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MASSACHUSETTS ?!


Pilotguy
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Hi all,

I'm in the Lowell area. I'm in the process of trying to get my first wheel. My hope is that I can start practicing some of the basics in my basement over the winter, and be at least somewhat prepared to try open road in the Spring.

Interesting how this group seems to be mainly beginners (glad I don't feel out of place!). But has anyone done some serious out-in-the-world EUC riding in Mass yet? I'm curious what the reactions were like.

I've been doing some reading on Mass state laws to try to figure out where EUCs fit in legally. Not surprising, it seems they fit nowhere: They don't meet any of the legal definitions in MGL Chap. 90, Section 1, except as a generic "motor vehicle". So I'm not sure whether to go about acting as if a EUC is a bicycle (can ride on sidewalks in MA outside business districts), an e-bike or moped (obviously can't go on sidewalks, plus needs to be registered...ugh), or just a big legal gray area.

@Pilotguy you mentioned the rail trails. I was also thinking of those as potential great options. But most seem to prohibit motor vehicles; they're obviously thinking primarily about gas engine vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles), but I've been trying to plan in my head what defense to offer if I get told I can't use a EUC. Hence my curiosity about others' experiences?

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6 hours ago, Obly said:

Hi all,

I'm in the Lowell area. I'm in the process of trying to get my first wheel. My hope is that I can start practicing some of the basics in my basement over the winter, and be at least somewhat prepared to try open road in the Spring.

Interesting how this group seems to be mainly beginners (glad I don't feel out of place!). But has anyone done some serious out-in-the-world EUC riding in Mass yet? I'm curious what the reactions were like.

I've been doing some reading on Mass state laws to try to figure out where EUCs fit in legally. Not surprising, it seems they fit nowhere: They don't meet any of the legal definitions in MGL Chap. 90, Section 1, except as a generic "motor vehicle". So I'm not sure whether to go about acting as if a EUC is a bicycle (can ride on sidewalks in MA outside business districts), an e-bike or moped (obviously can't go on sidewalks, plus needs to be registered...ugh), or just a big legal gray area.

@Pilotguy you mentioned the rail trails. I was also thinking of those as potential great options. But most seem to prohibit motor vehicles; they're obviously thinking primarily about gas engine vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles), but I've been trying to plan in my head what defense to offer if I get told I can't use a EUC. Hence my curiosity about others' experiences?

"hello Mr Officer. I'm physically inable to walk for a long time, instead of a electric wheelchair I've bought an electric unicycle. No Sir, it doesn't go any faster than an electric wheelchair.";)

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12 hours ago, Obly said:

I've been doing some reading on Mass state laws to try to figure out where EUCs fit in legally. Not surprising, it seems they fit nowhere: They don't meet any of the legal definitions in MGL Chap. 90, Section 1, except as a generic "motor vehicle". So I'm not sure whether to go about acting as if a EUC is a bicycle (can ride on sidewalks in MA outside business districts), an e-bike or moped (obviously can't go on sidewalks, plus needs to be registered...ugh), or just a big legal gray area.

@Pilotguy you mentioned the rail trails. I was also thinking of those as potential great options. But most seem to prohibit motor vehicles; they're obviously thinking primarily about gas engine vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles), but I've been trying to plan in my head what defense to offer if I get told I can't use a EUC. Hence my curiosity about others' experiences?

The Massachusetts EPAMD laws look pretty similar to other states, if this 2009 bill is still in effect: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/BillHtml/2435?generalCourtId=2

In the city of Boston, two-wheeled EPAMDS (Segways in particular) were banned a few years back: http://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SegwayOrdinanceSignedbyMayor.pdf

What people are calling a "hoverboard" definitely fit into the EPAMD category as they define it, but since an EUC only has one wheel you could argue it doesn't. There is also an exception for disability described in that ordinance. I think you're probably best off keeping a low profile and pleading ignorance if someone were to stop you. The main thing is to avoid being a jerk to pedestrians or traffic. The speed limit in that Mass EPAMD law is only 5mph on sidewalks by the way.

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On 1/6/2016 at 3:43 AM, Jurgen said:

"hello Mr Officer. I'm physically inable to walk for a long time, instead of a electric wheelchair I've bought an electric unicycle. No Sir, it doesn't go any faster than an electric wheelchair.";)

Ha! You jest, but I'm keeping all options on the table. ;) Ok, claiming disability probably won't help me, but I was definitely planning to cite that a EUC is no noisier or more polluting than an electric wheelchair. And that it's no faster than the bicycle traffic (important to behave accordingly, of course) and with a smaller footprint. I'm preparing a list of other debate rejoinders if necessary, but hopefully it won't come to that!

On 1/6/2016 at 9:11 AM, dmethvin said:

The Massachusetts EPAMD laws look pretty similar to other states, if this 2009 bill is still in effect: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/BillHtml/2435?generalCourtId=2

In the city of Boston, two-wheeled EPAMDS (Segways in particular) were banned a few years back: http://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SegwayOrdinanceSignedbyMayor.pdf

What people are calling a "hoverboard" definitely fit into the EPAMD category as they define it, but since an EUC only has one wheel you could argue it doesn't. There is also an exception for disability described in that ordinance. I think you're probably best off keeping a low profile and pleading ignorance if someone were to stop you. The main thing is to avoid being a jerk to pedestrians or traffic. The speed limit in that Mass EPAMD law is only 5mph on sidewalks by the way.

Thanks @dmethvin for these finds. I knew about the Segway ban; there's been some recent local media attention to the hoverboards (yeah, it's an annoying name) pointing out that they're illegal on Boston public ways. But I hadn't read the ordinance itself before. Hey group, we need to learn up fast and go enjoy Boston while we can, before they amend this ordinance to include EUCs!

