The first time I rode on a Segway, I was confused. Even though I loved the experience, I couldn’t quite figure out how it would fit into my life. It wasn’t going to replace my car and it certainly wasn’t a substitute for my bicycle, so what exactly was it?
When it came down to pulling out my checkbook, I was left in a quandary, “How could I possibly justify spending money on it?”
I soon found out that I was not alone. Talking to local city officials I was told that virtually no one had a policy for alternative vehicles, such as electric scooters, hybrid skateboards, fuel-cell motorcycles, Segways, and Segway knockoffs. They opted to let the police department decide. When I asked the police department about it, their comment was that if it wasn’t a car or a bicycle, “we just ban everything else.”
From a public safety standpoint, “banning everything else” was an easy way of managing what has become an increasingly complex marketplace for alternative transportation. At the same time, the easiest approach is rarely the best one.
Today, literally thousands of alternative transportation vehicles are coming out of the woodwork and they nearly all have the same problem – no place to drive them. Most are banned from biking and hiking trails, and they are neither licensed, nor licensable, for use on the streets.
For these reasons, I’d like to discuss some new possible solutions and why Colorado is poised to take the lead in the alternative transportation marketplace.