Sidewalk Cycling in Charlotte County

Question

Crystal asked: Is it legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Charlotte County? And if so do I go with traffic or can I go against traffic. I’m uncomfortable being in the bike lane on the road, so unsafe.

Answer

I can find no prohibition to sidewalk cycling in Charlotte County.  A municipality within the county may have additional regulations or ordinances.

When on a sidewalk, a cyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian and is not required to travel in a specified direction.  For a number of reasons, sidewalk cycling has its own hazards.  It is recommended that cyclists ride in the same direction as roadway traffic.  Motorists entering the roadway seldom look to the right before proceeding, creating a conflict with cyclists crossing from a sidewalk.

Cyclists must yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk.

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.

You can search the county ordinances here.

https://library.municode.com/fl/charlotte_county/codes/code_of_ordinances

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks
5 comments on “Sidewalk Cycling in Charlotte County
  1. Ralph Russo says:

    feel its so much more safer to ride/walk – facing traffic- if THEY(autos) DONT see you -at least you can see them (remember – NO Text & phone)

  2. Geo says:

    Ralph,
    Good advice about distractions. Intuitively, that may seem safer but not the case according to numerous studies done before they changed the law way back and since. In fact, that was proved to be one of the significant factors in bike/car crashes.

    • Ralph Russo says:

      when I walked WITH traffic – where there is NO sidewalk- traffic coming UP behind me always scared the @#$ ot of me – so I always walk faceing them- At 81 walk to work (yes at 81 still have to work to keep up with the C-O-L) 2 miles, so far NO problems for the last 16 years. Blessed I feel..

  3. Geo says:

    Ralph,

    Maybe I wasn’t clear that I was talking about riding a bicycle with other traffic in the roadway, which is the law.
    When you are walking, you are required to walk facing traffic if you are not on the sidewalk.
    s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
    (3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
    (4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.

  4. Maybe worth mentioning that it’s easy to notice overtaking traffic by using one of the various types of mirrors made for cyclists.

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