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Ordinance Aims To Limit Size Of Downtown Segway Tours

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 3, 2014 4:00PM

Photo credit: Viewminder

An ordinance introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting would limit the size of the popular downtown Segway tours and impose speed limits for the two-wheeled vehicles.

Reilly’s ordinance would limit the number Segway tours to “No more than eight devices per hour” and limit Segway speeds to 8 mph for tourists and 12 mph for tour guides. During the peak tourist season these tours can grow to as many as 30 people, all of them vying with sidewalk cafes, street performers, chess pavilions, valet parking kiosks, hobos and Divvy bike riders for a piece of the sidewalk. It’s a wonder there’s room for pedestrians. The ordinance also calls for a Segway ban on the Navy Pier Flyover bridge, which is in the beginning stages of a four-year overhaul.

Violators of the ordinance, if passed, would face fines ranging from $25 to $200; the tour leader would be responsible for paying the fines. Reilly said he’s looking out for pedestrians with his proposal and doesn’t want to ban Segway tours, only to rein them in a bit.

“Pedestrians have complained about large Segway tours monopolizing sidewalk space. There have been near-misses due to excessive speed. This is designed to make Segway tours safe, not only for the tourists, but for the hundreds of thousands of pedestrians who use our sidewalks every day.”