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  1. #1
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    FLA-A1A Crosspost...Is this area bicycle commutable ??

    Not so pleasant article:

    A1A Florida. 'Public' officials :laff:

    We have a very unexpected move to FLA coming in July.
    Do FLA people have any comments/caveats on the state of bicycle commuting
    in and around WPB / Hobe Sound ??

    Thanks in advance !

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    I bike through the the WPB/Jupiter/Hobe Sound area all the time.The A1A corridor is definitely commutable .This is the most popular cycling route where all the non-car free cyclists drive in to ride their bikes (particularly on weekends).Traffic is fairly slow to moderate and use to cyclists.The lawsuit is over adding bike lanes which is almost always being done (in recent years) when the state widens or resurfaces a roadway. However, the property owners, in this particular area, have enough political influence they have blocked the lanes.It is really not a critical issue along A1A ,imo, as cyclists can always take the lane if necessary and the drivers are fairly patient about waiting until its safe to pass.In Broward, the property owners along A1A ,in one exclusive area, extend their driveways through the existing shoulder creating an uneven surface for riding which ,again, cyclists are trying to change but likewise , imo, not a critical issue (mostly just politics and bickering).Just take the lane if you don't want to slow down on the shoulder in these areas.I never even realized there were all these problems, until I read about them, lol.

    While downtown WPB is fairly bike friendly as well ,otherwise, things change dramatically when you get away from the beach as there is more traffic,faster speeds, and impatient drivers . This is where bike lanes make more sense and ,as I said, they are almost aways adding bike lanes now, in these areas,which has made Florida much more bike friendly in recent years.

    Being car-free I ride my bike all over Broward and Palm Beach counties as well as the rest of the state(I just got back from a three week biking/backpacking tour up to north and central Florida and back).Truthfully ,though,if you are moving from Vt. it will probably take some adjustment to ride on the roads away from the beach.I started out mostly riding on sidewalks and bike lanes until I gradually gained confidence riding in the road in some of the more heavily trafficked areas.I choose routes to maximize these lanes ,if present, but many roads will also have a wide outside lane making them relatively safe for a skilled rider.If you want additional info on specific routes just let me know.
    Last edited by RWTD; 05-03-07 at 02:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Not so pleasant article:

    A1A Florida. 'Public' officials :laff:

    We have a very unexpected move to FLA coming in July.
    Do FLA people have any comments/caveats on the state of bicycle commuting
    in and around WPB / Hobe Sound ??

    Thanks in advance !


    Are you going to be called =Lem in Fl=?

  4. #4
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    Yep....We just finalized our living situation.
    It is in Juno Beach, not WPB/Hobe as I thought it
    was. We found a house that was too nice to pass up.
    Juno in June
    We move around so much I might just take the state off all together

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Yep....We just finalized our living situation.
    It is in Juno Beach, not WPB/Hobe as I thought it
    was. We found a house that was too nice to pass up.
    Juno in June
    We move around so much I might just take the state off all together

    Muy Bueno! Welcome to the ranks of home ownership in the state of Fl! Better tha payin' those stupid taxes [can I call them stupid?] up in PA.

  6. #6
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    Last edited by LilSprocket; 06-19-07 at 05:27 PM.
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
    http://www.myspace.com/qwtrailbuilders
    rip sydney

  7. #7
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    Just moved to WPB from Orlando. I used to think Orlando was not bike friendly until I moved here! I don't think I've seen a single bike lane, and in the past two months maybe one other person on a road bike. Almost everyone here is on mountain bikes, and they ride on the sidewalks, heh.

    If anyone knows of some solid areas in WPB to ride, please let me know. The drivers are quite unpatient with cyclists.

    Thanks!

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    Probably the best place to ride would be around Palm Beach or along A1A between Palm Bch and Ft Lauderdale(which from the north end of PB to the 17th St bridge in FTL and back is probably close to a century). Riding from Palm Bch into downtown WPB is doable(particularly on weekends when traffic is more scarce and relaxed) or along the WPB bayfront(forget the name of the street)over to the Riveria Beach bridge and back.

    In the western suburbs your best bet would probably be riding around the Wellington area.Other major roads with bike lanes that I use (remember I am riding for transportation ie to get places)are all of 441(will have high speed traffic),all of Jog Rd.,Forest Hill Blvd west of turnpike,Military north of Northlake and Northlake west of Military.

