There’s been a lot of talk about bikes around Key West recently. Much of this talk was from a local weekly newspaper, which has railed for months against the dangers posed by “scofflaw bicyclists.” The police department, obligingly, launched a special enforcement effort aimed at bikes to curb wrong-way riding, running red lights, etc. As someone who both rides and drives, I’m all for the enforcement. However. I was very concerned about the city taking sides in the bike versus car battles that take place on the streets every day. Then the sexton got into the act, locking the Frances Street gate to the City Cemetery. I don’t ride through the cemetery much — I live on a street that is midway along the cemetery, so riding through shoots me a couple blocks out of my way. But I felt strongly enough about the hasty and unilateral decision to go down and speak at a City Commission meeting (where a vote to re-open the gate failed, 5-2). So my latest Letter From Key West, for WLRN’s Under the Sun program, is about that.
(The photo, by the way, is of my grandfather Douglas Grafflin — he’s the one on the right, acting goofy — and his older brother, Don. Since I posted this photo on Facebook last night, I have learned a bunch of interesting family facts: Uncle Don left college to join a barnstorming flying circus as a mechanic. And three out of my four great-grandfathers belonged to cycling clubs, which must have been in the late 19th or very early 20th centuries).
Completely unrelated addendum: This is a much-deserved Google bombing link to the name Judith Griggs. You don’t have to follow it or do anything — as I understand it, the existence of the link is what matters — but if you’re curious about why I should do such a thing, there’s more info here.