Right Turn Lane – Yield to Bikes

Question

Joe asked: After repaving, the FDOT is intent on removing about 30% of the existing “RIGHT TURN YIELD TO BICYCLES”, signs that have been protecting bicyclists on Long Boat Key for many years.  Some non-bicyclists say there are too many signs on our Island. The bicycling community living here, and visitors and vacationers alike who enjoy the wonderful biking are trying to change the minds of both FDOT and the Town and leave the signs alone, not cut them. Are there laws regarding bicycle safety signage? It may help to save our signs.

Answer

There is a law requiring the installation of bicycle facilities under some conditions.

http://flbikelaw.org/2009/10/laws-requiring-bike-lanes/ – more-162

However, there is no Florida statute requiring the use of the “Begin Right Turn Lane – Yield To Bikes” signs.  The national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is adopted by the Florida Department of Transportation, makes these signs optional.

Section 9B.05 BEGIN RIGHT TURN LANE YIELD TO BIKES Sign (R4-4)

Where motor vehicles entering an exclusive right-turn lane must weave across bicycle traffic in bicycle lanes, the BEGIN RIGHT TURN LANE YIELD TO BIKES sign may be used to inform both the motorist and the bicyclist of this weaving maneuver.

There is a discussion of traffic control devices at:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/01/walk-bicycle-across-bridge/

The installation or removal of signs is not always done with safety as a major consideration.  There is a debate among bicycling professionals about the efficacy of signage, and some even state a preference for no bicycle specific signage or marking since that tends to define cyclists as different from other roadway users.  Although it would seem to be intuitive, I am not aware of any studies that demonstrate that these signs actually improve bicyclists’ safety.  Some might say they are a visible indication that the community cares about cycling, as with other bike facilities.

As you are experiencing, signs and other facilities are sometimes subject to political and other pressures.  One way to counteract that pressure is to use it in your favor by gathering 1000 of your bicycling friends and letting public officials know that you are concerned and that you are a significant voting block.

You have taken the first step by learning what is applicable in this situation.  Cyclists must act to insure they retain their rights in this motor vehicle oriented society.

Posted in Ask Geo, Making Turns Tagged with:

Leave a Reply