This evening i finally got around to reading my June issue of Adventure Cyclist. Yes, such a magazine exists, its pretty cool. Anyways, a letter from a reader got me thinking about Key West. He wrote about two signs at his city’s main entrances that said, “Welcome to Snohomish, Thank You for Sharing the Road.” The thought was to welcome people entering the city, increase awareness of bicycle activities, increase safety and enhance a mutual respect between motorists and cyclists, and encourage cycling for commuting, recreation and fitness. Nice! Well done.
The reader also mentioned how his city was the terminus of a 27mile rail-trail and added, “Come visit us.”
Here in Key west we are the terminus of the Overseas Heritage Trail, a 106 mile corridor from Key Largo featuring more than 70 completed miles. We are a destination for worldwide travelers and have thousands of cyclists.
And our sign?
I remember last year the electronic trailer sign thingee on Rt.1 at the Triangle of Death as you enter the island said something like, “Cyclists must obey traffic laws, $5million fine for running a red light.” This was of course right next to the sign that says “right lane keep moving don’t stop” 30 yards before a freaking crosswalk. A crosswalk with no walk signal and no reminder to cars they must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. That isn’t mutually respectful, encouraging, positive or even remotely safe.
We have a long way to go here to really have cyclists and pedestrians thought about and cared for by the city, and truly supported by the city. Hopefully that will happen as Key West and the Keys can continue to be a world destination for cycling, touring or just taking a holiday from work and cars and enjoying the island by bicycle.