Nathan asked: Are you required to use a shoulder that is marked as a bike lane?
This is obviously a shoulder, yet a sign says BIKE LANE BEGINS. (Incidentally, there’s a share the road sign just before this.) Does calling a shoulder a lane make it legally a lane?
Under some circumstances, cyclists are required to use “lanes marked for bicycle use”. There are many exceptions. See this post:
Note that the statute does not say “bicycle lane”, for which there is no statutory definition.
A “bicycle lane” is defined in Florida Department of Transportation documents as:
Bicycle Lane: A bicycle lane (bike lane) is a portion of a roadway (either with curb and gutter or a flush shoulder) which has been designated by striping, special pavement markings, and signing for the preferential use by bicyclists.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices specifies the requirements for a proper “bicycle lane.”
Section 9C.04 Markings For Bicycle Lanes
Pavement markings designate that portion of the roadway for preferential use by bicyclists. Markings inform all road users of the restricted nature of the bicycle lane.
Roadway markings are mandatory, but “Bicycle Lane” signs are optional.
If the word, symbol, and/or arrow pavement markings shown in Figure 9C-3 are used, Bike Lane signs (see Section 9B.04) may also be used.
The paved shoulders you describe must have periodic pavement markings in addition to signs to be “a lane marked for bicycles” described in the statute above.