Crossing a Median

Question

E. asked: If a bicyclist gets off his or her bike while crossing a four lane highway (U.S 1) to accompany a pedestrian, or just to cross the cement island, is it legal and less nerve-wreaking on car drivers? What if the “driver” stays on his bike and WITHIN the painted mark at the edge of the island? I’m thinking specifically of U.S 1 and Shores Blvd, the entrance to Publix and the banks of that region.

Answer

The area has two travel lanes in each direction separated by a raised paved median with protected lanes for northbound and southbound traffic to make only left turns. There is no traffic signal or cross walk, so crossing at that point requires use of the raised paved median.

There is a traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk about 100 yards north of this point at Wildwood, but no signal and crosswalk south of this area for a mile or more.

If there were a crosswalk immediately to the south, you would be required to use either that one or the one at Wildwood.

s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(11) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

There is no prohibition to walking across the roadway and median at this point, but since there is no marked or unmarked crosswalk you must yield to vehicles in the roadway which includes the turn lanes.

(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.

You must also enter the roadway safely.

(8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

In any event, motorists are cautioned to use due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians.

(15) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.

There would seem to be nothing to prevent you as a pedestrian from stopping in the median to yield, as you must, to roadway traffic.

Although you may cross as a pedestrian by walking your bicycle, it would not be lawful to ride your bicycle (a vehicle) across the median.

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.

If you ride your bicycle to cross this area, you must use the roadway and turn lanes in the proper direction as other drivers of vehicles and follow all other applicable regulations.

See the other posts under the tags “sidewalks”, “crosswalks” and “lane position” in the tag cloud for more information.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: , , ,
4 comments on “Crossing a Median
  1. NE2 (Nathan) says:

    Correction: “If there were a *signalized intersection with a* crosswalk immediately to the south, you would be required to use either that one or the one at Wildwood.”

  2. Geo says:

    Right. The actual wording of the statute is “Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.”

  3. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) strongly encourages the use of raised medians (or refuge areas) in curbed sections of multi-lane roadways in urban and suburban areas, particularly in areas where there are mixtures of a significant number of pedestrians, high volumes of traffic (more than 12,000 vehicles per day) and intermediate or high travel speeds.

  4. Marked crosswalks are usually placed at traffic intersections or crossroads, but are occasionally used at mid-block locations where pedestrian generators are present such as at transit stops, schools, retail, or housing destinations. In the United States, these so-called “mid-block” crossings may include additional regulatory signage such as “PED XING” (for “pedestrian crossing”), flashing yellow beacons, stop or yield signs, or by actuated or automatic signals . Some more innovative crossing treatments include in-pavement flashers, yellow flashing warning lights installed in the roadway, or HAWK beacon , an overhead signal with two pair of red beacons above an amber beacon, when a pedestrian is detected or actuates the device it begins a sequence of amber flashing followed by a solid red [when vehicles may not cross], followed by a flashing red phase that allows motorists to proceed, only if the pedestrian[s] are clear of the travel way. In the United States, crossing laws vary from state to state and sometimes at the local level, most laws require vehicles to either yield or even come to a complete stop right-of-way for a pedestrian or bicyclist who has entered, or is intending to enter the crosswalk.

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