
    >
    > So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary' product
    > on a market that doesn't want it.
    >
    > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    >
    > am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    > 'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    > remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    > Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).
    >
    > -Luigi

    Sounds like desperation to me. Do you have your Segway on order? I'm not travelling again til there
    are teleportation booths on every corner!
     
  7. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    zenit wrote:

    > On 24 Feb 2003 12:56:42 -0800, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) had to open a new box of
    > zerones to say:
    >
    > >Comrades:
    > >
    > >So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary' product
    > >on a market that doesn't want it.
    > >
    > >http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    > >
    > >am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    > >'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    > >remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    > >Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).
    > >
    > >
    > >-Luigi
    >
    > Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?
    >
    > <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit

    Would you be willing to pay for something that has not been used yet? Bicycles opened the roads
    before the advent of automobiles. Bernie
     
  8. Zoot Katz wrote:
    >
    > Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:28:11 -0500, <[email protected]>, zenit
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?

    Not me. Soak the rich and build more paths, I say.

    > Most assuredly, when the funds come from transportation spending instead of money appropriated for
    > recreation.
    >
    > Bike paths are long skinny parks that don't necessarily go anywhere.

    That is a common myth, but we are seeing more and more of these trails becoming connected providing
    a great long distance cycling and hiking routes connecting cities across the U.S.

    NW Indiana has a few rail trails. One connects the cities of Hammond, Highland, Griffith,
    Schererville, and Crown Point. It passes many elementary, middle, and high schools providing a safe
    route to school. It also passes several park areas and has an occasional trunk to a post office,
    library, etc. I ride it partially to the Lake County Library, the Hammond Public Library, and as
    part of my route to Chicago. Once I get to 71st St. in Chicago I hop on the Lakefront Path and can
    traverse about 18 miles along it and go westbound onto streets to reach many important destinations.

    The Indiana Trail Study http://www.in.gov/dot/projects/trails/z-CompleteDocument.pdf reported that
    25% of trail use was transportational.

    Even trails that appear to be recreational in nature have a hidden benefit: they can become a segway
    (hehehe) to transportation cycling. That's what happened to me. After a 25 year hiatus I got back on
    a bike because the new trails would allow me to ride away from cars. Soon I was going on organized
    rides on lightly trafficked country roads, then onto urban streets again shortly after that. Now I
    routinely cycle throughout Chicago.

    A path that might appear recreational can become an important transportation corridor for nearby
    residents, especially children and elderly who might walk/ride to their friends' residences.

    > Bike paths and special "SegWays" are not what cyclists nor Kamenites need if they're to be
    > seriously taken as alternatives to the growing glut of stinking fossil burners clogging our
    > streets.

    If a Segway keeps a car off the street we all benefit. Many people just aren't going to compete for
    space on the streets against the motorized thugocracy though. It's time to realize this and start
    building paths and bike lanes and reinvesting in public transportation. I've got nothing against
    converting a few streets here and there to paths either, nor against converting the occasional
    street to a bicycle boulevard.

    We in the USA should aspire to intermodal systems like this

    http://pages.prodigy.net/rjmatter/gallery/bikesinholland22.jpg

    Build paths, not bombs!

    -Bob Matter Hammond, Indiana
    ----------------
    "War in Iraq is inevitable. That there would be war was decided by North American planners in the
    mid-1920s. That it would be in Iraq was decided much more recently. The architects of this war were
    not military planners but town planners. War is inevitable not because of weapons of mass
    destruction, as claimed by the political right, nor because of western imperialism, as claimed by
    the left. The cause of this war, and probably the one that will follow, is car dependence."
    -- Ian Roberts, The Guardian
     
  9. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Comrades:
    >
    > So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary' product
    > on a market that doesn't want it.
    >
    > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    >
    > am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    > 'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    > remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    > Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).

    No, you're not the only one. State and city funds should be used for local projects. Why should *my*
    money go to building a scooter path that I will never, ever see or use?

    I read a report from some postal workers that did not like the Seg too much. Seems that in the
    winter, they get a lot colder. Walking keeps you warm.

    Pete
     
  10. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Bernie <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Sounds like desperation to me. Do you have your Segway on order? I'm not travelling again til
    > there are teleportation booths on every corner!

