Parking in Bike Lanes
Claus asked: Our community is debating on having the county put in bike lanes. The property owners’ association board is stating that garbage trucks, lawn service trucks and other private service trucks can stop and remain in the bike lane while they are conducting their business and that bike riders will have to go around these trucks into the traffic lanes. Is this true? Also they are planning to make the bike lanes 5′ wide and I believe that the new regulation will be 7′ by this fall.
The applicable statute is this.
s. 316.1945 – Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Places
(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:
(b) Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers:
6. On an exclusive bicycle lane.
Clearly, the intent of the law is to give preferential use to bicyclists and not allow parking or standing for more than a very short time, and then only to embark or discharge passengers.
An obvious conflict exists due to the requirement to pick up household waste and the fact that bike lanes are along the right edge of the roadway. Accepting that would not seem to extend to the parking of commercial vehicles to perform work in a home and on the landscape, which could take hours to complete.
Unfortunately, there is no statutory definition of “exclusive bicycle lane”.
The Florida Department of Transportation
Plans Preparation Manual (For state roadways)
Bicycle Lane: A bicycle lane (bike lane) is a portion of a roadway (either with curb and gutter or a flush shoulder) which has been designated by striping and special pavement markings for the preferential use by bicyclists
FDOT Manual of Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways (Florida Greenbook) (For counties and municipalities)
Bicycle Lane (Bike Lane): A portion of a roadway (typically 4-5 ft) which has been designated by signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists.
The width of a bicycle lane is determined by the location and type of roadway. If this is a state roadway, the PPM above applies. See this post and Dwight’s comments for bike lane widths on state roadways:
The following from the Greenbook applies to county or municipalities.
B.1 Bicycle Lanes
Bicycle lanes delineate available roadway space for preferential use by bicyclists
Bicycle lanes also help increase the total capacity of highways carrying mixed bicycle and motor vehicle traffic. Bicycle lanes shall have a minimum functional width of 4 feet. (Does not include the gutter pan)
I recommend asking your local law enforcement agency, in writing, to address the proposal to allow parking in bike lanes by the Association.
Would it be possible to designate the lane for bikes and stopping/standing? I’ve seen lanes that are for bikes, buses, and right turns, for example.
Shared bus-bike lanes are not bicycle lanes per se; they are (or should be) designated with other types of signing and/or marking. This is also true of lanes restricted to the use of buses, bicycles, and right turns.
As the law Geo quoted (s. 316.1945) qualifies, a bus, taxi, or other vehicle that pulls into a bike lane “momentarily” to pick up or discharge passengers does not violate the no-standing rule for bike lanes. As Florida’s code is presently written, though, a garbage truck, delivery truck, or other private service (lawn service, etc.) vehicle not involved in passenger pick-up or discharge that was stood in a bike lane would be in violation of the law.
A lane reserved for the use of bicycles and service vehicles stood or parked while the associated services were performed would not be a bike lane–and would not be very practical.
I am not aware of any approved signage in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or FDOT design document that would allow that. It would also seem to contradict s. 316.1945 and the concept of “preferential use” by bicyclists.
Also, in that kind of community, state laws don’t apply in terms of traffic ordinances, etc because they are usually considered private property / private roads.
Why would the county put in bike lanes on a private road?
We don’t know much about the community, only that there is an association for the property owners. The properties could well be on public roadways, which seems to be the case since the county apparently has jurisdiction. Even if it were private property, traffic laws may be enforced. Please see this post:
Here’s an example of Frank using the information on this site to seek justice.
“UPDATE: It happened AGAIN today!
I was heading to my local starbucks…
Bus stops in front of the local Starbucks (in the area on the roadway for picking up passengers) and the bus driver gets out of the bus and walks into the Starbucks, leaving the BUS RUNNING, DOORS OPEN and Partially blocking the roadway (bike lane and road).
There was a line of at least 8 cars (waiting for the bus to pull out, which wasn’t going to happen any time soon).
I politely explained to the bus driver, that they were not currently picking up or dropping off passengers and that leaving the bus parked (partially in the bike lane, partially in the road) was illegal, and that it is dangerous for bicyclists like me that they sit there for any length of time. The bus driver was extremely adamant about not caring one way or the other…
There just happened to be a Sheriff’s car pulling into the Starbucks from the other side of the parking lot, and I showed him the statute (on my iPhone) and he gave the bus driver a ticket.
In order to get some justice for us bicyclists, sometimes you just have to get lucky and know the laws. From here on in, I’m sure the bus company will alert their drivers to the law.”
See the full post here:
Several years ago I had had a conversation with a lawn care worker. And he explained to me that it was “better” that they park their vehicles in the bike lane vs. in the customers driveway where they might drip oil, etc. While a part of me can appreciate that it does however put us cyclists in the position of having to abandon the bike lane.
Wouldn’t it be better to fix the leak or put a drip pan under the vehicle in place of hurting someone.