Segways free to roll in Golden Gate Park

Though bicycles are prohibited along certain pathways in Golden Gate Park to protect pedestrians, apparently Segways are not restricted.

A working map outlines the route on which groups of eight upright scooters, traveling at 6 mph, will tour some of the highlights of The City’s largest urban backyard. It will take them through the de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Rose Garden and Stow Lake, among several other attractions.

However, some residents who went on a test run in anticipation of the Recreation and Park Commission vote on the lease agreement today are wondering why the motorized scooters can tread where bicycles cannot.

“Personally, it was a ball,” said Ray Holland, president of the Planning Association for the Richmond. “But about half the trails we took were posted as off limits to bicyclers. Being a bike rider, I’d think they’d be the same, but they’re not.”

Holland said that though the tour was well-organized and professional, families with their children and pets seemed intimidated by the motorized brigade, an issue he plans to bring up at the commission’s meeting.

If the lease is approved, Electric Tour Co. — which already operates in The City and Sausalito — will set up behind the park’s Music Concourse band shell.

But park officials said safety is their top priority and Segways — which are expected bring the Recreation and Park Department about $79,000 in the first year and $115,200 by year five — are less dangerous than bicycles because the groups are led by a guide.

“Once the tours are under way, if there are significant concerns about the route or operation, we will certainly take those into consideration,” Rec and Park spokesman Elton Pon wrote in an e-mail.

The proposed route mirrors a 2008 trial run by another company that, according to Rec and Park officials, did not generate any complaints.

Anyone taking the tour must first take a 30-minute class, wear a helmet and stay on the path, Pon said.

Members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said they found it “odd” that Segways are allowed to travel where bicycles are prohibited.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGolden Gate ParkLocalneighborhoodsSan Francisco

Just Posted

A large crack winds its way up a sidewalk along China Basin Street in Mission Bay on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s sinking sidewalks: Is climate change to blame?

‘In the last couple months, it’s been a noticeable change’

For years, Facebook employees have identified serious harms and proposed potential fixes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have rejected the remedies, causing whisteblowers to multiple. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
Facebook’s problems at the top: Social media giant is not listening to whistleblowers

Whistleblowers multiply, but Zuckerberg and Sandberg don’t heed their warnings

Maria Jimenez swabs her 7-year-old daughter Glendy Perez for a COVID-19 test at Canal Alliance in San Rafael on Sept. 25. (Penni Gladstone/CalMatters)
Rapid COVID-19 tests in short supply in California

‘The U.S. gets a D- when it comes to testing’

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

A new ruling will thwart the growth of solar installation companies like Luminalt, which was founded in an Outer Sunset garage and is majority woman owned. (Philip Cheung, New York Times)
A threat to California’s solar future and diverse employment pathways

A new ruling creates barriers to entering the clean energy workforce

Most Read