    For a weekend getaway riding on the levee or roads around Lake Okeechobee is nice.

    By the way the last two weekends, I have ridden an approx. 140 miles day loop from FtL to Hobe Sound and back(up via A1A and back the western route via Military/441 etc.).In spite of the heat/humidity/bugs etc. and much effort to keep dehydration at bay, in addition,I managed to hike approx. 4-5 miles the first weekend and 5-7 miles the second weekend on the Florida Trail/Ocean-to-Lake Trail mostly within Jonathon Dickenson State Park(this doesn't count milage I walked pushing the bike either as a change of pace or because I got a flat along a remote area of 441 near the everglades and had to push the bike into Boca to get to a bug free area to change the tube,lol).


    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonFH
    Just moved to WPB from Orlando. I used to think Orlando was not bike friendly until I moved here! I don't think I've seen a single bike lane, and in the past two months maybe one other person on a road bike. Almost everyone here is on mountain bikes, and they ride on the sidewalks, heh.

    If anyone knows of some solid areas in WPB to ride, please let me know. The drivers are quite unpatient with cyclists.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by RWTD; 07-16-07 at 10:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonFH
    Just moved to WPB from Orlando. I used to think Orlando was not bike friendly until I moved here! I don't think I've seen a single bike lane, and in the past two months maybe one other person on a road bike. Almost everyone here is on mountain bikes, and they ride on the sidewalks, heh.

    If anyone knows of some solid areas in WPB to ride, please let me know. The drivers are quite unpatient with cyclists.

    Thanks!
    Hey Nelson !
    I ride on A1A around Juno, West Palm and Jupiter, daily.....
    I just moved here, too.
    Drivers around here are impatient and very "ME" oriented.
    I do my best to stay out of thier way, even jumping on the walk
    when the lane ends if neccassary, and I havent had too many problems.
    Ive never actually seen anybody walking on these nice 6' wide sidewalks
    so I dont feel too badly about using them for a block or so if it means
    not becoming HUMMER-kill.
    I do my errands by bike and am slowly learning alternate routes like
    Ellison Wilson instead of 1, etc.....But, yes, its a HUGE difference from
    Vermont where I am coming from. A nice thing about A1A is that you can
    stop along the way around Juno and Jupiter and shower off and drink up
    for that stretch....really helps with the heat which is my biggest obsticle
    right now. WOW !!! The heat makes up for the hills here, for sure !!
    I ride a total chunk, single speed, ratbike commuter that sticks out
    becuase it has a chrome frame if our paths should ever cross or you
    see heat prostrated feet sticking up out of the weeds along A1 !!
    Oh yeah, one road I found that is really beautiful is Gomez(?) from Salerno
    into Jupiter....try to ride that if you can.
    Be safe !!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies! I live in the eastern part of WPB, near downtown in Flamingo Park. It's a decent area to ride, but I'm really wanting to do some long rides (Maybe a day trip to Miami after I can work up to it!). RWTD, how long does it take you to do FTL to Hobe Sound?

    Totally agree, pound 'em, about the sidewalks. Barely anyone uses them here! So I don't feel bad at all about hopping on them when traffic is insane.

    If I saw anyone riding a single speed, ratbike commuter I'd definitely talk to them! I haven't seen anyone riding interesting bikes around here, except for the "serious cyclers" every once in a while. My bike is in pieces, so unfortunately I haven't been riding the last few days, and I won't be for another week and a half.. but it's in pieces because I'm re-doing it, getting a new crankset, wheelset, etc. A friend of mine in Orlando works at a bike shop and is giving me a serious hook up. So, in a couple of weeks, if you see a seriously tall dude on a singlespeed black Peugeot, holla!

  11. #11
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    Whoa Do0D !!!
    I have an '86 Pug 501, too !!!
    Mine's not as kool as yours because it still has the gears
    I got rid of a whole pile '0 pugs to move here !!! If yer
    singlespeedin' a pug you are the highest rung of the
    Darwinian Ladder of cycling !!

