Obstructions in Bike Lane

Question

Herman asked: Is it legal for homeowners/tenants to place their garbage cans in the bike lane for pickup?  Also what duty do homeowners/tenants have in regards to keeping plant matter and other debris out of the bike lane in front of their homes?

Answer

It is unlawful to obstruct a bike lane.  Please see the posts at this link.

http://flbikelaw.org/tag/obstructions/

The growth and removal of grass and other plant material in the right of way and overgrowth into the bike lane are the responsibility of the government entity having jurisdiction over that right of way, either municipality, county or state.  You should contact the appropriate authority, preferably through an organized bicycle group or club.  Most counties have Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committees that represent many government departments and can help in devising a coordinated maintenance program to prevent overgrowth.

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5 comments on “Obstructions in Bike Lane
  1. Herman F. Ebeling Jr. says:

    Okay, and what if it is the city/county/state that is blocking the bike lane? Several times in the recent past there have been those electronic information signs setup so that they block some or all of the bike lane.

    Most noticeably in the Downtown St. Petersburg area. Usually not too far from the St. Petersburg campus of USF.

    Is the government allowed to block the bike lane/road/sidewalk?

  2. Geo says:

    No, if it is an information sign. If the lane is blocked for construction or due to a dangerous situation, that is different. A bike lane is part of the roadway. I doubt they could place the sign in the middle of the travel lane unless it is warning of a immediate problem at that location. I recommend contacting the agency and advising them that you believe they are probably violating the law and creating a hazard that might result in potential liability in the event of an accident.

    • Herman F. Ebeling Jr. says:

      It’s usually advising people of where they can park for this or that event. Or directing people to take a detour to get to a common destination in the downtown area. Sadly, there isn’t really anything that identifies who for want of a better word “deployed” the sign.

      In that case who should one contact?

  3. Geo says:

    Since it is a potential violation of the laws, I would start with the police department or Sheriff’s Office.

    • Herman F. Ebeling Jr. says:

      Thank you, I’ll do that. Right now several of the roads in the Downtown area are all “messed up” thanks to the recent Grand Prix race.

      The other “fun” aspect of having obstructions in the bike lane is that sadly there are those who seem to think that regardless of what might be in our way that we’re required to always stay in the bike lane. And they don’t for whatever reason understand that that when conditions are unsafe that we are not required to stay in the bike lane.

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