Remember how I wrote a couple of days ago that the river has risen 8 inches in a decade because all the construction in Florida means there’s less space to handle water run-off so it all ends up in rivers that lead to the coast?
Today we saw what that means.
We were cycling along the Intracoastal Waterway south of Delray Beach and north of Boca Raton — perhaps Highland Beach. The road was flooded and the water was lapping at what’s essentially a curb along the water. It won’t take much more to create a permanent mess. Even the Harley rider whose T-shirt depicted a GOP elephant adorned with Trump’s hair admitted Florida will be under water. Too bad, he said, before gunning his engine as the drawbridge was still closing.
Today’s route was lots more of A1A (only a few truly crazy spots) and one town blending into another, often with walls of high rises and even more under construction. For people who escaped the big cities up north for lots of sunshine, I saw this as a less-appealing version and the same congested roads. And with little in the way of alternative transportation, what happens when you have to give up driving? It didn’t make me want to say oh yes, let’s move to Florida when we retire.
Of course, towns have different personalities. While Palm Beach was mansions and low-rise condos, for example, Boca was a different kind of wealthy with high-rise condos. It gets bonus points for a sidewalk along Ocean Drive and even some public beach access points, something Palm Beach doesn’t have. Plenty of towns had crazy high condo projects under construction; how many will be mostly AirBnb? Meanwhile, Miami Beach seems very focused on resiliency and adapting the city for rising sea levels, but is it all a losing battle, especially if the state can call itself the Sunshine State and not go all-in on solar power.
We saw plenty of boats, including one four-level yacht from above (bridge crossing). And this one came by as we had lunch a bit along the Intracoastal south of the Fort Lauderdale airport. Pretty sleek! Though I bet it’s a gas guzzler.
Here’s what I did like: the bike paths we experienced today. There was the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk (not boardwalk), a long promenade for walkers, runners and yes cyclists with the beach on one side and shops, restaurants and places to stay on the other.
In Miami Beach, there’s the Atlantic Greenway alongside the beach on the Atlantic side, including a just-designated section of the East Coast Greenway. Pretty cool to use palm streets to separate the trail down the middle. Tonight we heard that come 2022, this beach path will extend from 89th Street to the southern end of Miami Beach.
Here are some more photos from the day.
And for another perspective, here’s what a fellow rider experienced.