They were once heralded as a groundbreaking new form of transportation. But now, Segways will soon be banned in certain areas of Miami Beach.
The two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered mode of transportation is still popular with tourists, but not many others.
"You can go around with those things much faster than you could by foot," said Uwe Meyer-Gruho from Germany.
An ordinance passed last week by Miami Beach Commissioners goes into effect on May 31st and prohibits Segways in multiple areas of the beach. Among the areas that will ban Segways:
- Beachwalk south of 5th Street
- Lummus Park promenade between 5th and 15th Streets and between 64th and 79th Streets
- Beachwalk between 15th and 23rd Streets
- Sidewalks on the east side of Ocean Drive between South Pointe Drive and 15th Street
- South Pointe Park cutwalk adjacent and parallel to Government Cut
- Marina Baywalk adjacent and parallel to Biscayne Bay and South of 5th Street.
"Pedestrians were not getting the right of way, bicyclists were not getting the right of way. I've heard too many stories, seen too many pictures, including one of my own fellow commissioners that got run over by one of these things," said Michael Grieco, Miami Beach Commissioner.
City commissioners who support the ordinance said Segways can still ride on the street, but tour operators think that's a bad idea.
"You're gonna get run over by a car. Bicycles go you know 20 plus miles per hour, the top speed on a Segway is 12mph,"said Michael Byrne, Owner of Segway South Beach.
Byrne said rather than prohibit certain riding areas; the Commission should have banned individual rentals.
"Essentially we won't be able to do any Segway tours on south beach. We won't have Segways at all on South Beach, which is a shame for tourists being able to see the city," said Byrne.
With less areas to ride along, and more ground rules to follow; the Segway tour operator plans to find new routes or do more business in Hollywood.