I’m digging through old issues of LIFE Magazine for mentions and photos of people on bikes and found this interesting bit about Bike Month activities in 1963.
I know this is difficult to read, but it suggests various trails around the United States that cyclists can try. This includes a bike path along the Charles River in Boston, a path along the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York, and a seven mile shoreline path in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
What intrigued me was mention of a “bike boulevard” in Homestead, Florida. The article doesn’t say much else about it, only that these bike boulevards are part of a network of safe bike routes all over town for adults and school children.
I’ve always thought that the first bicycle boulevard in American was the Bryant Street bike boulevard in Palo Alto, california, which was established in 1982.
Does anybody know what was special about Homestead bike boulevards? Were they merely designated bike routes? Or did they have some of the features we associate with modern bike boulevards? I can’t find any other resources online that makes mention of this Homestead bike boulevard besides that 1963 issue of LIFE.
Homestead built one of the first American post WW2 bike paths. This was in 1961. The following year, after the Cuban missile crisis, the Homestead Air Force base was fitted out with Nike missiles. These two events are probably unconnected!
Davis, California, started creating its bike path network in 1966.
Bicycle Boulevards, however, date back to the 1890s. Chicago had 40-mile network of them: http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/chicago1897/
I knew you’d have a lot of history on this!
I’m thinking of the modern implementation of bike boulevards, though — where a street is designed such that drivers can’t use it for through traffic but local traffic only, but cyclists can use it as a through road and even have priority at intersections.