Local Authority


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. 316.2065Bicycle 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 …

There is statutory authority for local ordinances regulating bicycles.

s. 316.008Powers 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.

2 Comments on “Local Authority

  1. I think he’s wanting to use up the entire roadway with the number of bicycles he’s eluding to.
    As long as they stay single file OR as long as they double up and don’t impede traffic, they should be fine.
    Can we get a more specific idea of what their “mass ride” will look like in terms of number of participants, etc.

  2. Same thing happened n Fort Lauderdale. Holliday Park where Critical Mass riders gather at the start of their ride. The city had 30 police officers and drug dogs present. When the ride started the motorcycle police rode all around the riders trying to herd them into a small area. One cyclist was injured a police officer tried to push him into the riders and knocked him off his bike. He was not part of the ride he was on his way home a few blocks away. It’s Florida where they don’t like bikes in the roadway.

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