Tom asked: In Marathon, Fl sheriff deputies have been issuing warnings to bicyclist for traveling on the sidewalk against the direction of traffic. I can find no ordinance to support their position. Am I missing something?
Lacking a local ordinance to the contrary, of which I can find none for Marathon or Monroe County, the state statutes apply. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as pedestrians when on a sidewalk. Although it would be safer to travel in the same direction as roadway traffic for a number of reasons, there is no designated direction of travel in the statutes.
s. 316.2965 – 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.
Be aware that a bicyclist is still operating a vehicle on a sidewalk and must comply with applicable statutes such as DUI, open container, lights, helmets, etc.
I suggest contacting the Sheriff’s Office with this information and asking the purpose and basis legal for the warnings.