Bicyclists on Sidewalk or Bike Lane Riding Against Traffic
Emilie asked: On Lake Mary Blvd., there are two car traffic lanes going west. There is a bicycle lane also. Can bicycles ride in the bicycle lane in the OPPOSITE direction on a one-way street, AGAINST THE TRAFFIC?
A bicycle actually ran into the passenger side of my car as I attempted to make a right turn (slowly), as I was attempting to turn right (west) onto a one way street. He may have been in the bicycle lane (going east, opposite of oncoming traffic) or he may have been on the sidewalk, going east, and attempted to go into the street to go around me. In any event, he and the bike skidded over my hood causing dents etc., but he seemed OK.
What is the law for bikers in the bike lane on a one-way street? Also, what is the law for bikers on the sidewalk on a one way street with a bike lane (in both cases, the biker would be traveling opposite the oncoming traffic.
Bicycles are vehicles and while in the roadway their operators have the rights and duties of other drivers unless specified in the statutes. If the bicyclist was in the roadway and riding against traffic, the cyclist is riding unlawfully. A marked bike lane is part of the roadway.
A paved shoulder that is not marked as a bike lane is not part of the roadway and the cyclist can legally ride in either direction.
Cyclists can use the sidewalk unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary, even if bike lanes are present on the roadway. A cyclist on the sidewalk has the rights and duties of a pedestrian and can legally ride in either direction.
If the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk in either direction, a motorist is required to yield to a bicyclist (with the rights and duties of a pedestrian) before crossing the sidewalk or crosswalk unless a traffic control signal (traffic light) indicates otherwise. See this post and the others under “Sidewalks and Crosswalks”: