In USA Segway PTs can be operated on footpaths, cycle lanes and urban roads in 47 states plus the District of Columbia. Forty five states have passed permissive legislation, and two states didn’t need to make adjustments. Such is the political process, there are a couple of curious anomalies. For example, in 2003 California passed legislation to enable PTs to be used in public spaces, on footpaths and roads, yet shortly afterwards – and prior to the PT even going on sale – the city of San Francisco passed a bylaw limiting use to roads only (not footpaths) in the downtown area. In 2007 California extended its law to increase the range of places where PTs can be used to include park trials, beaches and cycle lanes, yet San Francisco remains stuck with its backward bylaw and has become the laughing stock of US metropolises.
When the state of New York prepared enabling legislation for Segway PTs, a political compromise resulted in an exclusion for the time being within the boundaries of the city of New York. Frustrated at this absurd situation, Mayor Bloomberg last week spoke strongly in favour of permitting Segway PTs to be used in New York city while signing a bill about pedicabs. In frustration he said “It’s just idiotic…If it were up to me, we would also have Segways on the streets…I hear you. I just can’t explain why people are afraid to change.”