Bicycles in the Median

Question

Nathan asked: Is this movement legal, if one follows all pedestrian laws while crossing the road?

http://i48.tinypic.com/vih2ds.jpg

Would the answer change if there were no median break at all (and thus one would ride across the grass where a pedestrian might walk)?

Answer

Bicyclists have the rights and duties of a pedestrian only when on the sidewalk or crosswalk.  A median is not a sidewalk or crosswalk.

The lane is marked for traffic in a specific direction.  Driving a vehicle (bicycle) in the opposite direction in that lane is unlawful.

s. 316.089 – Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic

Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic….

(3) Official traffic control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway; and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of such device.

See also:

http://flbikelaw.org/2009/07/bicycles-in-left-or-right-turn-lanes/

Driving a vehicle (bicycle) on the median is prohibited.

s. 316.090Driving on Divided Highways

(2) No vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any such dividing space, barrier, or section, except through an opening in such physical barrier or dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection as established, unless specifically authorized by public authority.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: ,
15 comments on “Bicycles in the Median
  1. Nathan (NE2) says:

    I don’t buy it. Wouldn’t there be an unmarked crosswalk here (well, if there is one at a T intersection in the first place, which apparently depends on the judge – to avoid that issue, you can choose a four-way intersection with only left-turn median breaks)?

  2. Nathan (NE2) says:

    To avoid any ambiguity, let’s replace the example with this one: http://i45.tinypic.com/zx465y.jpg
    The same turn is being made. Is there not an unmarked crosswalk where I drew the line?

  3. Geo says:

    I believe you are referring to this sub-paragraph when you refer to unmarked crosswalks.

    s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations.
    (10) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

    Note that the definition refers to an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

    s. 316.003 – Definitions
    (6) Crosswalk
    (a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.

    (17) Intersection
    (a) The area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curblines; or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles; or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict.

    By definition, a crosswalk is part of the roadway. There is no roadway across the median. Hence, there is no unmarked crosswalk.

    • Nathan (NE2) says:

      “Where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of each roadway of such divided highway by an intersecting highway shall be regarded as a separate intersection.”

      This clause is pointless unless the default is that this is one intersection.

      • Dwight says:

        At the location in your example, though, there is no crossing of the highway by an intersecting highway, so this is a moot point. A driver approaching the highway from either side road has no legal option but to turn right.

  4. Dwight says:

    Can you explain where you see two crossings?

  5. Geo says:

    There is no roadway that crosses the highway in question. You cannot drive from one side to the other. No roadway, no crosswalk.

  6. Nathan (NE2) says:

    If I get off the bike and push, am I then a pedestrian?

    What if I straddle it with both feet on the ground?

  7. Geo says:

    s. 316.003 – Definitions
    (28) Pedestrian – Any person afoot.

    • Nathan (NE2) says:

      Presumably getting off the bike and pushing counts. What about straddling it but not on the seat, with both feet on the ground?

      • Dwight says:

        Anyone who manually pushes a car, motorcycle, bicycle, wagon or other vehicle or article on a roadway right-of-way by pushing against the roadway or ground surface (with their feet) is usually classified as a pedestrian.

  8. Geo says:

    Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary
    Afoot – 1. On foot; walking

  9. Dwight says:

    There’s a median opening about 250 ft west, at Sandpoint Boulevard. A sign prohibits a WB driver from making a U-turn. Oil track indicates a heavy left-turn movement from Sandpoint Blvd onto EB Sand Lake Road. U-turns may have been prohibited for WB Sand Lake Rd drivers to prevent conflicts with Sandpoint Blvd drivers making this movement.

    Appears the simplest legal way to ride from SB Via Dellagio Way onto EB Sand Lake Road would be to ride west to NW corner of the Sand Lake Road-Sandpoint Blvd junction, then make a (legal) left turn through the median opening.

  10. Geo says:

    This site is not intended for folks to carry on private discussions and make insulting remarks. The latest series of comments has been removed. Please restrict your questions and comments to a civil discussion off the laws.

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