Thursday, October 17, 2013

Downtown Fort Myers Bike Audit demonstrates you can bike to Nov. 10th Streets Alive!

The latest BWL bike audit ride demonstrated that you can ride your bike to downtown Fort Myers for the upcoming Nov. 10th Streets Alive event.

Donna Clar, Donna Henderson and Steve Rodgers

Some sixteen people met at Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers this past Sunday (10/13/13) morning to participate in a bike audit in anticipation of the Streets Alive event to be held Nov 10th - in the same downtown area.  Volunteer guides Dan Moser of BikeWalkLee and Andy Getch of Lee County DOT, led two separate teams on rides out of the downtown then looping back in to assess some of the bike routes that those attending the upcoming event may use. 

Prior to the start of the ride the larger group commented on the need for a better plan to resolve the confusing and inadequate bicycle facility designations on West First Street. 

Getch led his team in the general direction of the McGregor corridor, riding wherever possible on-road on quieter parallel low volume local streets. Team members commented on the desire for wider sidewalks along US 41 and McGregor Boulevard. The route took riders south on Deleon Avenue to Colonial Boulevard (on the wider sidewalk) for a rest stop at the Walgreens parking lot on Colonial Boulevard and Sommerset Drive. The return ride coursed back along Sommerset Drive, connecting to the sidewalk on McGregor Boulevard, around the golf course to reconnect to Cortez Avenue with a return to Centennial Park. Most of these neighborhoods are well connected with many other options and connections to McGregor Boulevard and US 41. 

Jason Patterson and Claire Peterson

Moser and team traveled from downtown, south of Martin Luther King Blvd, along narrow bike lanes on Jackson St. The team then headed east on Willard, Palm and Lincoln through the quiet Dunbar neighborhood back across MLK to Clemente Park, with a return loop to downtown through historic Dean Park and along First St. Several of the roadways had actual bike lanes designated, offering a sense of security to the cyclists, when riding in single file, although striping on some of these has faded substantially and needs to be repainted bolder and brighter. Most of the route, however, did not have specific bike lanes, but on low volume roads in Sunday morning traffic it was safe and comfortable to take the travel lane and ride two abreast.

Andy Getch and Mike Holm

The bike audit rides demonstrated that you can ride your bike to the River District/downtown Fort Myers November 10th Streets Alive event.  Stay tuned for an upcoming blog which will provide some suggested routes and maps for riding your bike to Streets Alive!

Report by Ann Pierce

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