Sidewalk Cycling in Fort Lauderdale FL

Question

Kevin asked: I know that there are some areas (usually city centers/downtown) that ban bicycle riding on sidewalks altogether but have been having trouble finding local laws concerning bicycle riding. Is it legal to ride a bicycle on sidewalks in downtown Fort Lauderdale?

Answer

Unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary, it is legal to ride on sidewalks.

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.

I  can find no such prohibition in Broward County.

There are certain restrictions in the City of Fort Lauderdale, most notably these,

Sec. 26-182. – Riding on city property.

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle or skateboard or rollerskate or in-line skate upon a sidewalk or any city property where signs are erected prohibiting such activity. The areas where such activities are prohibited shall be designated by resolution of the city commission, and such areas shall be posted accordingly.

Also note that city residents must register bicycles.

Sec. 26-183. – Bicycle registration.

(c) It shall be the duty of any person residing within the city who owns any bicycle to register such bicycle with the police department in accordance with the provisions of this section.

You can find the details by searching “Muni Codes Ft. Lauderdale FL”.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks
8 comments on “Sidewalk Cycling in Fort Lauderdale FL
  1. Carolyn says:

    In Southwest Fort Lauderdale, unbeknownst to me, a young man cycled past me from behind as I was walking on the sidewalk. He was going fast enough that he lost his balance as he swerved to avoid me. He was able to dismount as the bike fell and escape without a scratch. I scolded him for being on the sidewalk in the first place. He made it out to be my fault, because, with headphones, I couldn’t hear him approach. He refused to accept that pedestrians have the right-of-way. If I had heard him, I might have turned just in time to get smacked head-on, who knows? I also have excellent hearing and noticed later that subtle sounds were not escaping my ears. He delivered all his points in a bullying tone. I told him I thought he WAS a bully and walked on. Anyway, he also insisted he can be fined $500 for riding in the street. Was he right about anything?

  2. Geo says:

    Carolyn,

    No! There is no provision in the laws to prohibit riding a bicycle in the roadway unless a local ordinance does so. There is no such ordinance in Ft. Lauderdale.

    A cyclist is permitted on the sidewalk unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary.

    “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.”

    There is such an ordinance in Ft. Lauderdale for certain sidewalks and signs must be posted.

    “Sec. 26-182. – Riding on city property.
    (a) No person shall ride a bicycle or skateboard or rollerskate or in-line skate upon a sidewalk or any city property where signs are erected prohibiting such activity. The areas where such activities are prohibited shall be designated by resolution of the city commission, and such areas shall be posted accordingly.”

    When on a sidewalk, a cyclist must yield right of way to pedestrians, even if they are not paying attention. You are not required to hear or see and yield to an approaching bicyclist.

    “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.”

    A city ordinance says the same thing.

    “Riding on city property.
    (b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle or skateboard or rollerskating or in-line skating upon a sidewalk, upon which such activity is not prohibited, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.”

    • Carolyn says:

      Thank-you so much for that validation. Have never seen that guy until that incident but will carry a print-out of this just in case I do. I have two more things to add (ask).

      1) How does that pertain to middle school kids? They are a problem in my morning walks, but I yield (albeit reluctantly) to them. Well, actually, I hold a walking stick parallel to the ground and jut it a bit to my right or left to guide the oncoming traffic away from me.

      2) How can an encounter like I had be enforced? Would my only recourse have been injury, with hopes that he would have stopped to see if I was OK and actually offered insurance info?

  3. Geo says:

    Carolyn,

    You might want to talk to the school officials and ask them to tell the students the laws. Sometimes, the local police department will conduct bicycle safety training for the schools. You might want to advise them of the situation and ask them to patrol the area on school days.
    Such an encounter is difficult to enforce since usually the officer must witness the incident.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Good advice on Q1 and as I suspected on Q2. Thank-you. Your answers are detailed and appreciated.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Kudos to whoever monitors this site for removing a disrespectful comment aimed at me, despite using the phrase “with all due respect.” You may remove this too, just didn’t know how else to get the praise to the right place.

  6. Geo says:

    Carolyn,

    The age of a miscreant shouldn’t matter. A violation of the laws is just that and should be treated as such.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Thanks again.

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