Cross as a Roadway User or Pedestrian

Question

SpecialFX asked: What would be the most legal way of doing this?  Is there a “bad” yet still legal way?

Bicycling on a sidewalk and then as I am going across an intersection, I want to move into the bicycle lane on the other side of said intersection. (Still bicycling the same direction {i.e. Straight).

Answer

There is no “most legal way”.  It is either legal or not, depending on the applicable statutes.

You could lawfully cross using the crosswalk having the rights and duties of a pedestrian, then safely move from the sidewalk to the bike lane on the far side after crossing.

Another option would be to move into the bike lane before reaching the intersection and continuing across in the roadway.

In either case, you would need to follow any applicable laws regarding the roadway, such as stopping and yielding if required before crossing in the roadway, or obeying pedestrian signals for the crosswalk.

There is no statute that prohibits moving from the crosswalk to the roadway while crossing unless a pedestrian traffic signal indicates pedestrians may cross using the crosswalk.   Moving into the roadway changes your status to roadway user and may be a violation if there is a red light for that roadway.

As always, caution should be exercised when moving from the sidewalk or crosswalk to the roadway.

s. 316.130Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(1)A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

(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.

See the posts under Stop Signs and Red Lights, Crosswalks and Sidewalks for more information.

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