Category Archives: advocacy

Key West Citzen gets owned by Bikeman!

Unfortunately, our daily newspaper isn’t doing a good job fact checking the laws they are writing about and thus they are misleading the public, law enforcement and drivers. Fortunately citizens are writing letters to the editor and trying to get the facts out! Check out this letter:

Bicyclists can pass on the right of cars

Please refrain from publishing inaccurate information regarding bicycle laws. It creates unnecessary discord between cyclists and automobile drivers.

[A Citizen story states:] “It is illegal for a bicyclist to pass a car on the right, especially through an intersection.”

The following information was taken directly from the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide: Cyclists traveling in a bicycle lane, or in a lane wide enough for motor vehicles and bicycles to share, may pass motor vehicles on the right, but must take care to avoid turning vehicles. Passing is allowed in these cases, since there is sufficient width for two lines of moving traffic (one of which is bicycle traffic).

In other words, on a bicycle, you can pass a car on the right as long as there are no cars parked on your right and you yield to right-turning vehicles ahead of you.

Perhaps the article should have focused on the fact that although we are similar in population, we are not similar in terms of the amount of cyclists on our streets on any given day. Or your reporter could have questioned why tangible improvements like signage were not included in this grant, only education and ticketing of a population that will most likely not be here in a year, given the transient nature of Key West.

What about educating automobile drivers? They are the ones doing the maiming and killing of our cyclists. Finally, why interview only one person who actually rides a bike? Could your reporter not find one other cyclist?

Tom Theisen

Key West

read it here online

and maybe write a letter yourself!

Aside

When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the use of the entire lane. Within this lane, the cyclist usually rides on the right half to facilitate visibility … Continue reading

Beware of Brian Wise and his Jeep!

Hi Brian. I think we both agree cyclists who flagrantly dart in front of cars are trouble and put them selves at risk. But you need to understand that the speed limit is the speed limit for perfect conditions, which pretty much rarely exists here in Key West. Yeah, the “law of the land” is pretty clear that if there’s bicycles in the street, people with baby strollers, and not perfect conditions, YOU should be driving less that the speed limit. I think you should maybe listen to the Conchs….SLOW DOWN. This ain’t the mainland.

Also, you telling cyclists to take their own advice and slow down…uhhh….huh? That doesn’t even make any sense. What’s a cyclists speed have to do with “darting” in front of your jeep? Please focus on your driving more than you focus on maintaining your point in letters to the editor. Drive safe, and remember, legally, bicycles may take the full lane on most of Key West’s streets, leaving you and your 2300 pound jeep behind them waiting to pass safely and legally. Its the LAW. You also must pass by at least three feet.

Brian’s Citizen’s Voice

Reckless cyclists put themselves at risk

Since transferring down here a year and a half ago, I realized that Key West has a more laid-back lifestyle than I was used to. I respect that, and have come to enjoy it. I’ve learned to adjust my schedule so that my time management is better, and I don’t need to rush everywhere.

That being said, I’m still rather perturbed at the multitude of Conchs who insist upon yelling at me that I need to slow down when I’m doing the speed limit. First of all, none of them are cops. Second, the speed limit is the speed limit, and therefore the law of the land. They may be of the opinion that I’m going too fast, but that’s all it is; an opinion. If they think motor vehicles should go slower in that particular area, then they need to petition the city to lower the speed limit in whatever area I happen to be traveling. Third, I think they may be yelling at me to slow down because of the multitude of bicyclists and pedestrians that have jumped out in front of me (that I’ve almost hit) after they blew a stop sign on a busy street.

… Now, I do understand that in certain cases, bicycles have the right of way …, and as I am also a bicyclist, I respect and obey those rights of way whether I’m on my bike or driving.

However, in cases where you, on a bicycle, decide to ignore a stop sign and barrel out onto a busy street, you show a complete lack respect for the law, a complete lack of respect and consideration for other people, and worst of all, a complete lack of consideration for your own personal safety.

I hope each and every person reading this will take a moment to consider what would occur if they barreled out in front of my 2,300-pound Jeep and I was unable to stop in time. Which do you think would receive the most physical damage? …

And you tell me to slow down? Take your own advice.

