From Instructables. Build your own handy easy to make bike basket with some pvc and a milk crate.
From Instructables. Build your own handy easy to make bike basket with some pvc and a milk crate.
The city of Key West held a public meeting to discuss the plans to renovate Caroline Street and improve it for drainage issues. One of the possible plans for the project is to add a 5 foot bike lane to the street, which currently has no bike lane. One of the consequences of the bike lane will be the loss of 37 parking spots. As you can well imagine, the local residents who live and work on Caroline and utilize said parking spots are not particularly happy to lose the parking. Parking in Old Town is hard to find as it is and expensive. A local parking garage is available for a price and they have indicated they have the room to accommodate a few more cars but the residents are not too thrilled with the plan.
Here is the thing. While I can sympathize in some respects with the residents who are losing their parking, the real fact is that Key West, in particular the Old Town area, is simple not suited for vehicles. The streets are narrow, there is a ton of pedestrian traffic, and converting these streets to pedestrian and bicycle traffic would be a prudent and safe move. Noise levels would definitely drop and there would be less congestion. With the exception of a direct route to the Bight and military areas from N. Roosevelt, there is no reason why we should have vehicles in Old Town. It’s an area tailor made for foot and pedal traffic. It may take a while but I could see it happening. The Caroline St. project would be a step in that direction.
In a side story related to the North Roosevelt project and what I am sure will instill nothing but confidence in the ability to get this project done on time and within budget, a president of one of the subcontractors was arrested on his third DUI charge. To add to the fun, he was captured after a high speed chase on US 1 where he reached speeds of up to 110 mph. When caught he allegedly offered the arresting officer $30,000 to let him go. Oh, and he claimed ties to a major drug dealer and a rather colorful past as a drug smuggler.
Hey, if you are going down, might as well go down in style.
Thanksgiving week is coming up. The rock will be packed with tourists. Ride Safe everyone.
UPDATE: The new edition of the PedalFritter app for the iphone is now on iTunes. New look, more better map of the bike paths on Key West, updates on North Roosevelt, safety and riding tips, and a listing of the major bike shops on the island. Best part….Now free to download until the end of the year. Hit the link on the sidebar.
Work continues on North Roosevelt as the water and drainage pipe gets put in. The project is nearly 25% complete with just a couple of days missed due to weather and events. As for the condition of the path along the construction area, it is still relatively clear but there are some things to watch out for.
Crews have put up those barrels that mark the construction area along the edge of the path making it somewhat more narrow than usual. Slow down when coming through and watch out for pedestrians who are not paying attention to where they are walking.
Remember to use a bell, horn, whistle, or yell when passing anyone so they know you are there. It is the law.
Crews are working well after sunset and some of the equipment tends to drift onto the path. Use a light at night and watch out.
With winter moving in, such as it is here in the Keys, the windy weather comes with it. That makes for some more interesting conditions along the water on the north side. High tides and all the wind, along with the loose dirt in the construction area means more debris on the path. It does get slippery here and there.
If the winds get too heavy, take South Roosevelt or the middle paths on Eagle, Duck, or Flagler. No construction and a bit less windy conditions.
A much needed update is waiting in the stacks at iTunes for approval now. The Pedal Fritter app has been redesigned and cleaned up for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 screen. But best of all, the app will now be free to download until the end of the year. Hit the link over on the sidebar and follow Pedal Fritter on your iPhone.
If there is one place on Key West where vehicles need to go away, it’s Duval Street. Duval is tourist central and the sidewalks are packed with people day and night. When a special event like Fantasy Fest comes along and the city closes off Duval to foot traffic only, you can feel a remarkable change in the atmosphere. People seem to enjoy having the open spaces to walk around and see the sights without having to dodge traffic or smell exhaust fumes. You ain’t walking elbow to asshole on crowded sidewalks. And now, City Commissioner Tony Yaniz is proposing making Duval a pedestrian mall stretching from the Gulf to the Atlantic.
This is an idea long overdue and the city would be wise to put it on the fast track to happening. Turning Duval into a pedestrian mall will open up new opportunities for the businesses as well as lure in some new ones. You can still allow some vehicles in for special events like the Poker Run but over all, there is no need for vehicles at all on Duval. There are some cross streets for them to get from one side of Old Town to the other, but on Duval itself, keep it to human powered transportation. Want an example? Bourbon Street in New Orleans is a good example. Many other cities have added similar projects with success.
