Walking on a One-Way Street

Question

Nathan asked: Is there a legal way to walk with traffic on a one-way street without sidewalks? Or do you have to go to the next block?

Answer

The applicable statute is:

s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.

(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.

Posted in Ask Geo, Misc Tagged with: , ,
6 comments on “Walking on a One-Way Street
  1. Nathan says:

    I looked there before asking, but it’s ambiguous. You have to walk “on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel” but “facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction”.

    And what would you do here if it were legal to walk through? http://i56.tinypic.com/2mnkdxe.jpg

  2. Geo says:

    Obviously, it is not “practicable” to do as the statute indicates. To me, the use of that word is the recognition that the statutes’ actual wording can not apply in all possible situations, and we must use our best judgment.
    If it was necessary to reach a destination on the other side of this predicament, I would check to see if there is another walkway available. If not, I would read the rest of the message on the pavement that says something about walking and determine if it was applicable. As a last resort, if that was the only possible route, I would proceed with caution on the left side after checking to insure there is no overtaking traffic. On-coming traffic on the right would not be visible.
    If this is a public way, I would contact local officials and advise them of the circumstances.

  3. This regulation is completely opposite to what I have heard! I was always told to go with the flow of traffic and not face it. Is this law the same for bicycles? I have recently started on a journey to bicycle Florida, which you can read a little about at http://www.bicycleflorida.wordpress.com and on occasion I get tired and have to dismount and walk. This regulations specifically says it is for “highways” and I ride along the shoulder of the road, but on occasion there is not a shoulder or it becomes very narrow. Must I ride along with traffic while on my bike and then cross the road when I need to get off and walk in instances such as you are discussing? Seems very odd.

  4. Geo says:

    Bicyclists are operating vehicles and must follow the usual traffic laws for vehicles, which require riding on the right with the flow of traffic. There are numerous quotes of that statute in other posts on this site. Check the tag cloud for “lane position”. As shown above, pedestrians must walk on the left facing traffic if they are not on the sidewalk.

    • Nathan (NE2) says:

      It’s my understanding that cycling against traffic on the shoulder is legal. Not necessarily a good idea, but…

  5. Geo says:

    Correct. There are many hazards when cycling against the flow of traffic. Probably one of the most dangerous is that motorists do not expect to see someone coming toward them from the right at intersections, whether on the roadway, shoulder or sidewalk, and many do not even look before pulling out.

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