Bicycle Parking

Question

Maria asked: Where is it ok to park a bicycle with out committing an infraction.  My apartment building doesn’t allow you to bring the bicycles upstairs.  Is it ok to park it in the median on the road?

Answer

Keep in mind that bicycles are vehicles, and vehicle regulations apply unless they specifically apply only to motor vehicles.

This may sound facetious, but parking is permitted anywhere that it is not unlawful.  In other words, there must be a specific prohibition in the statutes, ordinances or regulations for a parking violation to occur.  That can be in state statutes or local ordinances.  The following is the state statute that addresses parking:

s. 316.1945Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Places

(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:

(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:

1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.

2. On a sidewalk.

3. Within an intersection.

4. On a crosswalk.

5. Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the Department of Transportation indicates a different length by signs or markings.

6. Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.

7. Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel.

8. On any railroad tracks.

9. On a bicycle path.

10. At any place where official traffic control devices prohibit stopping.

The statute above concerns all areas, including in municipality jurisdiction.  Another statute addresses areas outside municipalities.

s. 316.194 – Stopping, Standing or Parking Outside of Municipalities

(1) Upon any highway outside of a municipality, no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main-traveled part of the highway when it is practicable to stop, park, or so leave the vehicle off such part of the highway; but in every event an unobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles, and a clear view of the stopped vehicle shall be available from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the highway.

(2) This section shall not apply to the driver or owner of any vehicle which is disabled while on the paved or main-traveled portion of a highway in such manner and to such extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in such position, or to passenger-carrying buses temporarily parked while loading or discharging passengers, where highway conditions render such parking off the paved portion of the highway hazardous or impractical.

(3)(a) Whenever any police officer or traffic accident investigation officer finds a vehicle standing upon a highway in violation of any of the foregoing provisions of this section, the officer is authorized to move the vehicle, or require the driver or other persons in charge of the vehicle to move the vehicle, to a position off the paved or main-traveled part of the highway.

(b) Officers and traffic accident investigation officers may provide for the removal of any abandoned vehicle to the nearest garage or other place of safety, cost of such removal to be a lien against motor vehicle, when an abandoned vehicle is found unattended upon a bridge or causeway or in any tunnel, or on any public highway in the following instances:

1. Where such vehicle constitutes an obstruction of traffic;

2. Where such vehicle has been parked or stored on the public right-of-way for a period exceeding 48 hours, in other than designated parking areas, and is within 30 feet of the pavement edge; and

3. Where an operative vehicle has been parked or stored on the public right-of-way for a period exceeding 10 days, in other than designated parking areas, and is more than 30 feet from the pavement edge. However, the agency removing such vehicle shall be required to report same to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 24 hours of such removal.

Parking near mailboxes is prohibited under some circumstances.

s. 316.1965 – Parking Near Rural Mailbox During Certain Hours; Penalties

Whoever parks any vehicle within 30 feet of any rural mailbox upon any state highway in this state between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

If parking a bicycle is deemed to interfere with traffic control devices, it is unlawful.

s. 316.0775 – Interference with Official Traffic Control Devices or Railroad Signs or Signals

(1) A person may not, without lawful authority, attempt to or in fact alter, deface, injure, knock down, or remove any official traffic control device or any railroad sign or signal or any inscription, shield, or insignia thereon, or any other part thereof.

Another statute gives counties and municipalities the authority to regulate parking.  Each county or municipality may have different ordinances about parking.

s. 316.008Powers of Local Authorities

(1) The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(a) Regulating or prohibiting stopping, standing, or parking.

Those regulations are published in the county or municipality code of ordinances, which can be found in the following or in each county’s code of ordinances. Municipal ordinances can be found at this link:

http://www.municode.com/

One municipality addresses it with the following ordinance.

Sec. 19-33. – No-parking Areas

(a) Pursuant to authority granted by F.S. § 316.008, the Town Manager or his designee may provide for temporary or permanent no parking areas within the Town prohibiting parking within those areas which have been specified as no-parking. These areas shall be maintained on file in the Town Clerk’s office and the stopping, standing or parking of motor vehicles in these no-parking areas is prohibited and declared unlawful.

(b) The Town Manager or his designee shall cause appropriate signs in adequate number to be installed and maintained at such location to apprise the public of these restricted parking regulations.

One county code repeats almost verbatim the state parking prohibitions above in its county code, and adds other restrictions.

Each county and municipality requirements may differ, so it will be necessary to check your county and municipality codes to determine your local parking requirements.

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4 comments on “Bicycle Parking
  1. Eddie Suarez says:

    I hate building who have this rule that you cannot park your bike in your apartment. Tell your building it’s artwork and not a bicycle, then hang it on your wall. How can they argue? 🙂

  2. david says:

    Where do you live, in a dorm? I have never even heard of not being allowed to carry anything that I own into the apartment for which I am paying. It isn’t as if it’s a farm animal or something.

    Anybody, how common is this rule? Really, I never have ever had this problem, even when living in dorms in the past.

    So many staircases climbed with my bike on my shoulder, thought it was one of them thar fancy cyclocross thangs hyped by the only American (road) bicycling magazine. Oh, wait a minute now, it’s fondos or frodos or something else these days.

    Bye, dpetra

  3. Herman F. Ebeling, Jr. says:

    David,

    Actually, I have heard of this before. One of the apartments I was looking at made it clear to me that my bike was to be secured outside. Needless to say I did NOT move there.

  4. Debi says:

    Bicycles are vehicles, and subject to the laws pertaining to vehicles. It does not matter if they are people-powered or motor-powered. They are vehicles and you can receive a non-moving traffic ticket if you park any vehicle in a spot that is legally defined as prohibited for vehicles. Further, you lease should be carefully reviewed for private rules that allow, or disallow, anything in your apartment: the apartment is, after all, not your property.

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