If a boardwalk is literally meant for walking, then the decision of the Los Angeles City Council to ban Segways and other forms of electronic transportation on the popular thoroughfare at Venice Beach makes sense.
A unanimous City Council voted June 24 in favor of banning the two-wheel motorized vehicles from the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
Also banned from the Boardwalk are “multiple-wheeled motor scooter-type devices“ and “multiple-wheeled electric personal assistive mobility-type devices.”
The approved ban also applies to sidewalks and bike paths at parks and other public areas adjacent to “the Pacific Ocean between the southerly boundary of the City of Santa Monica and Washington Street in the City of Los Angeles.”
A motion initiated by City Attorney Mike Feuer, the banning of Segways and related forms of transportation from the Venice Beach Boardwalk and its surrounding public areas was touted as a safety issue.
Specifically, the ordinance drafted by Feuer pointed to an incident that occurred last summer where a pedestrian was reportedly struck by a Segway and seriously injured.
“The Venice Boardwalk and Recreation Area constitute a major tourist attraction in the City, hosting approximately 16 million visitors annually … [and has] limited spaces geographically, located in a narrow, linear City park,” the ordinance stated. “The total width of the Boardwalk is only ten feet in certain sections and only as wide as 50 feet in other limited areas.”
With the high number of foot traffic in a confined space, Feuer believes the increased use of Segways on the Venice Beach Boardwalk poses “a significant public safety risk to pedestrians.”
“Many [Segways] … can operate up to speeds between 12.5 miles and 30 miles an hour, are dangerous to pedestrians when operated on the Venice Boardwalk or boardwalks, sidewalks, bike paths, or other public way,” the ordinance stated.
Exempt from the ordinance are law enforcement officials and persons with disabilities.
The final vote was 14 to 0.
Follow Parimal M. Rohit on Twitter: @ParimalRohit