Village Regulates Segway Use
Segways could become a familiar site in the village of Pinehurst in the near future.
The Village Council passed an ordinance at its work session Tuesday that regulates the use of "electric personal assistive mobility devices" in the village.
Segway is the most prominent manufacturer of such devices, which are electrically powered, self-balancing two-wheeled vehicles that people can stand on and ride. They travel at a top speed of about 13 mph, according to the company's Web site.
(In the Glenn M. Sides photo at left, a Carthage police officer is seen riding a Segway at the 2008 Buggy Festival.)
Pinehurst Resort hopes to use the devices for tours around the village. The resort is in the process of purchasing the Segways, Communications Director Janeen Driscoll said by phone Wednesday.
"We have been developing programs for both our families, in anticipation for the heavy family travel season in the summer," she said, "and for our corporate groups to give them another group activity option. It was just on our hot list of another amenity that we could offer to our resort guests."
Driscoll said the Segways would be used for historic group tours led by a guide, not for individual use. The tours will be conducted at a "leisurely" pace -- going about 6 mph. The resort will start with four Segways, expected to be delivered in August at the earliest. If that catches on, the resort could increase the fleet to nine.
Assistant Village Manager Jeff Batton informed the council that state law allows towns to regulate the use of these devices but could not prohibit them. The ordinance applies to the entire village.
It requires that all riders under the age of 16 wear a helmet when operating Segways, as is the case with bicycles, skateboards, scooters and roller blades.
The devices are limited to streets with posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less and can be used only during daylight hours. They may not be used on public sidewalks.
Any violations of the ordinance could result in a fine of $50.
In other business, the finance department presented the village's budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The $15 million budget maintains the current property tax rate of 28 cents per $100 valuation, and no village employees will laid off.
"I feel very good about the budget we've put together," Village Manager Andy Wilkison said.
The council will hold a special work session Monday at 9 a.m. to discuss the budget in more detail.
Mayor George Lane proclaimed May 17-23 as "National Public Works Week" in the village, which recognizes communities' public works employees who often go unrecognized for the many jobs they carry out -- garbage and recycling pickup, road maintenance and right-of-way maintenance.
The village will hold two events.
On Thursday, May 21, Pinehurst Elementary K-2 students will learn about the operations of the village public services department by interacting with the staff, seeing displays and demonstrations of the equipment it uses, and learning about recycling.
The next day, May 22, the public is invited to stop by Cannon Park anytime between noon and 2 p.m. to observe the variety of equipment possessed by public services, learn about their purposes, and talk with staff to learn about their roles and functions.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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