Authorized Vehicles Only
Doreen asked: I live in Nokomis, FL and want to ride my bike to Honore Ave. where Honore meets Hwy 681. Honore is the best road to take through south Sarasota. (The Legacy Trail is often crowded with pedestrians and slow cyclists, making that ride unpleasant for faster cyclists.) The only other road to take from Nokomis to the south part of Sarasota is U.S. 41, which is not as safe for cyclists as Honore. Is it legal for a person on a bicycle to take Hwy 681 east to the point where Honore intersects Hwy 681 west and cross the median as a pedestrian (walking the bike) at the paved turn-around that says “authorized vehicles only” and cautiously cross over to the right turn lane to take Honore? There are no signs at the entrance of 681 or anywhere else on the highway prohibiting pedestrians or bicyclists.
Without being intimately familiar with the roadways mentioned, this is general guidance in accordance with the applicable laws.
As you seem to be aware, a bicyclist is operating a vehicle. Unless any of these roadways are limited access highways with the attendant signage, there is no reason a cyclist can’t use them since you have the rights and duties of the driver of any other vehicle on a roadway.
s. 316.091 – Limited Access Facilities; Interstate Highways; Use Restricted(2) Except as provided herein, no person shall operate upon a limited access facility any bicycle
Note: There are provisions in this statute initiated by the FBA to conduct a pilot program to allow bicycles on certain limited access highway. Signs will be posted accordingly.
Regarding walking a bicycle across an “authorized vehicles only” area, the statute addressing obedience to traffic control devices (In this case, signs) applies to drivers of vehicles.
s. 316.074 – Obedience to and Required Traffic Control Devices
(1) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto
Since a person walking a bicycle is a pedestrian and not a driver, it would seem there is no prohibition to crossing at that point or crossing the median at another location.
Driving any vehicle (bicycle) across the median is not allowed.
s. 316.090 – Driving 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.