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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A new hazard in downtown Portland

A reader writes:

The last couple of weeks downtown I've seen the transit security using Segways... not just a couple, but numerous. Wondering where the cash came for those... and why? Downtown is all torn up... there are makeshift bridges across 5th and 6th where they are putting in the tracks... and the temporary transit mall and Max stops are much too crowded during peak commute times to be scooting in and out of people. I saw one guy yesterday just flying down the sidewalk in front of Tiffany's. Do they apprehend riders??

Comments (6)

These would be the Wackenhut Security Company officers who are contracted by Tri-Met to provide security. Not sure who payed for the Segways but I hope it wasn't Tri-Met, but I would bet they did anyways. These Segways are not very useful in high traffic areas like downtown (especially with ALL of the construction right now). It's more of a gimmick I think....

Putting them on bikes would not have been a good idea? Silly me, that would be too cheap!

The Segway budget is totally separate from the potholes budget.

But maybe we could attach a little gravel/sand trailer for them to drag behind them...just to fill up the smaller cracks and soak up the urine.

I've seen parking enforcement engineers riding Segways too.

I'm not sure that it is financially prudent or of the highest priority, but a Segway would be a good idea for sidewalk security downtown. An officer would be elevated, have a commanding view of the area, and they move faster than someone can run. I bike would not be the same. Is it worth the extra cost? I don’t know. A Segway is not much different than mounted police officers, but you don't need to feed the Segway and you wouldn’t slip walking behind it.

You have a good point but those horses boast a helluva intimidation factor. They are huge.

Do these Segway's fall under the bicyle rules of the road and are allowed to go where ever they want, when ever they want, and how ever they want or do they fall under the same rules as an automobile since there is a motor on them? Riding on sidewalks, hum?

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