SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- San Francisco pedestrians and concerned residents complained at Monday’s Board of Supervisor’s Meeting when a committee held a hearing on using Segways on the paths of Golden Gate Park.

Segways are upright personal transporters and have been rolling around Golden Gate Park since 2008 when San Francisco Recreation and Parks authorized them for tours. According to the department, the pilot program has been a “great success.”

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Ray Holland from the Planning Association for the Richmond complained at the Supervisors’ Government Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee that they should be relegated to the streets and not allowed on pathways.

“This is a motorized vehicle. It’s like the elephant in the room, you may want to deny it’s there, but it’s there,” said Holland.

Rec and Park claimed that the vehicles take visitors to places they otherwise would not see and that they have a perfect safety record. But some are still concerned.

Walk San Francisco, an advocacy group that promotes walking and lobbies for safe pedestrian access in San Francisco, also has safety concerns, but Assistant Rec and Park Director Nick Kinsey said Segways are designed to avoid injury to others.

“The tire pressure is very low. They can actually run over a person’s toes without injuring that person,” said Kinsey.

The supervisors’ hearing comes a bit after the fact. Last month Rec and Park awarded the Electric Tour Company a five-year contract to operate Segway tours in Golden Gate Park.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Boston Gliders says:

    Wow, what a weird time after the program is in place. The Segway PT is not only the safer than walking, but people at least will not be running into each other while texting or talking on the phone…

  2. carl says:

    The Segway is a Legal form of transportation in San Francisco and people who own or rent a segway can ride all over in the bike lanes of streets , including JFK dr. MLK dr., Stow Lake dr. etc. in GGPark. This is the Law. This street legal vehicle should not be allowed on pedestrian paths and tour companies should not be allowed to set up shop in ggpark. They should be allowed to ride thru the park just like any other tour co. , buses, safari, mr. toad, etc. (streets only) If GGpark needs to make money then they should charge all these tour co. an annual fee to ride thru.

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