No Segways for Toronto

22 Oct ’05

Tyler reports on the City’s decision to keep our sidewalks and streets clear of Segways (the Torontoist covers the story but can’t resist the urge to run pictures of George W. Bush taking a spill off a Segway). He links to background and to Segway’s response. The decision apparently turns on a characterization of the Segway as a motor vehicle:

The lawyers say Segways are “motor vehicles” under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, and “the Segway does not meet Ontario’s equipment safety standards for on-road use.” The provincial rules bar Segways from any part of the city road allowance, which includes sidewalks.

Also, motor vehicles need licence plates to drive on highways and the provincial Ministry of Transportation won’t issue them to Segways.

The Act defines motor vehicle as including “any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power” and defines highways as “anything upon which you might ever want to ride a Segway”. Well, on the last point, no, it doesn’t, but it amounts to the same thing. And of course, this suggests the same result everywhere else in the Province.

All of this is great news for City bureaucrats, who can now quickly bounce the file to somebody else. That somebody else is the Province, notoriously not an engine for radical social change.

Sadly, the file seems dead for the time being. And that sound you’re hearing is the bureaucrats giggling.

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