NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are more people, bicycles and cars in New York City than ever before, but one new form of transportation has been causing confusion.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, motorized unicycles are taking over the streets.
“I joke around that it’s like flying; it feels a hovercraft or something, because you’re going so fast and the wind is blowing. It feels great,” said Jerome Smith.
But are the quirky conveyances allowed? The NYPD says no.
The unicycles fall under Hoverboard and Segway categories and are not legal in New York City, just like e-bikes and electric scooters.
But CBS2 spoke to all sorts of authorities who are supposed to enforce the rule, and they seemed confused themselves.
“We don’t know – new technology. We don’t know,” one officer said.
Another officer said the motorized unicycles are allowed in the park, and a third said they are allowed in general.
But according to the city Department of Transportation, “motorized self-balancing devices, such as Segways and other ‘personal transporters,’ are prohibited in New York City.”
It is up to the NYPD, however, to enforce.
William Kenyon is the creator of the motorized unicycle – known as the Jetson Wheel – an electric personal transport device. He sells for $900, and he said he can ride it anywhere.
He said he has even sold a few to police officers in his neighborhood for personal use.
“I sold a couple to maybe, like 30 police officers,” Kenyon said.
But according to the NYPD, personal transport devices cannot be registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, and therefore are illegal.
Police can give people a ticket for riding a motorized unicycle, but the NYPD said it is unsure how the law is being enforced or if any violations have been written.
Meanwhile, the Jetson Wheel is all the rage I the city right now, legal or not.