Stories in the Key West Citizen

Ladies of the House

By Barbara Bowers, September 28, 2018
“…Chris Hamilton, administrator for Old Island Restoration Foundation said, “this just fits the unique and diverse island history; everyone is accepted here.”

Citizens Voice

September 28, 2018
“My friends & I had the pleasure of riding the Duval Loop on Friday evening for a happy hour hop-on/hop-off bar crawl … it’s absolutely awesome. We really needed something like this in Key West. Thanks so much to all of those who made it happen, especially Alison Higgins & Chris Hamilton. You did it right. KUDOS!”

Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Resigns

By Scott Unger; September 1, 2017
“Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton resigned Wednesday to accept an administrative position with the Old Island Restoration Foundation….Hamilton’s resignation letter was sent a day before the debut of the Duval Loop bus service, which he helped spearhead. The 16-stop free bus route is designed to ease congestion in Old Town and is part of the Car Free Key West marketing campaign, which Hamilton initiated.”

Loop de Loop

By Scott Unger; September 1, 2017
“Crammed with city leaders, Key West’s new Duval Loop bus made a ceremonial first trip around Old Town Thursday to mark the beginning of service for the free route designed to ease congestion around Duval Street….Higgins, Parking Director John Wilkins and Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton were all aboard the inaugural ride after steering the project to fruition.”

A Long Way to Go

By Scott Unger, June 11, 2017
“An analysis of bike networks in 300 U.S. cities ranked Key West tops among surveyed Florida locales, but its overall score shows room for improvement….“(The score) wasn’t too good,” Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton said. “We’ve got a lot of progress to go. There’s lots of barriers and there’s things we can do to improve.”….“The state of bicycling in the USA, despite a decade of progress, is pretty sad and there’s a lot of work to do across the country,” he said.The analysis shows that Key West can become a biking destination if the needed work is done, Hamilton said.“If we dive into this bicycle plan that we’re doing and we listen to folks … and link up a connected network for safe biking, we’re going to be one of the best places in the entire country for biking and that could be a calling card; we’ll be known for that,” he said.The city is currently developing a bicycle master plan and recently launched the Car Free Key West campaign designed to get residents and tourists out of their cars.”

Duval Loop Bus Delayed Two Months

By Scott Unger, June 10, 2017
“Parts delays have pushed back the debut of the Old Town circulator bus by another two months, according to Key West officials….

A series of meetings with Old Town hotel and business interests has generated excitement for the debut, according to Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton.“We’ve reached out to lots of businesses and talked to them and most of them cannot wait for the Duval Loop to get there,” Hamilton told the Sustainability Board Thursday.”

Team Offers Insights On Bike Master Plan

By Scott Unger; May 5, 2017
“After a week studying Key West streets, the team in charge of designing a master plan for bicycles and walkers shared some of its findings at an open house Thursday at the Eco- Discovery Center…Rental and other tourism-based businesses have been eager to participate, Key West Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton said.“The Key West business community (is) fantastic,” he said. “They want the (outreach) stuff. They’re going to give out maps and they’re going to give out safety information.”

Duval Loop Free Bus To Debut Soon

By Scott Unger, April 21, 2017
“The Duval Loop downtown circulator bus will debut at the end of May or early June, according to Key West City staff….New details about the service were unveiled at Thursday’s Key West Lodging Association Luncheon during a presentation by Higgins, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton…”

Three Vie for Bike Share Program

By Scott Unger; April 19, 2017
“The latest cog in the city’s Car-Free Key West campaign is underway, with applications submitted by three companies to operate a bike share program on city streets….

Because the bike share program is designed as an extension of the city’s public transportation network and not as competition for the many bike rental businesses in Key West, the companies were asked to focus their proposals on bike trips of less than an hour in length and the proposal stipulates that the city maintains final say on pricing options, according to Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton. “We really want a company coming in here to not rely on generating the revenue because then they would need to make revenue on every trip,” Hamilton said. “The whole reason we did that is we’ve got a really good bike rental industry in this town … and so we don’t want to compete with people who want to use bikes for a few hours or day.”

A Fine Balance

By Scott Unger; March 18, 2017
“The city of Key West has seen bike racks appear and vanish over the last few months, but it’s all in the name of accommodating residents, according to city officials. Racks were placed on Fleming Street earlier this year as part of the Key West Planning Department’s installation of approximately 170 bike “loops” (with each designed for two bikes) around town, according to Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton.”

Rollout and Timing of Transit Program Questioned

By Scott Unger; March 17, 2017
“Two initiatives designed to get residents out of their cars are underway, but their rollout and timeline raised the eyebrows of one Key West City Commissioner…While the master plan won’t be completed until early next year, according to Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton, the Car-Free campaign launches this month, which led Commissioner Sam Kaufman to question the timing at a recent board meeting…

The educational component of the Car-Free campaign will lay the groundwork for the changes to infrastructure that will be made next year through the master plan, according to Hamilton.“They are distinct projects with the same goal. The Car-Free Key West campaign is about information and education (and) the bicycle and pedestrian plan project is mostly about infrastructure and facilities,” Hamilton said. “They go hand-in-hand and don’t need to be sequential.”“We don’t need to wait a year or two on implementing infrastructure improvements that may come out of the bike pedestrian plan to get these important messages out.”

