Speed of a Cyclist on the Sidewalk

This is an update of a previous Q&A.  Sorry if comments were lost.

Question

Bruce asked: The law says a bike can be on the sidewalk as long as it is following pedestrian rules. Does a bike going 15 to 20 mph on a sidewalk qualify as following pedestrian rules or behaving like a pedestrian?

Answer

The operator of a bicycle on the sidewalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian under the same circumstances. The cyclist is still operating a vehicle, so must comply with applicable vehicle laws such as lights, helmets, headsets and DUI. There is no speed stated in the statute, but the following statutes apply to the speed of a bicyclist on the sidewalk:

s. 316.183 – Unlawful Speed

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

Note that the term highway includes the sidewalk or sidewalk area.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(53) Street or Highway

(a) The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic ….

The cyclist must also always yield to pedestrians.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

That does not mean yelling “Coming through” and speeding past a pedestrian. It means slowing and stopping if necessary to yield to the pedestrian.

Sidewalks are designed for pedestrians and the normal speed of a pedestrian and the speed of the cyclist would likely be considerations in an investigation of an incident such as a collision when entering an intersection or crossing a driveway.

One comment on “Speed of a Cyclist on the Sidewalk
  1. Frans Andrea says:

    At that speed you should not be on a side walk!

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