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Barcelona Has Finally Had Enough of Segways

The city plans to ban them from a key area. Time to kiss novelty urban transit goodbye?
Behold Satan's chariots—Segways on the Barcelona waterfront.
Behold Satan's chariots—Segways on the Barcelona waterfront.Christian Van Der Henst S/Flickr

Europe’s tolerance for novelty urban transit might just be reaching a tipping point. Last week came news that Amsterdam plans to ban beer bikes. This week, Barcelona announced it’s going to forbid Segways from entering a key section of the city center.

In recent years, hordes of Segways have snaked their way along Barcelona’s waterfront, allowing tourists the pleasant experience of walking along the quay while avoiding the apparently unpleasant experience of, well, walking along the quay. No more, says the city. The Segway tours are clogging the sidewalks and getting in people’s way in an area where local residents’ patience is already hanging by a thread. Both Segways and bicycle taxis found circulating on the promenade between the Hotel Vela and the Olympic Port will soon face a €90 ($100) fine, rising to up to €1,000 ($1,114) for repeat offenders.