On July 26 BikeWalkLee conducted another of its monthly Show ‘n Tell bicycle audit rides.
Participants met at the site of the Saturday Green Market at the Alliance for the Arts, on McGregor Boulevard just south of the Colonial overpass.
Gathering early to beat the heat, we adjusted our seats and helmets, while Dan Moser, the audit guide, reviewed the rules of the road. Heading north from the Alliance, we rode on the sidewalks along the east side of McGregor and past the Edison golf course renovation project, until we could cut over to Cortez Avenue. While sidewalk riding is hardly ideal, the massive vegetation overgrowth along much of this sidewalk made passage extremely difficult. There certainly is a need for city code enforcement on this bike/pedestrian route.
As early-morning traffic is fairly light, riding along Cortez Avenue felt both safe and enjoyable, and we only had to make a slight detour around construction.
The group stopped just south of Fort Myers high school to review the Manuels Branch Pedestrian Way, an appealing walking path that curves around the high school grounds and, if completed, could become a magnificent city asset of a continuous loop connecting the Edison Ford complex, Fort Myers high school, and Lee Memorial Hospital to greenways heading east from US 41.
Few of the participants were actually from the city of Fort Myers, with the many of the others interested in learning about safe and direct routes to downtown. Although we couldn't provide them with such, as passage around the Edison golf course is always conflictual, we did make it to downtown - the destination that had inspired them to participate in the ride.
The group toured through the beautifully restored city center, stopping for coffee and snacks then returned, mostly by way of safe low-speed side streets to our point of origin, where Santiago, the Green Market Manager had cold iced tea awaiting us!
Report by Ann Pierce