Bicyclists on the Sidewalk or Crosswalk
Caroline asked: When a cyclist is on the sidewalk crossing a road that has a light, does the cyclist have to stop if a pedestrian doesn’t have the “walking man.” I live in Gainesville and have seen so many cyclists cross when they had the “red hand” or they will go from the road to the crosswalk even if the pedestrians don’t have the right to cross the road. I have had two fellow workers get hit by cars because they thought the car was going to yield for them and the car didn’t because the car had the right of way.
Do cyclists have to take a driving test like car drivers do? If not, they should because I have seen some idiot moves by cyclists since I moved to Gainesville.
Last question first.
No, a license is not required to ride a bicycle on the roads, sidewalks, or anywhere else. However, a driver’s license doesn’t keep people from being ‘idiots”, as evidenced by the actions of some drivers.
Unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary, a bicyclist on the sidewalk has the same rights a duties as a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
(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.
Pedestrians and bicyclists on the sidewalk or crosswalk must obey traffic control devices.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
(1) A pedestrian (bicyclist on a sidewalk or crosswalk) shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device
Caroline, How do you know the cyclist that were hit didn’t have the right-of-way?
To date, Florida has not adopted any rule to define how a pedestrian is to obey the symbolic indications displayed on a pedestrian signal. The walking person and steady orange hand indications are fairly intuitive, but what exactly does the flashing hand mean? Agencies have tried to address the information gap at most signalized intersections that have pedestrian signals by posting little signs that explain intended meanings.
A disadvantage for sidewalk cyclists and speedier pedestrians is that, at many locations, the walk indication lasts no more than 7 seconds. According to the little signs, anyone on the sidewalk who arrives once the flashing hand interval has begun is supposed to wait for the next walk indication (which might mean a 2-minute wait), even though a runner, brisk walker, or cyclist might still have time to enter and cross before the steady orange hand indication is displayed (timing of the flashing hand interval is commonly calculated assuming an unhurried walking speed of 3.5 ft per second).
Gauging whether one has enough time to cross became easier with the widespread installation of pedestrian countdown signals that display how many seconds remain in the flashing interval.
Drivers making right or left turns across the crosswalk on green, or right turns across the crosswalk on red, are still supposed to yield to a crossing crosswalk user during this time. Conflicts certainly can and do arise when a turning driver doesn’t notice the crosswalk user in a timely way (or, for whatever reason, doesn’t prepare to yield to the crosswalk user), and the crosswalk user fails to anticipate the conflict.