Segway segue: They're legal on sidewalks

When John Carden purchased his new Segway Human Transporter on March 31, he couldn't wait to hit the road. But he started worrying after an officer stopped him on the Downtown Mall and allegedly said she "didn't think it was permitted."

Since bikes, skateboards, and scooters are banned from the Mall, Carden worried he might be relegated to street travel on his way to and from work at his hair salon, Carden.

For last week's Hook story about the Charlottesville's first Segway, interviews with Police Chief Tim Longo as well as city councilors Maurice Cox and Kevin Lynch failed to turn up a definitive answer.

We should have Googled.

Segway inventor Dean Kamen seems to have done his homework, as 38 states including Virginia have passed Segway– er, "electric personal assistive mobility device"– laws. Virginia's is House Bill 905, enacted March 27, 2002. That makes Segways street- and sidewalk-legal– unless prohibited by local jurisdiction.

Carden says he's "pleased as punch."

Sidewalk legal for now