Segways on trails get another look in Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District board asks parks department to reconsider ban

Segways on the Goose will get another chance at life.

Despite a staff recommendation to ban the use of the two-wheeled electric vehicle on regional trails such as the Galloping Goose, Capital Regional District directors felt the issue deserved one more look.

On Wednesday (May 9), the board was treated to a demonstration of the self-balancing  device, on which riders stand to operate. Directors voted to send the issue back to the parks committee for another consideration.

“For us it was a positive,” said Corinne Besler, who made the request.

Besler and her husband own Segway Victoria. Right now, their customers include warehouse owners and security firms who want their staff to navigate their facilities more quickly.

But for now, private property is the only place Segways are legal. They don’t belong on roads or sidewalks, current rules state.

Trails, however, could prove a possible network for Segways, should it win the approval of local or regional governments.

“We would like to do tours,” Besler said.

She’s in talks with Victoria city hoping to gain permission to conduct Segway tours from Ogden Point to Clover Point, and along the Songhees Walkway. The Ogden Point tours would cater mostly to cruise passengers, she said.

CRD parks staff, however, had concerns, as did board chair Geoff Young.

“Technically speaking, the only way they could be used is somebody could drive them to the parking lot next to the Galloping Goose, ride along the Galloping Goose, then when they get to a street, turn them off and drag them across the street,” he said.

“The parks committee was of the view that that’s not going to happen and we’re really encouraging people to break the law.”

While some CRD directors felt Segways could conflict with pedestrians on trails, others had more sympathy for the idea.

“(Many felt that) if it were legal, and if the province were to legalize them, then they would be appropriate for use on the Goose,” Young said.

Still to be resolved is what golf cart drivers do to cross the street where roads run through courses. Because golf carts share a similar illegal status as Segways, the situation with the carts could prove instructive.

rholmen@vicnews.com

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