  12. #12
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    Hah! Doing what I can do to keep it fun and interesting. I rode my peugeot as a 10 speed for the last year or so, and got my money's worth out of it (got it in pretty great condition for $50). It's a UO9, so I don't feel bad at all about converting it, it's actually perfect for going single.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonFH View Post
    ... I'm really wanting to do some long rides (Maybe a day trip to Miami after I can work up to it!). RWTD, how long does it take you to do FTL to Hobe Sound?...
    I don't pay alot a attention to timing but if I leave predawn I am usually in Jupiter somewhat before mid day and if I don't dally around too much I am at Hobe Sound somewhat after mid day ie just in time to start suffering from the heat/humidity onslaught.Then I hike,relax,rehydrate whatever for the afternoon and then try not to start back before late afternoon /early evening usually not getting back until after midnight.I will often walk the bike for long stretches on the way back particularly along 441 along the remote agricultural areas near the everglades where they have built sidewalks(well seperated from the roadway) but not subdivisions (yet anyway) so it is particularly nice and relaxing in this area at night . Even for day rides,I take a tourer mentality more than a roadie mentality in that I always load my bike with plenty of food,water,bike tools,limited extra clothes,my daypack for hiking(which is often my goal at the destination)etc. and am probably one of the slower riders on A1A stopping more frequently ,as well.Then again few of them cover as many miles either. Not surprisingly, I start to suffer from the afternoon heat then get my second wind later in the evening and usually finish very strong.

    I also like to do weekend tours where I camp/backpack in areas such as Big Cypress,Lake O ,the everglades or the so called Northeast everglades which the areas west of WPB,Jupiter and Hobe Sound are known as.

    Talk about cycle unfriendly ,Miami is it lol.I usually take the beach route A1A or a western route along Flamingo etc. when going through there(ie it is not a destination, I am only going through there to get to the Keys/Everglades/Big Cypress etc.).Actually,I have really had no problems there(even though traffic is heavy and drivers inpatient) and I have cycled on quite a few other roads there as well -I just don't like the place .I actually prefer to take my mtn bike and use levees across the everglades water conservation areas to bypass west of Miami to get the wilderness areas that are my destination.
    Last edited by RWTD; 07-18-07 at 08:46 AM.

  14. #14
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    RWTD,

    Wow, that is intense, man! Good for you! I'm glad to see someone is enjoying what South Florida has to offer. It's really a beautiful place if you let it be, and know where to look.

    Your route sounds awesome! As soon as I get my ride back, I'm going to start building up and going further and further south. I want to ride to Miami, what route would you recommend? A1A/US1 seems most obvious because they run from WPB to MIA, but also might be insane traffic wise.

    Keep up the sick rides, dude.

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    Yes, from eastern WPB, A1A would be the routing I would recommend .As with Palm Beach Co and Broward Co, in Dade I try to take an extreme eastern or western routing avoiding the middle areas(for thru transportation) where ,particularly in Dade ,in addition to congestion you have a lot of the less desirable areas to cycle through.

    A1A all the way past FtL Bch to the 17th street bridge is fine then you encounter some congestion out to US 1 and down past the airport ,in particular, before cutting back to A1A.I use to have a trick of cutting though Port Everglades on back roads(check online mapping for this routing) to bypass much of this but right after 911 I tried it(on a trip to the Keys) and they wouldn't let me through(might be worth a try now though) .Then A1A down to Bal Harbor is fine though traffic starts getting heavier once you near Dade.Then past Bal Harbor you can start taking some backroads off of A1a(to the west still on the barrier islands).Once in South Beach I then take the southern most bridge(with a nice shoulder) right into and through downtown Miami on to Coconut Grove and then connecting to Old Cutler Road which is a very nice ride through residential areas with bike lanes and paths .If you are going on to points south I would not take Old Cutler west of the Turnpike(the neighborhood goes downhill fast)but rather work your way south and then west on backroads (passing near the racetrack)to Homestead/Flamingo City.Then if you went on to the Keys I would suggest US 1 to Card Sound Road (though this area will likely be quite buggy this time of year).

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    Most excellent advice. If I get a few days off from work, I'd love to ride through the Keys. Thanks for the route information!

    Have you had any experience with getting hassled in "less-than-desirable" neighborhoods in Dade Co.?

