Moises asked: Hello, we are planning on holding a slow ride around town. This will not be a race by any means, and all traffic laws will be obeyed as they should always be. Now we are told that we need to get the police involved and have street closures because there are no bike lanes in the area. That does not sound right or legal considering bicycles are vehicles and a mode of transportation. Do we really need road closures for these types of events?
There is no state law that requires such actions for bicycle events. In fact, there are numerous group rides throughout the state on a weekly basis that are conducted without any prior approval. The fact that there are no bike lanes doesn’t have anything to do with it. People ride bicycles on roads without bike lanes all the time. With few exceptions, they have the same rights and duties as other drivers.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle 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 …
There is statutory authority for local ordinances regulating bicycles.
s. 316.008 – Powers of Local Authorities
(1) 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.
Local regulations cannot conflict with state law, in this case the rights of bicyclists being the same as other drivers. The most basic of those rights is the use of the roadway. It is not likely that such authority extends to free use of the roadways as proposed above.
Any such restrictions on free travel must be based in regulations or ordinances and not just because someone says so, even if it is the police or other authority. I recommend asking the persons making those statements to provide you with the legal authority upon which they are based. If they do so, please advise us of the documentation.