Unsafe Bicycle Facilities

Question

Herman asked: Where I live we have several bike lanes that are routed to the right of not only right turn only lanes, but also to the right of combined thru/right turn lanes.  As well as being in the door zone.  Our local Bicycle Advocacy and pedestrian coordinator doesn’t see a problem with this.  Who else can one contact in regards to these unsafe conditions?

Answer

In the past, the guidelines permitted those installations.  FDOT has revised those guidelines.  Many such installations remain and will probably not be corrected until the roadway is repaved or otherwise changed and the new guidelines are used.  Door zone bike lanes are still included in the guidelines.

You should check with the state, county or municipality authority having jurisdiction over the particular roadway in question to determine the future plans.  In order to properly influence the planning process, we need to be fully aware of the requirements and be immersed in early planning.  That usually means being aware of the plans from their inception, possibly five or more years in advance.  FDOT publishes a long-term planning document for their projects.  You should determine those plans for your area and insure they meet current standards.  Your local Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee may be able to assist.

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2 comments on “Unsafe Bicycle Facilities
  1. Herman F. Ebeling, Jr. says:

    Geo,

    Thank you for the information, but sadly as I said my local Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Coordinator doesn’t see any problems with these bike lanes. Also sadly from past e-mails with her I believe that she reads F.S. 316.2065 subsection 5 to mean that unless it I’d unsafe to do so. That we’re always required to ride in a bike lane if one is present.

  2. Dwight says:

    Marking a bicycle lane to the right of a right-turn-only lane has been prohibited in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices since around 2004. In the current edition, this prohibition may be found in section 9C.04 (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009r1r2/part9/part9c.htm#section9C04 ). Standards in the Manual applys to all public roads in Florida. Existing locations should be corrected when roads are resurfaced. Jurisdictions can usually be contacted directly via email, phone call, or online comment forms; for county roads, for example, the office responsible for signing and marking county roads would be the one to contact with any recommendation or complaint. This office usually has a name like “Public Works”/”Transportation”/”Roads”/”Traffic Engineering” (department or division); check county website for details.

    Re door zone hazard: S. 316.3065(5) permits a cyclist going at less than the speed of “normal” traffic to leave a bike lane “When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including… parked …vehicle…”

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