Dear 30A Cycling Enthusiasts........... | Page 2 | SoWal Forum - South Walton Florida
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Word6er

Beach Lover
Jul 30, 2009
51
20
Seacrest, FL
Traffic is going to increase every year from here on out. The local drivers might be cool. But the out of town drivers are crazy. It is going to get dangerous for any bike riders out there. The bike lane is about 3" in width along 30A. RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I recommend trail running. Very peaceful out in the trails. No vehicles.

The Conservation Park in Panama City Beach has a great bike trail.
 

slow

Beach Crab
Jul 12, 2013
4
4
As a Seagrove local who occasionally drives a car on 30a (but tries to bike or ride a scooter instead whenever possible), I can imagine how it can be frustrating to share the road with road cyclists when you're not a cyclist yourself. If you're in a hurry, any traffic hangup can be frustrating, and I agree sometimes you will have to slow down and wait to pass a cyclist, which sets you back a minute or so.

This isn't a new problem for cyclists: empathy from car drivers is a constant challenge for those who are out on the road for exercise, or who choose not to drive a car wherever they happen to be headed (and good for them!). 30A is a scenic highway, ideal for cycling, and while its speed, crosswalks, and diverse traffic (bikes, runners, skateboards, golf carts, scooters) are unfortunately viewed as an inconvenience to some, there is thankfully an alternative for faster driving: highway 98. If I'm heading somewhere in a car on 30A and must be there at a specific time, I just leave a little early to account for the unexpected, and so I don't need to drive fast.

The flip side to this discussion is that many locals here would prefer to see far fewer wide SUVs and trucks crowding the roads and parking areas - especially in high season, or as we call it, "SUV season." We should be celebrating the fact that our community is so active and that many are willing to occasionally ditch the car for other means, rather than trying to restrict those activities in favor of a faster road. It's a rare thing that we have here on 30a, and it only takes an increased speed limit, widened roads, a few traffic lights and a chain restaurant or two to make it a different place entirely... more like everywhere else in the state, frankly.

We cyclists are fortunate and appreciative to be able to share the road with you, but there are definitely good reasons to choose the road over the excellent path depending on the type of riding you're doing. We'll continue to stick to the right lane and all we ask is you have a little patience for us. Thanks!
 

seagrovegirl

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2008
3,885
454
Historic Old Point Washington
The flip side to this discussion is that many locals here would prefer to see far fewer wide SUVs and trucks crowding the roads and parking areas - especially in high season, or as we call it, "SUV season."

The quote above from SLOW....seriously? An SUV takes up one parking spot, just like any other smaller vehicle. The congestion on our roads is from too many vehicles period, whether a smart car, scooter, bike or SUV. The bike path is congested as well, so I guess we need smaller bikes and a 2% BMI. Personally, I think the only alternative is to be patient, understanding and kind.
 

slow

Beach Crab
Jul 12, 2013
4
4
"Personally, I think the only alternative is to be patient, understanding and kind."

Agreed.
 

30a Saluki

Beach Lover
May 21, 2013
62
7
So bike riders cannot use the bike path because they ride their bikes too fast? Why now ride slower? There are speed limits for cars on roads, eh? Where is it written that the rights of bicyclists should take precedence over the rights of all others? If it is strictly an exercise thing why not choose a less traveled route? I would not expect to be cut any slack if I elected to run on 30a as part of my exercise routine.
 

Braidsy

Beach Crab
Jul 12, 2013
1
0
Because of the other traffic (runners, walkers, strollers, beach cruisers, dogs, families with children) the "beautiful bike path that is provided" is not suitable for cyclists on road bikes traveling in excess of 20 miles per hour. The cyclist, clipped in and down in the aero position" poses a threat to self and the other people on the "beautiful bike path that is provided" because the speed that cyclist is traveling at is incompatible with the speed of the other traffic. It is kind of like telling a motor cycle to ride on the "beautiful bike path that is provided". May be safer for the motor cycle but not the other people on the "beautiful bike path that is provided". So that "solution" for the "dear 30A cyclist" however well intentioned is a fail. And that is ok. You don't ride, so understandably you didn't realize your suggestion to stay on the "beautiful bike path that is provided" will not work or be adhered to. Do you have a plan "B"?
 

