Paved Shoulder

Question

Audrey asked:  I commute about 11 miles (each way) to work and have been riding across a 6 mile long bridge for months now.  I’m a recent transplant from Chicago and have been a cyclist for over a decade.  A few weeks ago while riding at least 25 mph around a turn on the bridge (two lane bridge surrounded by the bay–55 mph speed limit), I saw a large sign at the last minute and crashed directly into it.  Broken collarbone, serious concussion.  It took up the entire shoulder and consisted of a wooden easel thing with two signs on both sides (weighted with sand bags, etc.).  The construction wasn’t for another 4-5 miles ahead (and wasn’t started yet).  Are they liable?

Answer

A bike lane is part of the roadway.  The paved shoulder is not part of the roadway if it is not marked as a bike lane.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(42) Roadway – That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.

Bicyclists may use the shoulder, but are not required to do so.  Questions about liability in a specific situation should be addressed to an attorney.  See this post and the imbedded link about the laws related to obstructions:

http://flbikelaw.org/2012/02/obstructions-in-bike-lane/

Posted in Ask Geo, Bike Lanes Tagged with: , , ,

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