Bicycles in Ft. Lauderdale

Question

Shannon asked: Is a biker required to use a bike lane even if they do not feel it is safe? For example, in Fort Lauderdale, there is a bike lane going over the 17th street causeway. There is also a guarded sidewalk. Bikes are sometimes using the sidewalk to cross over the bridge instead of the bike lane. Also, if they are allowed to use the sidewalk, is there a specific direction they should be going on the sidewalk (with or against traffic)?

Answer

Bicyclists are never required to ride in unsafe conditions.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations: when reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

In such a situation, the cyclist may use the other part of the roadway and is not required to keep right.

The other option is to use the sidewalk with the rights and duties of a pedestrian but yielding to pedestrians unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary.

(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.

Just like a pedestrian, there is no requirement to travel in a particular direction when on the sidewalk.

The City of Ft. Lauderdale may have an ordinance prohibiting bicycles on the sidewalk. If so, signs must be posted accordingly.

Code of Ordinances

ARTICLE V. – BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES

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.

You should be aware that Ft. Lauderdale requires bicycles of residents to be registered with the police.

Sec. 26-183. – Bicycle Registration.

(b) As used in this section the term “bicycle registration decal” shall mean the registration decal issued by the police department pursuant to the registration of any bicycle as provided in this section.

(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.

I can find no such restrictions for Broward County but other municipalities may also have these or other restrictions.

Posted in Ask Geo, Bike Lanes, Sidewalks & Crosswalks
One comment on “Bicycles in Ft. Lauderdale
  1. Keithmj says:

    Lots of good information. Is there a sign that says no bicycles on sidewalk? If not use it and if anyone says anything just say it is not safe in the bike lane. If on a sidewalk you can go either direction just like walking but just be careful of turning cars and trucks and those turning onto the street. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you are going to get it. Be safe, don’t be sorry.

Leave a Reply