Word6er

Beach Lover
Jul 30, 2009
51
20
Seacrest, FL
If you can't reach and maintain the speed limit of Scenic 30A, you don't belong on it. Most scooters, golf carts and bikes can't reach the average 35 mph on 30A. That makes you a sitting duck.

Riding a bike on any highway is dangerous! What would your mom have told you? Stay off the highway!
 

rdelong43065

Beach Fanatic
May 28, 2007
678
121
55
Seagrove
And I'm sorry to say - but it is unsafe for us on the bike path as well. I don't think visitors would appreciate cyclists going 25+mph on the bike path buzzing by when they are getting in their morning walks or scooting along with their children to pick up breakfast for their family.

We go very early in the morning and respect the drivers. We wear brightly colored kits and lights so we are seen. As stated above, just sit back, wait a few seconds until it's safe to go around us. 30 seconds is not a long time to wait to avoid hitting us. We are not out there to make the drivers mad, but to get our workouts in before we have to go to work (yes, I am a local). Plus we do have a right to be on the road and to follow the rules, just as the drivers do.

Excuse me? Respect the drivers? OK, maybe you do but the majority of bikers on 30A DO NOT RESPECT the traffic laws and DO NOT like to share the road. Most DO NOT stop at the intersection with stop signs or at red lights. Most DO NOT yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks. Riding through Water sound 3 and 4 abreast. I'm sorry you may feel slighted but it's the other bikers that are giving all the bikers the bad reputation. I have no problem sharing the road with these people but PLEASE OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS!!! If I plowed through a red light, I'd get a ticket. Do they? nope and they no they don't and the arrogance at times is stupid. You want to share the road? Fine. But SHARE THE ROAD! I have seen bikers that do respect the traffic laws and I have had the opportunity to thank them personally. They appreciated that and so do I.
 
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Zebraspots

Beach Fanatic
May 15, 2008
840
247
Santa Rosa Beach
I think that if we had a 4' shoulder on 30a and did a better job of maintaining the bike path, this would be a non issue.

There are very few places on 30a where a car can safely pass a biker without going into the other lane. There are also a limited number of places where a serious biker has the visibility and space to avoid vehicles and humans. The lance Armstrongs ride on 30a because that is the safest place for them. When they are on 395 or 283 they ride on the paths.

Drivers:
Hang up your damn phone, and quit causing near head on collisions impatiently passing bikes.

Bikes:
Be considerate, don't ride abreast, and be honest about how you look in spandex.
 

prajna

Beach Crab
Jul 12, 2013
1
1
I think Zebraspots just beat me to the punch, but I'll go ahead and chime in anyway.

I can sympathize with most of the arguments made here on both sides. I concede that
for truly "high speed" bikers on road bikes (though I have yet to see any going 20+ mph),
perhaps the bike path isn't the best option as it could potentially endanger pedestrians
and themselves. On the other hand, I have seen significant back up of traffic due to the
inability of motorists to safely pass bikers for long time intervals. I have also seen
quite a few cyclists riding beach cruisers and mountain bikes on 30A and who I was very
nervous passing due to my lack of confidence in their ability to hold a steady course.

Another related problem, which seems to be of equal concern are the golf carts
which ride down 30A, go no more than 15 mph, and are more difficult to pass. They are also
not permitted to use the bike path (though unfortunately, I do see them there at times).

There are quite a few people who live here and do need to get to work and get kids to
school in a timely fashion for whom the slow down and enjoy your vacation advice isn't
really applicable. And although 98 is a good option for getting places quickly, there
is no access to 98 between Watersound Pkwy and 395, so getting to 98 can be a bit of a
hassle if you are somewhere between these roads.

It seems to me that if there was about a 2 foot shoulder on each side of 30A, it would
allow a space for the bikers which would permit motorists to get by and also give the carts
a place to pull over and let traffic pass. These wouldn't necessarily have to extend the full
length of 30A, but could be strategically placed in areas where the problems arise (the stretch
near Watersound for example). Don't know how easy it would be to accomplish the addition
of shoulders on 30A, but it seems like the best overall solution.
 
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