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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Pelosi called for the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump a day after his supporters stormed the Capitol. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
Feds seeking woman whose ex says she stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during Capitol riot

Jeremy Roebuck The Philadelphia Inquirer Federal authorities have obtained an arrest warrant… Continue reading

Most Read