Thursday, January 17, 2013

BWL Column: Pedal or paddle to ArtFest in Fort Myers

BikeWalkLee's column promotes biking to Feb. 2-3 ArtFest in Fort Myers.  We're still looking for volunteers to help with bike valet.  Click here re: how to sign-up.  Thanks!
News-Press 1/17/13, Gulf Coasting Section
By BikeWalkLee

Love going to the annual ArtFest downtown Fort Myers, but frustrated by the search for parking and long walk from your car? This year, ride your bike and park in the middle of everything.

Event organizers (and sponsor, Lee Memorial Health System) are offering a “Paddle or Pedal” option for this year’s show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 2-3 on Edwards Drive.

Paddle to a kayak dock on the Caloosahatchee where the water-borne can tie up while they take in the sights, or pedal to a bike corral with valets (staffed by BikeWalkLee volunteers) right in the middle of the street fair, where your ride will be safe and secure while you take in the work of more than 200 artists.

The organizers have created an online map showing the best routes into and out of downtown, as well as the bike corral’s location. Download it at

The upside to biking? It’s a safe ride, parking will be a snap and it will make a fun day even more enjoyable (and fit-friendly). The only downside might be getting your newfound artwork home if you find something you just can’t live without. And because that’s what the artists are hoping will happen, most of them will happily hold a purchased piece for you until you can come back to pick it up in a more appropriate mode of transportation.

So why not try ArtFest on two wheels this year? If you find out you like it, in an upcoming column we’ll tell you how to avoid the mob headed to a spring training game by taking the bike path instead of the highway.

— BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at

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