Of course there is already some opposition to the idea by some of the businesses on Duval. Why they would not support it, I don’t know and I can’t understand the reasoning. No doubt we will hear those reasons in future debates. You can still get deliveries of goods from the side streets. It’s not like there is any parking on the street anyways. Virtually everyone has to park someplace and walk in as it is. And as for the tourist busses and those godawful Ducks, they can find another route.
This is a great idea for Key West and Commissioner Yaniz deserves some kudos for taking the lead in making this happen. No doubt it will take a while to get it done, but at least the idea has been planted and the wheels will be rolling…off of Duval. Another positive step towards a carfree Key West.
Alison Higgins, the City’s new Sustainability Coordinator here in Key West has sent me a survey to pass along to all you readers of the blog out there. The survey is seeking input into the feasibility of adding a bike lane on Caroline Street. Caroline runs on the north side of Old Town in an east west direction from Whitehead to Grinnell. It is a very busy street passing a block south of the harbor area and past some of the high end historic mansions like Curry and the Cypress House.
There are currently no bike paths on the street and do add any will result in the loss of 25 parking spaces on the north side of the street. I personally support any project that adds more bicycle friendly roads to the island and this is a good place to continue with that mindset. A bike lane on Caroline will add a third dedicated bike lane running east/west in Old Town in addition to Fleming and Southard. If you support the bike lane on Caroline download the survey at the link and email it to:
This is a good project to support and show that the City of Key West is moving in the right direction when it comes to human powered transportation over motorized. Please fill out the survey and get it back to Alison as soon as possible.
Despite the best efforts of one bitch named Sandy off to the east, all Fantasy Fest events are on as planned. It’s going to be windy and rainy today, with wind tomorrow and Saturday but nothing that will stop the show. Upside is the temps will be mild so we won’t be sweating so much, at least not due to the weather.
Starting tonite, Thursday, Oct. 25th, there will be some wild parties up and down Duval at some of the local watering holes. Most of these don’t kick in until later in the evening but be aware that as the night wears on, the booze will kick in and some of the revelers may try to drive or ride back to wherever they are staying. And if you think you can get plastered and ride a bike without any hassles, be assured the police will stop and arrest somebody for drunk pedaling as easily as drunk driving. Call a cab if you have been having too much fun. And if you do ride at night, keep the lights on.
On Friday and Saturday the real fun begins. Duval will be closed off for the street party. It’s a great time to see some rather creative and interesting sites so bring a camera. And leave the kids at home. Traffic will be heavy coming into town and no doubts North Roosevelt will be a mess. Luckily the path is blocked off from traffic but watch out for cross streets and driveways.
When you get down there find a safe place away from Duval to park your bike. Over along the harbor there are plenty of racks and also on the side streets. Please do not lock your bike to anything other than a rack or bike locking post. Don’t lock it to any sign posts, telephone or power poles, fences or anybody’s property. There is enough bike parking for all.
Saturday night is the big parade and along with Duval, parts of Whitehead, the Bight and other streets will be closed off. An estimated crowd of 70,000 will be on hand for the parade. So park the bike someplace, find yourself a good viewing spot, and enjoy the party. It’s a lot of fun. Afterwards, be careful riding back as traffic will be heavy and drivers will be drunk.
Ride safe and enjoy.
Leaving from WeCycle on Stock Island this year’s event was the largest yet with hundreds of the undead showing up for a police escorted ride across Key West. Here are some shots of the beginning:
Grab your bike, throw on some blood and guts and come on down to WeCycle for the third annual Zombie Bike Ride. This ride leaves with a police escort at 6:00pm on Oct. 21st. and goes to Salute On The Beach at Higgs Beach. Then after a brief stop it’s on to Duval and the 2nd annual Zombiefest.
WeCycle will begin registrations at 2:00pm and there will be zombie makeup face painters to get you all gorified starting at 3:00pm. Bikes will be available for rental also. It looks like a gory fun time so come and join in. Here is the link:
Start making your plans now for the Bubbafest Florida Keys Bike Ride coming Nov. 3rd through Nov. 10th. The ride goes from Key Largo to Key West over the course of the week with stops along the way, plenty of support, lodgings, and lots of fun. It’s limited to the first 200 participants so register now if you want to get in on the ride. Cost is $645 per ride. Click the link to get all the important details.
This looks like a fun time for all and a great way to safely ride the entire Keys.