Bike Lanes and Stop Signs

Question

Ray asked:  There is a 4-mile loop bike lane in Miami, FL. around the Kendale Lakes Country Club.  I notice most of the times I’m approaching a stop sign around the loop, the cars at a stop sign get into the bike lane when trying to make a right turn. They get so far over the bike lane they almost hit the curb.   Can these motorists do this, or should they remain in their lane when turning?

Do I need to stop at these stop signs if I’m staying in the bike lane? They just curve right.  I am assuming I can pass these vehicles on the right if I’m in the bike lane.  As a cyclist in bike lane, must I stop at this sign? I have never seen a cyclist stop there. There are 100’s every day.

Answer

With regard to the first part, it sounds as though the motorists are doing exactly what the statutes require, moving as close to the rightmost curb or edge of he roadway as is practicable when preparing for a right turn.  See: Motor Vehicles in Bike Lanes

Please see the following posts about the statutes and safe cycling practices in these situations: Right Turns and Bicycles Passing on the Right.

The only difference is that in your situation, there is not a substandard-width lane.  Rather, there is a bike lane, which is a separate lane.  The fact that the law allows passing on the right does not mean it is safe.  Caution is advised when passing on the right.  That particularly applies when approaching intersections.  Although the motorist is required to insure the lane is clear before moving right to prepare for the turn, it may not happen.

As to the second part, whether cyclists must stop in these situations, the laws impart the same rights and same duties to cyclists as they do drivers of other vehicles with few exceptions.  The operative word here is DUTIES.  If you would stop when driving your motor vehicle, there is no difference in the requirement in the law for a cyclist.

s. 316.075 – Traffic Control Signal Devices

(c)  Steady red indication

1.  Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal shall stop …. and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown.

s. 316.123 – Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection

(2)(a)  ….every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop …. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of way

That said, please see: Idaho Rolling Stop Law

A common practice of cyclists (and motorists) is to slow and insure there is no conflict, yield as appropriate, and roll through the stop sign.  Some may consider that appropriate for stop signs, but it would be hard to make that case for red lights.

Although some might consider it a safe practice, Florida law does not permit that for cyclists or motorists.

Tagged with: ,
One comment on “Bike Lanes and Stop Signs
  1. Tim Butts says:

    It’s clear that if a cyclist is on the roadway they must operate as a vehicle and obey all traffic control devices. However, if a cyclist is traveling outside of the roadway, on a paved shoulder, is the cyclist required to come to a stop at a stop sign or red light when making a right turn?

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Bike Lanes and Stop Signs"
  1. […] I see a bicycle approaching from the South going North.  I assume that the bicyclist will follow Florida Law and will stop at the stop sign.  He does not.  He could easily have been crushed by my vehicle if […]

Leave a Reply to Tim Butts Cancel reply