    But then you have the problem of flash crowds instead of traffic jams...

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g Your job is being a professor and
    researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. (Linus Torvalds
    to Andrew Tanenbaum)
     
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Robert J. Matter" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > We in the USA should aspire to intermodal systems like this
    >
    > http://pages.prodigy.net/rjmatter/gallery/bikesinholland22.jpg
    >
    > Build paths, not bombs!
    >
    > -Bob Matter Hammond, Indiana
    > ----------------

    After having lived and ridden in Holland for 2 years....

    Yes, it works. In THAT context. There are a LOT of differences between here and there. Enough so
    that trying to port that system here would, at best, be a HUGE uphill battle. Terrain, climate, ROW,
    distances, costs, ingrained mentality. Separate but equal is almost never 'equal'.

    If you want to go the whole hog, why not subscribe to this vision...
    http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~eemoise/ch02bic.html

    Pete
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>, "elyob"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Zoot Katz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:28:11 -0500, <[email protected]>, zenit
    > > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > >Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?
    > >
    > > Most assuredly, when the funds come from transportation spending instead of money appropriated
    > > for recreation.
    > >
    > > Bike paths are long skinny parks that don't necessarily go anywhere.
    > >
    > > Bike paths and special "SegWays" are not what cyclists nor Kamenites need if they're to be
    > > seriously taken as alternatives to the growing glut of stinking fossil burners clogging our
    > > streets.
    > > --
    > > zk
    >
    > I just watched webcast on MSNBC about the iBOT wheelchair that he built before the Segway. It's a
    > fantastic device that makes a difference in the world. Being cyclists, it's a privilege to be able
    > to cycle, and if I couldn't cycle i'd still want to see the world.
    >
    > I reckon it's a great device, although the public jumped on the secrecy stuff and felt cheated
    > when they discovered that it doesn't float off the ground like Michael J Fox's skateboard in 'Back
    > to the Future'!

    The Segway, price no object, is an interesting product. The problem is that it probably costs
    at least three times what it needs to in order to be consumer-friendly, and maybe more like 5
    or 6 times.

    If they could sell them for less than $1000, they might have a market. At less than $500, they would
    have a market. At $300, there would be jams of them. They're not any of those prices, and they're
    not likely to get that cheap anytime soon.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  13. Zenit

    Zenit Guest

    On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 18:55:36 -0800, Bernie <[email protected]> had to open a new box of
    zerones to say:

    >
    >
    >zenit wrote:
    >
    >> On 24 Feb 2003 12:56:42 -0800, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) had to open a new box of
    >> zerones to say:
    >>
    >> >Comrades:
    >> >
    >> >So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary'
    >> >product on a market that doesn't want it.
    >> >
    >> >http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    >> >
    >> >am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    >> >'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    >> >remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    >> >Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >-Luigi
    >>
    >> Are you as offended by bike paths paid for with tax dollars...?
    >>
    >> <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
    >
    >Would you be willing to pay for something that has not been used yet? Bicycles opened the roads
    >before the advent of automobiles. Bernie
    >

    Actually, the paths for roads were established by animals, and no one ever hollered "Bicycles,
    westward ho...!" or "Get a bicycle...!" The bicycle played a minor role in transportation in the
    early days, just as it does today... Its limitations are very similar to those of the Segway, which
    is why it's puzzling that bike riders of today feel so threatened by its introduction... Maybe it's
    similar to the visceral reaction to the SUV by Kia owners...

    <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
     
  14. Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    >
    > The Segway, price no object, is an interesting product. The problem is that it probably costs
    > at least three times what it needs to in order to be consumer-friendly, and maybe more like 5
    > or 6 times.
    >
    > If they could sell them for less than $1000, they might have a market. At less than $500, they
    > would have a market. At $300, there would be jams of them. They're not any of those prices, and
    > they're not likely to get that cheap anytime soon.

    They've had these Zappy scooter things http://www.zapworld.com/zappy.htm around for a while from
    $400-$800 and I've only ever seen two of them Chicago. Both times they were being driven on the
    sidewalk. They don't have the range of a Segway, but in a city with good public transportation they
    would be fine for riding .25-1.0 mile to a train station or bus stop and another .25-1.0 mile to
    your final destination. Unfortunately Chicago's public transportation system is severly hamstrung by
    cutbacks in off-peak service. Therefore it is difficult to coax people out of their cars. All the
    emphasis is put on M-F 9-5 commuting and not for people working outside of those traditional time
    boundaries or recreating in the evenings.

