Bicycles on Julia Tuttle Causeway


Dmitriy asked: Are you allowed to ride your bike to get onto the Miami island (East Miami) where south beach is via Julia Tuttle causeway and other causeways like it that connect the main land of Florida to islands?


Bicycles are vehicles and their operators have the same rights and duties as other drivers, except as noted in the statutes or local ordinances.

s. 316.2065Bicycle Regulations

(1)Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

The most basic of those rights is the use of the roadway.

Bicyclists are prohibited from using limited access highways, where signs should be posted accordingly.

The Julia Tuttle Causeway and the other causeways to Miami Beach are not limited access highways.   From Google Maps, there are visible bike lane markings on the paved shoulders.

5 Comments on “Bicycles on Julia Tuttle Causeway

  1. The Tuttle Causeway is part of Interstate 195, so this would normally apply:

    Except as provided herein, no person shall operate upon a limited access facility any bicycle, motor-driven cycle, animal-drawn vehicle, or any other vehicle which by its design or condition is incompatible with the safe and expedient movement of traffic.

    But given the bike lane markings on the shoulders, it appears to be part of the pilot program (as is the Lehman Causeway in Aventura; thus every causeway in Miami-Dade is open to bikes).

    Since the Tuttle is an Interstate, FDOT can require eastbound cyclists to exit at Alton Road rather than stay on the main lanes through the interchange, but I can’t determine if they do. It appears that westbound cyclists must exit at Biscayne Boulevard to avoid being trapped on I-95 or the Airport Expressway.

    The MacArthur Causeway is a strange one. It’s explicitly not part of Interstate 395, but the part across Watson Island is arguably limited access. However, given the marked bike lanes to the east, the intent is clear to allow bikes (although FDOT probably could require them to use the sidewalk west of Watson Island).

  2. The 2-year pilot program FDOT is required to conduct to evaluate bicycle use on sections of limited-access highway is described in s. 316.091 ( ). “Limited access” is the most stringent category of access management; it means no driveway connections are permitted. A limited-access highway section isn’t necessarily part of the Interstate system (e.g., Florida’s Turnpike and several “expressways” are designated limited-access).

    The amendment of s 316.091 set forth conditions for the pilot program but left the choice of four specific locations to FDOT. The selected locations can be found in a Web search, but a cyclist riding on the road network obviously can’t be expected to conduct online research to determine whether a specific ramp or section they encounter is open to cyclists. If bicycles are prohibited at an entrance ramp, or downstream from (beyond) an exit ramp, there should be a bicycle prohibition sign (e.g., NO BICYCLES) or a BICYCLES MUST EXIT sign.

    • However, Interstate implies limited access (with rare exceptions, none of which exist in Florida). So the Tuttle Causeway would be closed to bikes were it not for the pilot program. (I could see the legal argument that an Interstate shield should be taken to mean no bikes allowed even if there’s no specific sign.)

      PS: where’s the fourth bridge? I know of the Pineda, Lehman, and Tuttle Causeways.

  3. Yes, all portions of the Interstate system are limited-access, so if a cyclist knew that and already knew or had observed that some section of highway was Interstate highway (e.g., by observing an Interstate route shield on a directional sign at an entrance ramp), and was familiar with Florida’s rule prohibiting bicycle use on limited-access highways (not all states have such a rule), they could reasonably conclude it was closed to bicycle use. However, the “no bicycles” condition is ordinarily signed at freeway entrance ramps; at more complex or unusual interchanges, it’s not always easy to tell whether some diverging roadway might be a frontage road or lead to surface streets, or is strictly an Interstate entrance ramp.

    Sorry, my error about four bridges in the pilot program. There are just the three.

    • “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” probably applies here, at least in cases where it is obvious that the ramp leads only to a limited access highway. is a case where it’s definitely not obvious that bikes must exit, and a cyclist ticketed for riding on what is signed here as SR 112 (but is really also I-195) would IMO have a good defense. This is also not handled well on the Lehman Causeway, where westbound cyclists are not told to exit at Country Club Drives, but the westbound entrance ramp just beyond has a standard no bikes sign.

      Incidentally, here’s the entrance to the Tuttle:
      It’s a reasonable assumption that before the pilot program started, the sign to the right also prohibited bikes.

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