That 2009 bill was a useful read too, but never passed as far as I can tell. So I don't think EPAMD has become a statewide defined term yet. It's too bad actually; the bill was quite progressive and probably would have helped in arguing for the right to use EUCs. 

Definitely agree with the advice about the best defense is to not be a public nuisance. However, in my neck of the woods, I have nearly 100% certainty that just the appearance of a EUC on a rail trail, however well-behaved, will raise the ire of some crotchedy old "get off my lawn"ers or busybody soccer-moms. Or maybe I'm just too cynical myself. <_<

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1 hour ago, Obly said:

Ha! You jest, but I'm keeping all options on the table. ;) Ok, claiming disability probably won't help me, but I was definitely planning to cite that a EUC is no noisier or more polluting than an electric wheelchair. And that it's no faster than the bicycle traffic (important to behave accordingly, of course) and with a smaller footprint. I'm preparing a list of other debate rejoinders if necessary, but hopefully it won't come to that!

Thanks @dmethvin for these finds. I knew about the Segway ban; there's been some recent local media attention to the hoverboards (yeah, it's an annoying name) pointing out that they're illegal on Boston public ways. Hey group, we need to learn up fast and go enjoy Boston while we can, before they amend this ordinance to include EUCs!

That 2009 bill was never passed as far as I can tell, so I don't think EPAMD has become a statewide defined term yet. It's too bad actually; the bill was quite progressive and probably would have helped in arguing for the right to use EUCs. 

Definitely agree with the advice about the best defense is to not be a public nuisance. However, in my neck of the woods, I have nearly 100% certainty that just the appearance of a EUC on a rail trail, however well-behaved, will raise the ire of some crotchedy old "get off my lawn"ers or busybody soccer-moms. Or maybe I'm just too cynical myself. <_<

I didn't claim disability.

I cannot walk for a "long" time. I don't know How Long, does he work in the Chinese restaurant in the city center?

The device is not faster than a standard eletric wheelchair. (point of reference) :rolleyes:

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Having a high performance electric scooter prior to ordering my KS 18 , I was once confronted by local law enforcement and what worked beautifully was .......... This is a class 1 electric vehicle which by definition is less than 50 pounds and has a top speed of less than 20 mph and therefore is categorized as an electric assist bicycle . I said it quickly and clearly and looked him right in the eye . He blinked , paused and said cool wheels . I quoted a law from a different state , but that gave him something to hang his hat on .  Problem solved ! ? I really think if the operator is conscientious,safe , and appears to be behaving responsibly that they have better things to do than bug electric vehicle operators. 

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On 1/7/2016 at 4:55 PM, Pilotguy said:

Having a high performance electric scooter prior to ordering my KS 18 , I was once confronted by local law enforcement and what worked beautifully was .......... This is a class 1 electric vehicle which by definition is less than 50 pounds and has a top speed of less than 20 mph and therefore is categorized as an electric assist bicycle . I said it quickly and clearly and looked him right in the eye . He blinked , paused and said cool wheels . I quoted a law from a different state , but that gave him something to hang his hat on .  Problem solved ! ? I really think if the operator is conscientious,safe , and appears to be behaving responsibly that they have better things to do than bug electric vehicle operators. 

Nicely done! Was this before or after the hoverboard craze really kicked in? I wonder if that would contribute to police being a bit more savvy about local laws at this point.

Anyway, I hope you're right. Truth be told, I'm not super worried about Mass police independently choosing to harass EUC riders. I'm a bit more concerned about busybody rail trail users complaining to the civic associations who manage them, and those groups complaining to police. But like I said, hopefully I'm just being overly cynical.

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I have been riding my NB1 in downtown Boston routinely for the last 6 months and have had no bad experiences with law enforcement.  I've talked with some police and they have always been positive so far.  So, they either don't know about the ordinance, or don't care enough to enforce it.  

I ride as calmly and carefully as I can whenever I see police, though. hehe.

I ride on the sidewalks but I don't go aggressively fast unless the sidewalks are empty.

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It took about 10 weeks . It looked like it had been unpacked and repacked a couple of times on its way here . It was un damaged with 75% charge . On this site , the info for music Bluetooth, and the unlock code key is invaluable.

It is clearly a quality machine ! There are 3 ride modes , but only a slight difference between them all . The instruction manual is laughable ? . The info on this site is right on target though . 

Use the strap while practicing!! It's the best way to keep it from crashing when you step off after loosing balance . I'm lucky to have access to a large indoor space where I can practice during the day . I think my learning curve was pretty fast because I can ride a regular unicycle.

1: first hour , cling to wall and do short runs of 10 to 15 feet .

2: hour 2 , full length of building runs of 240 feet . Getting used to turning bit by bit ( legs sore and tired done for the day )

Day 2 first hour , learned to mount without hand on wall , long runs now easy 

2: hour 2 turns , turns , turns ( knees bent , back straight , head up , just like skiing )

Day 3 , 1: turned lights off in big building , hooked up Bluetooth music , lights on the wheel ...... Cruised around at speed doing sweeping turns , circles , and figure 8s to the music . OMG FUN !!!!!!!! It was surreal bordering on profound ! 

2: packed up and went to my home base airport and cruised around the Tarmac.

              General observations.............

Your legs will be bruised and sore . They will toughen up by day 3 and you will be fine . I didn't want to use any extra padding because I wanted the best control feel I could get . 

You will fall . Prepare yourself ! 

Your ankles will get hit by the foot plates ....... It hurts ! Ankle protection? 

Just like skiing , always keep your knees slightly bent (not locked) , back straight and head up . As you get tired you will be tempted to lock your knees and bend over ....... You will then fall ...... ?

Its really addictive!

I suspect this if more then you were looking for , but I hope it will help other newbies like myself who are waiting for their first wheel .

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