    -Bob Matter
    -----------
    "A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands
    no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays
    without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers
    and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain." --Anatole France
     
  15. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, zenit <[email protected]> writes:

    > Actually, the paths for roads were established by animals

    But the bicycle-inspired Good Roads Movement got them paved:
    http://www.bikeleague.org/members/vehiclecollision.htm

    "In the 1890's the League of American Bicyclists began the Good Roads Movement to provide safe
    places for cyclists to ride. The network of paved roads and highways that American motorists enjoy
    today is the product of that early League campaign."

    cheers, Tom

    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  16. On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 01:45:25 -0500, zenit wrote:

    > Actually, the paths for roads were established by animals, and no one ever hollered "Bicycles,
    > westward ho...!" or "Get a bicycle...!" The bicycle played a minor role in transportation in the
    > early days, just as it does today...

    Absolutely false. The "Good Roads Movement" of the 1890s, which launched the drive for paved roads
    in this country, was started by bicyclists long before the motor car hit the market.
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 01:45:25 -0500, zenit wrote:
    >
    > > Actually, the paths for roads were established by animals, and no one ever hollered "Bicycles,
    > > westward ho...!" or "Get a bicycle...!" The bicycle played a minor role in transportation in the
    > > early days, just as it does today...
    >
    > Absolutely false. The "Good Roads Movement" of the 1890s, which launched the drive for paved roads
    > in this country, was started by bicyclists long before the motor car hit the market.
    >

    Actually the motorcar hit the market before the 1890s, but not in any great numbers. If only they
    had today's bicycles back then, would there even be cars today?
    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  18. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Comrades:
    > >
    > > So it looks like Dean "Segway" Kamen is looking for some help pushing his 'revolutionary'
    > > product on a market that doesn't want it.
    > >
    > > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54860-2003Feb23.html
    > >
    > > am I the only one who's troubled by the suggestion that the US Federal Government fund
    > > 'segway-friendly' paths in Chicago? In an era of budgetary pain for normal road-building (which
    > > remember benefits us cyclists too, at least non-Interstate building, resurfacing, etc) they want
    > > Special SegWays (probably TM, at that).
    >
    > No, you're not the only one. State and city funds should be used for local projects. Why should
    > *my* money go to building a scooter path that I will never, ever see or use?
    >
    > I read a report from some postal workers that did not like the Seg too much. Seems that in the
    > winter, they get a lot colder. Walking keeps you warm.
    >
    > Pete
    >
    >
    >

    The only market I see for this thing is in large workplaces like the Boeing factory or something,
    but this Howard Huges of modern times Dean Kamen is a little wacked out of his gord I think. Just
    wait until his all natural "Spruce Goose" version comes out for the summer cottage crowd.

    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  19. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 13:05:01 -0400, Chris Phillipo <[email protected]> had to open a
    > new box of zerones to say:
    >
    >
    > >The only market I see for this thing is in large workplaces like the Boeing factory or something,
    > >but this Howard Huges of modern times Dean Kamen is a little wacked out of his gord I think. Just
    > >wait until his all natural "Spruce Goose" version comes out for the summer cottage crowd.
    >
    > You would be well served to find out just who you're speaking ill of... A Google might help you
    > from looking silly in the future...
    >
    > <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
    >

    Eh?
    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  20. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 13:05:01 -0400, Chris Phillipo <[email protected]> had to open a
    > new box of zerones to say:
    >
    >
    > >The only market I see for this thing is in large workplaces like the Boeing factory or something,
    > >but this Howard Huges of modern times Dean Kamen is a little wacked out of his gord I think. Just
    > >wait until his all natural "Spruce Goose" version comes out for the summer cottage crowd.
    >
    > You would be well served to find out just who you're speaking ill of... A Google might help you
    > from looking silly in the future...
    >
    > <! -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > zenit
    >
    Google would seem to agree he is pissing away his fortune on this idea, hence the comparison to the
    late master of pissing away fortunes.

    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
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