Bike Lane Direction


Robin asked:  What is the best way to deal with salmons?  Those who are using the bike lane (on the road) riding in the opposite direction?  I’m going a good 20 mph with heavy traffic on my left and a curb on my right and nowhere to go and I’ve got kids and adults using the bike lane in the wrong direction.  What is the law concerning this practice?


Bicycle lanes are part of the roadway, and all traffic laws apply.  Bicycles are vehicles and with few exceptions, cyclists have all the rights and duties of other drivers.  They must comply with traffic laws.

For example, a cyclist in a bike lane cannot run a red light, as I once observed and challenged, and legally justify it as he did by claiming he was riding a bicycle and was in the bike lane.

The pavement markings designating a bicycle lane are traffic control devices.  They have arrows designating the required direction of travel.  Cyclists riding in bike lanes against the indicated direction of travel are violating a number of statutes.

If there is no bike lane, a cyclist in the roadway also must ride in the proper direction.

s. 316.074 – Obedience to and Required Traffic Control Devices

(1) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device.

s. 316.081 – Driving on Right Side of Roadway; Exceptions

(1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway.

s. 316.089 – Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic

Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall apply:

(3) Official traffic control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway; and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.

This site is intended to inform about the statutes related to bicycling and we cannot give advice about handling each situation.   We do suggest that, armed with this information, you contact your local police departments and bicycle advocacy groups to generate public awareness campaigns and education and enforcement programs to encourage compliance with all the laws.

4 Comments on “Bike Lane Direction

  1. While I am not a cyclist I invariably run or walk towards the oncoming traffic. I feel safer seeing what is coming at me than what I do having it sneak up behind me. Obviously the Road Traffic Ordinance does not apply to pedestrians here (South Africa) but I guess that I would be inclined to ride a bicycle like a “salmon” (love that name).
    I wonder how much the fine would be in FL if the law was enforced?

  2. The problem stems from when people are riding/running against traffic flow.
    I can’t tell you how many times in a day, I have to deal with people riding towards me in the bike lane, while traffic is flowing?
    Never do they stop and get on the sidewalk.. So I have to either stop or galette lane, when I really shouldn’t have to.
    Too many people think only about themselves and don’t think to worry about others safety as well.
    Just my .02

  3. I wondered what “galette” was. Sounds French.
    I spend a lot of time on a motorcycle and the general attitude in this country seems to be that might is right. Trucks are king and bicycles/pedestrians are bottom of the pecking order.
    A motorcycle at least has the advantage of superior acceleration, but it is still bl00dy dangerous out there.

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