Jason asked: I ride my bike on the sidewalk on S.R. 16 from 95 to Route 1 in St. Augustine because I’m safer. Its a 2 lane one direction road with a bike path and the speed limit is 55 while many vehicles far exceed that limit. I feel unsafe using the bike lane while vehicles are passing me on my left within 2 feet of my body at 55 mph or faster. I understand in downtown St. Augustine the local ordinance and agree with no bicycles on the sidewalk because I can maintain and keep up with traffic in the roadway when the speed limit is 25 mph or less. Am I allowed to use sidewalks outside of downtown areas when its safer for me to do so because there’s a high probability that I would be fatally hit by a vehicle passing within feet of my body doing or exceeding 55 mph? I should also note in the event I approach a pedestrian I always stop to give them the right away.
Unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary, bicyclists may use the sidewalk.
As you point out, there is a local ordinance in the City of St. Augustine that prohibits the use of sidewalks by bicyclists.
St. Augustine Fl Code of Ordinances
ARTICLE III. – BICYCLES
- Sec. 24-106. – Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.
- Every person riding a bicycle shall obey the instructions of all traffic control devices and shall be subject to all of the duties of the driver of a vehicle as imposed by this chapter, except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature have no application.
(Code 1964, § 29-190)
- Sec. 24-107. – Riding on sidewalks prohibited.
- No person shall ride or use any bicycle upon any sidewalk upon any of the streets or lanes within the corporate limits of the city.
(Code 1964, § 29-185)
- Sec. 24-108. – Riding in parks or on seawall prohibited.
Riding or using any bicycle by any person within, upon or through any of the public parks of this city, or upon the seawall of the city, is hereby prohibited.
(Code 1964, § 29-187)
That is not the case for the county and, as far as I know, other municipalities in St. Johns County.
You use the term “bike path” above, which is not correct. A bike path is separated from the roadway.
A paved shoulder may be used by bicyclists but it is not a requirement.
A bike lane is part of the roadway that is marked with bike lane pavement markings, and in certain circumstances, a bicyclist must use the bike lane when in the roadway.
The presence of a bike lane does not affect the use of a sidewalk.
Please be aware that there are hazards to using sidewalks and paved shoulders, particularly when riding against the flow of other vehicle traffic at intersections.