East Coast Bikeway Proposal
Carl Kaiserman, an AIA Space Coast officer and a board member of the Eau Gallie Art District Main Street Organization, has written an open letter to bring awareness to an idea of creating a bikeway through the Eau Gallie and Melbourne areas. His letter follows.
Carl Kaiserman, AIA
4515 Highway A1A
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
Jan 25, 2015
To all those interested in promoting
The East Coast Bikeway
thru the City of Melbourne.
I am Carl Kaiserman, a Board Member of EGAD (The Eau Gallie Art District Main Street Organization). EGAD, a not-for-profit, mostly volunteer group, has taken up the cause of encouraging a BIKEWAY in our area. Aside from the great benefits for local users, the BIG picture is to make it part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY, a national trail from Calais Maine to Key West Florida. By directing the current mapped trail on the beachside road State A1A (insert 1), to create a bypass across the Eau Gallie Causeway (State 518) thru the historic town of Eau Gallie thence connecting via a path along the Indian River Lagoon waterfront to the historic town of Melbourne, returning across the Melbourne Causeway (US192), thence continuing south along its current mapped route. The entire sidepath would be on land located in the jurisdiction of the City of Melbourne (insert 2).
We believe this sidepath will provide a superior biking (and hiking) experience to local users of the Greenway, and more importantly, to the residents and visitors to the City of Melbourne, for the following reasons:
- The path would provide direct access to the oldest and most historic portions of Eau Gallie and Melbourne (both founded in the 1880’s), filled with low-rise homes and businesses and an authentic ‘old Florida’ feel. Opportunities to boat, kayak, fish, shop, eat, visit Brevard’s only Art Museum, tour historic homes, and just visually enjoy the route along this entire path abound.
- Much effort has gone into the establishment of the Melbourne Bikeway. Previous planning leadership of former deputy City Manager Howard Ralls, and current deputy City Manager Shannon Lewis and Linda South has lead to an initial route to be considered along the Indian River Lagoon waterfront, with land acquisitions in progress. (insert 3)
- In contrast, the continuing path along A1A south from Indian Harbour Beach, has little public access to the Atlantic Ocean or Indian River Lagoon views, with private condominiums lining both sides of this more ‘direct’ path. And it is unfortunately documented as Brevard County’s “most dangerous place for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists”. From 2009-13 twenty-two of those “vulnerable road users” were struck by a motor vehicle (insert 4).
I seek your input and assistance in joining with us to make a Melbourne Bikeway sidepath to the East Coast Greenway a reality.
Insert 1. East Coast Greenway in Florida
Insert 2. Proposed Melbourne Bikeway Sidepath
Insert 3. Sidepath detail, including bridge crossing concept
Insert 4. Florida Today October 27, 2014 ‘City lines up land for linear park plan’
Insert 5. Florida Today December 21, 2014 ‘Brevard zooms in on road risk’