Sunday, April 25, 2004
NYC misguidedly may ban Segways
Citystreets.org In preparation for today I have corresponded with others who also oppose this bill. One of these people is Steve Wozniak, the inventor of the personal Computer and co-founder of Apple computer. He was not able to attend the hearing today but he asked me to let you know that he was concerned about banning Segways and asked that you consider Segways separate from scooters.
I need to state for the public record that Transportation Alternatives should either change their position or their name. There is no device more alternative than a Segway.
And is it just me, or when David Wolloch from DOT talks about Segways are others also reminded of the movie "I Am Sam", where a gifted child is born to a retarded parent?
My name is Harris Silver I am the founder of Citystreets. We are known as a forward-thinking, NYC based organization focused on improving the urban environment by exposing transportation policy flaws; their cultural impact on cities, and bringing much needed attention to pedestrian safety issues. Of particular interest to this committee is the fact that it was Citystreets who first suggested to the DOT in 1997 to use a similar system to NYPD's crime stat mapping to look at pedestrian fatalities. This is what is credited for bringing pedestrian fatalities to historic lows.
Unlike the DOT we think it's a little early for self-congratulatory celebration. NYC still has 15,000 pedestrians seriously injured after being struck by cars every year. The pedestrian environment is so dangerous that Jody Lane was electrocuted on January 16th 2004 by just taking her dogs for a walk and the infrastructure planned designed and built by DOT does not provide for the safe use of our streets by all residents. The deaths of 11 year old Victor Flores and 10 year old Juan Estrada who where killed on February 9th, 2004 when they were in the crosswalk crossing with the light proves this irrefutability. But here we are in an inversion of common sense actually discussing banning Segways, which hold so much promise for the future of our city.
We have looked at bill 98. NYC residents deserve better from our legislators and I am here to publicly demand it.
While we understand the impetus of this legislation are the complaints you receive from your constituents about unsupervised teenagers riding gasoline powered scooters we see this legislation as lacking all nuance and doing more damage than good. Specifically this legislation makes no distinction between Segways and Scooters. No distinction between gasoline scooters and electric scooters and uses blended statistics to arrive at a logically flawed conclusion.
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