I am and have been a fan and supporter of the Ambassadors along with Downtown Vision (DVI). Despite some serious lack of vision at times, DVI has been and continues to be exceptional driving force for downtown development.
But (you knew there had to one), in an area of Jacksonville where walking and cycling are the two most perfect forms of transportation. Segways are completely the wrong choice for what is the most visible group in Downtown. It sends the wrong message to an already over weight population. I also believe that DVI and the Ambassadors being as visible as they are should be walking and biking. The Ambassadors are the best examples we have on daily basis on just how easy it is to move around downtown by bike and walking. I stood for some time and watched as the ambassador worked her way through the Art Walk crowds. The thing that really stood out to me was how disruptive the Segway was to the traffic flow of the pedestrians. People walking would give that Segway contraption a wide berth unable or unsure to determine where it was headed. While those same pedestrians had no problem navigating with the cyclists that were moving through the crowds.
DVI could have done so much more with the $12,000 that was spent on two Segways. They could have outfitted every ambassador with their own bike and gear. Bike Jax would also have been more than happy to provide the training that would allow those newly biked ambassadors to apply the brakes in such a manor as to allow them to stop and talk to people. I think that Downtown Vision's was a little blurred with this decision.