Bike Lane Direction
Robin asked: What is the best way to deal with salmons? Those who are using the bike lane (on the road) riding in the opposite direction? I’m going a good 20 mph with heavy traffic on my left and a curb on my right and nowhere to go and I’ve got kids and adults using the bike lane in the wrong direction. What is the law concerning this practice?
Bicycle lanes are part of the roadway, and all traffic laws apply. Bicycles are vehicles and with few exceptions, cyclists have all the rights and duties of other drivers. They must comply with traffic laws.
For example, a cyclist in a bike lane cannot run a red light, as I once observed and challenged, and legally justify it as he did by claiming he was riding a bicycle and was in the bike lane.
The pavement markings designating a bicycle lane are traffic control devices. They have arrows designating the required direction of travel. Cyclists riding in bike lanes against the indicated direction of travel are violating a number of statutes.
If there is no bike lane, a cyclist in the roadway also must ride in the proper direction.
s. 316.074 – Obedience to and Required Traffic Control Devices
(1) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device.
s. 316.081 – Driving on Right Side of Roadway; Exceptions
(1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway.
s. 316.089 – Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic
Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall apply:
(3) Official traffic control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway; and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.
This site is intended to inform about the statutes related to bicycling and we cannot give advice about handling each situation. We do suggest that, armed with this information, you contact your local police departments and bicycle advocacy groups to generate public awareness campaigns and education and enforcement programs to encourage compliance with all the laws.