The latest, and perhaps last, development in Prague’s ongoing Segway saga occurred over the weekend when Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová announced that the city’s ban on the vehicles would take effect from the first half of August.
And not only that: the ban will be stricter than first anticipated.
While the ban was initially reported to cover the city’s Historical Reserve, the Africa-shaped chunk of Prague that encompasses all of Prague 1 and adjacent sections of Prague 6, Prague 7, Prague 2, and Prague 10, the new regulations extend “well beyond” that, according to iDnes.cz.
The new Segway Free zone extends not just through all of Prague 1, but also parts of Vinohrady, Žižkov, Prague 4, Smíchov, Libeň, and all of Holešovice and Letná.
“We answered the numerous remarks we received from individual city districts and expanded on the original proposal,” said Krnáčová.
“I believe that Segways do not belong into the center of the city. Everyone who takes a walk through the center must see that sometimes, it’s dangerous.”
Additionally, the regulations will cover not only sidewalks, pedestrian areas, and bicycle paths, as initially reported, but also roads and motorways.
“We expanded the ban’s scope to include roads. If all (Segways) were relocated from pedestrian areas to roads, tourists riding them would be paying more attention to the landmarks instead of the transport around them. They would subject themselves and other drivers to danger,” added the Mayor.
In practical terms, that means that Segways should all but disappear from most areas of Prague beginning next month.
Fighting the ban is the Segway Association of the Czech Republic (Asociace segway ČR), a union of 25 private companies that operate Segways in the country, many of which focus on tours in Prague’s historical center.
The new ban will affect approximately 300 jobs, according to the iDnes.cz article, which mentions that the Association might bring a lawsuit against the city in retaliation.