Mar addresses Segways in park 

Supervisor Eric Mar is planning to hold a hearing about Segways being allowed to ride on pedestrian-only paths in Golden Gate Park.

Mar said he believes the vehicles are safer than people may think but the potential impacts on the trails need to be addressed. He also said Segways may disrupt the peaceful nature of the park.

However, Brian Huber, owner of Sausalito-based Electric Tour Co., said that a Segway footprint is smaller than that of a bike.

“It’s 2 feet wide. It stops faster than a bike, and the turning radius is zero ... the impact of pedestrians and Segways are in the same public realm,” Huber said.

The company ran a 6-month trial period that did not generate complaints, he said, and they have also altered the map park officials approved last month at least 10 times.

Huber also said that though they travel in groups of eight with a tour and are required to take a 30-minute lesson on how to ride them, accidents in the busy park are inevitable.

“Sooner or later someone on a Segway is going to run into someone. That will happen. It’s bound to ... that shouldn’t stop an entire business from operating,” he said. “Can we actually go show people that we are a good operator?”

The concession stand itself has also generated some tension with the Golden Gate Preservation Alliance Group and Friends of the Music Concourse since it will sit on locally landmarked land behind the concourse bandshell.  

The tours are scheduled to start in February. Mar has not set a date for his hearing yet.

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Kamala Kelkar

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