Bicycles Use Sidewalk

Question

Nathan asked: http://www.wekivaparkway.com/wpcms/data/img/uploads/files/23827525201-Signing.pdf

Page 48 shows the sign, which will be posted on SR 46 (not a freeway). Page 18 shows the placement, used to get bikes to the right of a merging ramp. Is this legal?

Answer

For readers who may not want to look this up, Nathan is referring to a sign that says “Bicycles Use Sidewalk”.

Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers in most circumstances.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter ….

I used to believe and reflected in previous posts that the right to use the roadway was the most basic right accorded cyclists by this statute. However, after extensive conversations with some who know more about this, I am convinced that the rest of that statute allows the prohibition of cyclists from certain roadways under some circumstances.

…. except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

Local authorities have certain powers applicable to this situation.

s. 316.008Powers of Local Authorities

(1) The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(h) Regulating the operation of bicycles.

(m) Prohibiting or regulating the use of controlled access roadways by any class or kind of traffic.

However, that does not allow the local authority to just post the signs without full consideration. The basic right of the cyclist is being restricted and must be done by proper actions. All signs must be supported by a regulation, ordinance or statute according to the MUTCD, the national standard for signage adopted by FDOT.

MUTCD

Section 1A.08 – Authority for Placement of Traffic Control Devices

Traffic control devices …. shall be placed only as authorized by a public authority or the official having jurisdiction …. for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.

All regulatory traffic control devices shall be supported by laws, ordinances, or regulations.

I believe the use of such an ordinance or regulation to prohibit cyclists from a roadway must be done only after the authority can demonstrate that it is in the public interest to do so.

Thanks Nathan. This reminds me that I never changed the previous posts to reflect this. I’ll try to do so.

Posted in Ask Geo, Rights & Duties

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