Calls to Ban Segway Fade; Sales Do, Too

Lack of sales slows demand to ban the vehicles from Sacramento sidewalks

Published: 22-Mar-2004

sp;year ago, the Sacramento City Council and county Board of Supervisors were studying whether to grant the requests of organizations for disabled people to ban Segway vehicles from area sidewalks.

Both bodies declined to act and instead put the requests under study. Today the scene is much more quiet, but the elements are in place for the whole controversy to erupt anew if the little electric two-wheelers ever do catch on as their maker claims they will.

The Segway went on the market a year ago after months of publicity and lobbying based on the proposition that the new vehicle was going to change the way the world works.

Taking up no more space on the ground than a single pedestrian, powered by rechargeable batteries that carry it up to 12 miles on a charge, capable of turning in place, capable of 12 1/2 mph, capable of handling fairly rugged terrain, the Segway had no trouble gaining publicity.

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