Rolling Out

By Scott Unger; January 25, 2017
“Work has begun on an estimated one-year project creating a bike and pedestrian master plan for the City of Key West. Through a $250,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, the city hired Toole Design Group last week to a two-year contract with an optional third year to carry out its 10-point plan creating a safe bicycling network of lanes and access routes around Key West and including Stock Island, according to Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton.“We want to make a connected bike network where people feel safe,” Hamilton said. “A lot of people only feel safe on the really slow residential streets and they’re reluctant to get out on (the busier roads). So what we want to make sure is that there’s safe connections that everyone feels safe on.”“The network that we have now suddenly ends. (The goal is to) get some sort of bike network that’s safe and crisscrosses the entire town.”

City Seeking Public Help on Bicycle Program Application

By Scott Unger; September 6, 2016
“City officials are asking for public help to make Key West one of 10 U.S. cities chosen for a new $750,000 bicycle program. Nonprofit People for Bikes is looking for communities of all sizes to participate in The Big Jump, which aims to double or triple local bike riders by 2020.Participating in The Big Jump would complement the $275,000 in grant funding and recent partnership with South Florida Commuter Services already in place, according to Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton. “We’re trying to make biking safer and having the expertise of an organization like People for Bikes would make that a lot easier,” Hamilton said. “We’re starting to build momentum so adding this on top would be really cool.”Hamilton is asking city leaders to write letters in support of the city’s application and list their organization or business as a supporter. Supporters have the option of providing additional funding for the program and the opportunity to serve on the Key West Leadership Team if chosen as a participating city, Hamilton said.”

Moving Forward

By Scott Unger; August 10, 2016
“Alternative transportation plans for Key West are fueling up with help from South Florida Commuter Services…Key West Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton recently enlisted the help of SFCS to assist with the city’s plans of providing a network of alternative transportation options like walking, biking and public transit.Working with SFCS will save the city approximately a quarter million dollars in the first year, according to Hamilton. “They confirmed they would be spending somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000, just on Key West over the next year,” he said…In a year, people would know there are options … they’ll know how to access those options whether they’re living here, working here or visiting,” said Hamilton. “So you’d start to … see that incremental change where more people are biking, walking and using transit. And that’s just going to help Key West be a better place.”

City Eyes Carsharing Service

By Scott Unger; July 6, 2016
“In an effort to cut down on parking and traffic problems, Key West Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Chris Hamilton plans to bring in more cars, via a car sharing program…

“I know it’s counter-intuitive, but the research shows that when people are sharing cars, it takes seven to 15 cars off the local (roads) for every car share vehicle,” he said. “Cars are parked 95 percent of the time. They’re sitting there, they’re not being used. So people who use car share shrink the number of cars in a local area, so it actually frees up parking spaces in local neighborhoods.”“People are more cognizant of the fact that if they’re paying by the hour, they’ll tend not to use the car as much. If people have a car in their driveway, they’ll drive it anywhere.”Hamilton is working with car sharing company Zipcar to start a one-year pilot program in Key West.”

Parking, Housing Top ‘Last Stand’ Agenda

By Scott Unger; June 10, 2016
“Community members filled the 75 seat theater at the Eco-Discovery Center on Thursday for Last Stand Organization’s neighborhood forum on parking and traffic problems and affordable housing….Key West Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Coordinator Chris Hamilton shared his 10 steps to help any city battle traffic and congestion problems.

On a Roll

By Scott Unger; June 4, 2016
“Within a year Key West will be more accessible for bicyclists, thanks to two grants totaling $275,000 for improvements around the city. Key West Bike and Pedestrian Transportation Coordinator Chris Hamilton said the money will be used to develop and implement a master bike plan and improve biking lanes and signage throughout the city.”

Key West Considers Car-share

By Mandy Miles, April 29, 2016
“A newly proposed car-sharing program could let Key West catch up with other cities and clear up congestion on crowded streets…“Research has shown that people want access to a car, not necessarily the burden and expense of owning their own vehicle,” wrote Chris Hamilton, the city’s bicycle/ pedestrian coordinator in a report to City Manager Jim Scholl. “Car-sharing provides access to a vehicle or fleet of vehicles for short-term use, priced by the hour or minute, located conveniently through the community and with most, if not all, costs (gas, maintenance and insurance) bundled into the rates.”…”“Ultimately, a successful car-share program would see cars in every neighborhood at a mix of on-street and off-street, private parking spaces,” Hamilton’s report states.”

City Awarded $25,000 Bicycle Grant for Safety, Education

Citizen Staff, March 7, 2016
“The City of Key West was recently awarded a $25,000 Share the Road Challenge grant from Bike Florida…

Chris Hamilton, Key West’s new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, welcomes the assistance.“The city is very grateful to Bike Florida for jump-starting our fledgling bicycle and pedestrian program. The grant dollars will lay the foundation for a program that we hope will encourage more people to ride bicycles and walk instead of driving and to educate all users of our streets to do so safely.”

City Hires New Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator

By Gwen Filosa; January 15, 2016
Chris Hamilton, the city’s new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, started work this week after spending nearly 23 years at a Virginia county’s transportation department.
And yes, he rides his bike — a blue, one-speed Republic with yellow tires — to work from his new home on Stock Island to Habana Plaza on Flagler Avenue.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: