Bike Lanes and Stop Signs
Ray asked: There is a 4-mile loop bike lane in Miami, FL. around the Kendale Lakes Country Club. I notice most of the times I’m approaching a stop sign around the loop, the cars at a stop sign get into the bike lane when trying to make a right turn. They get so far over the bike lane they almost hit the curb. Can these motorists do this, or should they remain in their lane when turning?
Do I need to stop at these stop signs if I’m staying in the bike lane? They just curve right. I am assuming I can pass these vehicles on the right if I’m in the bike lane. As a cyclist in bike lane, must I stop at this sign? I have never seen a cyclist stop there. There are 100’s every day.
With regard to the first part, it sounds as though the motorists are doing exactly what the statutes require, moving as close to the rightmost curb or edge of he roadway as is practicable when preparing for a right turn. See: Motor Vehicles in Bike Lanes
The only difference is that in your situation, there is not a substandard-width lane. Rather, there is a bike lane, which is a separate lane. The fact that the law allows passing on the right does not mean it is safe. Caution is advised when passing on the right. That particularly applies when approaching intersections. Although the motorist is required to insure the lane is clear before moving right to prepare for the turn, it may not happen.
As to the second part, whether cyclists must stop in these situations, the laws impart the same rights and same duties to cyclists as they do drivers of other vehicles with few exceptions. The operative word here is DUTIES. If you would stop when driving your motor vehicle, there is no difference in the requirement in the law for a cyclist.
s. 316.075 – Traffic Control Signal Devices
(c) Steady red indication
1. Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal shall stop …. and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown.
s. 316.123 – Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection
(2)(a) ….every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop …. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of way
That said, please see: Idaho Rolling Stop Law
A common practice of cyclists (and motorists) is to slow and insure there is no conflict, yield as appropriate, and roll through the stop sign. Some may consider that appropriate for stop signs, but it would be hard to make that case for red lights.
Although some might consider it a safe practice, Florida law does not permit that for cyclists or motorists.