Joe asked: I live in an over-55 mobile home park community, and was recently elected to the homeowners association board of directors. A resident who uses a “hoveround” powered chair has expressed concern that when she rides her chair to the clubhouse she has to do so on the side of the road — and motorists sometimes come close to hitting her. What is the park owner’s duty with respect to sidewalks, bike lanes and/or powered chair paths? Weren’t there new laws passed in Florida on this topic (ie. requiring bike lanes)?
The statutes that were recently changed about bicycles and motorized wheelchairs are:
s. 316.1995 – Driving upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path
(1) …. a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.
(3) This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except ….
The statute that requires inclusion of bicycle facilities in roadway projects applies to public roadways. It appears that your community has private roadways, and the requirements would not apply.
s. 335.065 – Bicycle and Pedestrian Ways Along State Roads and Transportation Facilities
(1)(a) Bicycle and pedestrian ways shall be given full consideration in the planning and development of transportation facilities, including the incorporation of such ways into state, regional, and local transportation plans and programs. Bicycle and pedestrian ways shall be established in conjunction with the construction, reconstruction, or other change of any state transportation facility….
Here is a link to other information about private roadways:
Other requirements for safety in a community such as yours may exist in other statutes, but will not be addressed here since the intent of this site is to discuss and comment about the statutes related to bicycling. If you are concerned about liability, you should obtain the advice of legal counsel.