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    Thanks RWTD !
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

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    No,I have not actually had any problems but I try to avoid the worst areas and if I ride through bad areas(unexpectedly or by design) I stay on the main roads(applies to Broward and PBC as well).But Old Cutler Road goes through some of the nicer areas of Miami then west of the turnpike it basically turns into a ghetto so I just wanted to note that so one wouldn't be surprised.When I went through that section on the way back from the Keys it was a Sunday and some reverend ,that obviously liked to hear himself talk, was blasting out an evangelical message over a megaphone nonstop and it could literally be heard for miles around.My recollection was it sounded like James Brown as a carnival barker.

    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonFH View Post
    Most excellent advice. If I get a few days off from work, I'd love to ride through the Keys. Thanks for the route information!

    Have you had any experience with getting hassled in "less-than-desirable" neighborhoods in Dade Co.?

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    Here's a link to a blog post that explains and illustrates the A1A bike lane/right of way issue in PBC in more detail that I even realized.So while it appears the affluent oceanfront homeowners are actually encrouching significant right of way for their own private use,I still am happy with things the way they are.While I would not object to a slight shoulder being added to the existing roadway as part of any resurfacing/widening,if they claimed all the right of way(to the fire hydrant in the 2nd picture)for bike/multiuse paths etc., I would have to agree that it would detract from the character of the area and look rather tacky.Anyway, I would rather share the roadway with vehicles than bike paths with walkers/joggers/skaters etc., such as exists through Boca at present.And ,given the amounts those homeowners are likely paying in property taxes already I am sure the local officials have no problem conceding the right of way use to keep them happy.And,I understand they are planning to put bike lanes in through the public beach area in Delray where due to the circus atmosphere and street side parking for the beach the lanes could be useful.

    http://flabikes.blogspot.com/2007/08...route-a1a.html
    Last edited by RWTD; 08-22-07 at 12:36 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD View Post
    Here's a link to a blog post that explains and illustrates the A1A bike lane/right of way issue in PBC in more detail that I even realized.http://flabikes.blogspot.com/2007/08...route-a1a.html
    Great link, RWTD !
    I think I am stuck here for a while so I am going to try to
    become a little more active in advocacy issues.
    Did you by any chance see the article from the Palm Beach Post
    about lanes in Jupiter ? I put it in A&S about a month ago.
    Basically, they budgeted for them but the mayor and some
    councilman are fighting to take them outof the budget because
    they arent necassary with such great "Multi-use Sidewalks".
    I wrote a long letter to the 'Post but they didnt see fit to publish it.
    What made me especially angry was their arrogant and cavalier
    attitude toward cyclists. That being said.....After riding here for
    a while I would say its still bicycle friendly relatively speaking.
    A typical day for me might have me running errands from West
    Palm into Tequesta and I have no real problem at all.
    But still, more can be done.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

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    Yea,I just read the article and skimmed the thread and agree with your points.Yes, the councilman is right,imo, about the need to prioritize and be selective in bike lane/path projects as again,imo, some are needed others not as much so.But ,I fear that might be just cover ,on his part,to reduce funding for any bike related projects even those needed.

    I assume the article is referring to Jupiter Island and,imo, he is correct there as dedicated bike lanes are not needed,imo, as it is generally safe to ride on the road through that low traffic residential area(very similar situation to A1A further south in PBC talked about in my article)or if a cyclist is uncomfortably in the road the existing sidewalks can serve as MUP's.I fear dedicated bike path/lanes in areas not critically needed just reinforces the perception of too many Floridian drivers that cyclists belong on the sidewalks not the road.

    But like you seem to be finding out ,my experience is if you just stand up for your rights to be on the road and cycle predictably following the traffic rules the vast majority of the drivers will respect your rights, even in Florida.

    Speaking of Jupiter specifically I would say lanes are not needed on Jupiter Island but would be welcome along US 1,hopefully staying to the left of right turning lanes.Like you say on roads like that the traffic speed is just too high to "take the lane" except perhaps at intersections and trying to do so would just thoughtlessly imped traffic on the part of the cyclist(and likely get one run over as part of the bargain).In those situations I usually stay to the right,taking the shoulder where available, as there is generally a wide enough outside lane to "share the road".If I start getting "buzzed" too much I will quickly get very aggressive and start taking more of the lane.

    By the way here is a link to some long range plans to build bike/hiking/canoe/horse paths linking a lot of the natural areas just west of WPB/Jupiter.

    http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/nenamaps.asp

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