More About Driveways

Question

Jo asked: We have a bike lane in front of our condo home but a lot of people ride on the sidewalk instead. My question is, since we have a limited view of the sidewalk as we are exiting our garage, who would be at fault if, say a bicyclist is traveling at a rate of speed that would be difficult for them to stop in time to avoid a collision with your vehicle. I always stop & look but I notice that a lot of the bicyclists fly by without any concern.

Answer

The answer to your question is included in this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/08/crosswalks-driveways-and-bicycles/

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: , ,
5 comments on “More About Driveways
  1. Dwight Kingsbury says:

    Paradoxically, there is no requirement to design sidewalks for (typical) bicycle speeds, yet no provision in the traffic code establishes or authorizes a limit on the speed a cyclist may ride on a sidewalk, even where limiting speed might be advisable because of limited sight distance at driveways, or for other reasons.

    • Nathan (NE2) says:

      Local governments can ban bikes from sidewalks, so presumably they can set speed limits.

      (From Geo 10-9: Sorry, but this was sent to spam and just discovered.)

    • Dwight Kingsbury says:

      After reviewing s. 316.008 (“Power of local authorities”), I’ve changed my mind about this; I think a bicycle speed limit could be authorized for a sidewalk. This section states:

      “The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from…(h) Regulating the operation of bicycles”.

      Nothing says this power to regulate operation does not apply on sidewalks (sidewalk is legally part of a “street” or “highway”).

      Some people argue that a cyclist who rides on a sidewalk “becomes” a pedestrian, or has the “legal status” of a pedestrian, or has no duties other than those of a pedestrian–but nothing in s. 316.2065(9) or elsewhere uses such wording. In fact, a sidewalk cyclist has specific duties that pedestrians do not, such as the duty to yield to a pedestrian (s. 316.2065(10)), the duty to give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian (ibid.), and the duty to use lights when riding after sunset (s. 316.2065(7), which mentions no exception for a bicycle ridden on a sidewalk).

      In short, “a person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk” is still a person propelling a bicycle on a sidewalk and not a pedestrian, even though they must observe all the duties of a pedestrian per s. 3162065(9). Consequently, I believe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk would still be subject to regulation by local authorities, per s. 316.008.

  2. Geo says:

    Dwight,

    I agree entirely with your analysis. In some of my posts I have made the point that a person operating a bicycle, a vehicle, on a sidewalk is not a pedestrian, but has the rights and duties of a pedestrian.

    I am not aware of examples of bicycle speed limits on sidewalks, but there are numerous instances in which s. 316.008 (h) is used to prohibit bicycles from sidewalks altogether. St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, for example.

  3. Geo says:

    ” …. local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction ….”

    The sidewalks used for bicycling that can be regulated by local authorities under s. 316.008 (h) are only those under their jurisdiction. Local authorities cannot regulate bicycles on sidewalks on state highways that run through their jurisdictions. Those sidewalks remain under the jurisdiction of the state and state statutes apply.

    An example is the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, which is State Road A1A. Signs are posted that allow bicyclists on the sidewalk, yielding to pedestrians. The roadway is located in the City of St. Augustine, which prohibits cyclists from using sidewalks by local ordinance.

    My understanding is that the state and local authorities discussed and agreed on that before posting the signs.

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