Bike Lanes Required on County Roads?
Carl asked: The county I live in is planning to build a middle school in a residential community. Currently there are no bike lanes on the road approaching the site and the road is not wide enough to simply re-stripe. Under current law does the county need install bike lanes when considering locating the school here?
If the roadway were a state road, bicycle facilities would be required if there was to be a change in the roadway. See this post for some of the history of that topic.
Since it appears the roadway in question is a county road, that decision does not apply. There was an attempt to test the statute on a city road in Palm Beach County, but as far as I know, it was not successful.
This is an excerpt from the Florida Department of Transportation Greenbook, which is guidance for county and municipality roadway projects.
A – INTRODUCTION
Bicyclists should be considered in all phases of transportation planning, design, construction and capacity improvement projects, and transit projects. All projects, particularly intersection modifications, should be designed to accommodate bicyclists. Bicycle-safe design practices, as described in this Manual, should be followed during initial roadway design to avoid costly subsequent improvements.
B – ON-STREET FACILITIES
Provisions for bicycle traffic should be incorporated in the original highway design. New highways, except limited access highways, should be designed and constructed under the assumption they will be used by bicyclists. Roadway conditions should be favorable for bicycling. This requires special care in preparing the roadway surface to accommodate 11⁄4 inch tires. Attention needs to be given to include safe drainage grates and railroad crossings, smooth pavements, and signals responsive to bicycles. In addition, the desirability of adding facilities, such as bicycle lanes and shoulder improvements, should be included to the fullest extent feasible. Specifically, all rural arterial and collector sections within one mile of an urbanized area should be given consideration for the construction of 4 to 5 foot paved shoulders, and all urban arterial and collector sections should be given consideration for either undesignated 4 foot lanes or marked bike lanes.
Roadway planners are encouraged to include bicycle facilities in their projects. However, notice the use of the word “should” which differs from the word “shall” in s. 335.065, the statute tested at the Court of Appeal. Also note that the guidance in Sub-para. B above is for new construction and not repaving and other similar projects.
I recommend working with the school, local roadway authorities and advocacy groups to determine the best solution to the school project.