Brian Wise

driver pleads guilty to killing cyclist, gets $500 fine and 6month license suspension

$500 fine/6month license suspension for driver pleading GUILTY to careless driving and KILLING a cyclist. THE MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT HATE CYCLISTS! what is Michael Jackson’s doctor charged with? how much prison time did Micheal Vick serve for animal cruelty? martha stewart for insider trading? how many people do time for having a freakin’ joint on them? Shit like this is why Key West and every city needs a strong, vocal, real, cycling advocacy group that will challenge the status quo, and truly rock the boat, squeak, scream, protest and do what ever is necessary to TRULY create a safer environment for cyclists.

Read Story Here

The cyclist was an advocate, much loved in his community. This could be any one of us next week on the Southard Street “bike lane” or Olivia Street or Truman Avenue.

We need to make sure this doesn’t happen here. again. and again.

Eaton Street Repaving Meeting…demand bikelanes!

copied and pasted from finishthebikepath on facebook……
There is a meeting concerning the repaving of Eaton street 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug 10th at Old City Hall. Lets show up and ask for some clarification on where a cyclist is supposed to be on Eaton street. The paving starts at White and ends at Simonton. Also a few well marked and signed pedestrian cross walks are needed. Locals know this is a deadly street but tourist end up on it all the time, it needs to be made safe for all.

hardcore bikelane enforcement!

I am sure with the military presence in Key West we could somehow get a hold of a tank and use it to crush cars parked in our bike lanes!!! wooo-haaaaa!  How awesome would that be?

Or we could even fantasize and dream a bit….maybe pretend our mayor is a frequent bicycle rider and strongly supports true cyclist safety and rights.  Lets imagine him smiling happily while riding in a tank crushing luxury cars that are illegally parked! And then helping sweep up the broken glass and debris!

Sounds crazy? Impossible? Well…if you lived in Vilnius, Lithuania, you would live in a town where the city government really truly respects cyclists and recently the mayor crushed a Mercedes with a monster 8wheeled tank! Then helped sweep up the mess. And finally, of course, gets back on his bicycle and rides away!

news story and VIDEO! found
here on the TIME website.

also on the city’s website.

cars kill more people than guns

The automobile, a tool invented to safely transport people with all its crumple zones, airbags, seat belts, safety glass, computers and various safety systems; kills more people every year in the United States than the gun; a tool invented to kill.

Huh? WTF? Yep…..the automobile is more deadly than the gun. Wake up! Scary huh?

It is true. Over the last few decades, roughly speaking…..

every year fire arm deaths are in the 30,000’s and motor vehicle deaths in the 40,000’s, check it….

.                      fire arm deaths                motor vehicle deaths

1999                    28,874                                       41,717
2000                   28,663                                       41,945
2004                   29,569                                       42,836
2007                   31,224                                        41,059

You might be saying this can’t be true. I got my facts from Wikipedia and the CDC. I first read this in BikeSnobNYC’s book (a great, great great read by the way!)

Automobile Deaths in the United States


This is a screen shot from the CDC website. There is no way to link the actual page due to the way the information is collected, but if you click here you can access all kinds of statistics.

Soooo. How is this possible? Its a symptom of how the whole paradigm is whacked! The police and politricks are full of “safety first” and “protecting people” with their rhetoric, while the real problem goes unchecked. There is a rarely enforced 3-foot passing rule in this state as well many others. The Triangle of Death isn’t safe. Riding down Olivia Street along the cemetary is next to impossible without being harassed by a revving motor or illegally and dangerously passed by a car or worse a truck. There is no room. There is no patience. There is no true regard for life and health. Where are the police? Where are the elected officials “concerned” for our safety?

Anyone can get a freakin’ driver’s license and go out and terrorize and maim and kill. Hmmm…lets get all crazy and Patriot Act about this. Lets compare to how many Americans die yearly from terrorist acts versus from automobiles. Think about it.

No, really, think about how whack the system really is. Safety is a mostly a bullshit buzzword. The reality is laws, attitudes and behavior put many, many things above safety. How many drivers swerve or drive or park in the “bikelane”? How much do politicians speak about gun-control and gun danger and guns and the young? How often do they speak of driving safer? Driving with more respect? It makes NO SENSE. None.

Ride safe. Remember that beeping revving car has absolutely no more right to the road than you. The fact that a car is more deadly, heavier, faster or more powerful than a bicycle does NOT give it more rights. The fact it costs more than your bike or may be in a hurry does not give it the right to bully you off the road. Call the police. Report bullying. Report unsafe driving. You have the right to be safe and pedal in peace. Ride Safe. Ride Smart.