Nancy asked: I have a velomobile, which doesn’t seem to fit any of the definitions I’ve seen in FL law. My condo association is trying to ‘outlaw’ my velo from its duly named ‘Bicycle Storage’ areas. Apart from condo board jokes, is there anything you can tell me that’s in law that couples velos with the commonly held notion of what constitutes a bicycle? FL law 316.003(2) excludes vehicles with seats below 25″ from the ground from the definition of “bicycle”.
I’m afraid the statutes aren’t going to provide any support for your case. Condos and HOA’s can set their own rules for these issues, and even if your vehicle did meet the statutory definition of “bicycle”, the organization could write the rules as they wished.
You are correct about the seat height in the definition of “bicycle”.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device.
I assume your velo has a seat that is less than 25 inches high. When the definition of “bicycle” was written into law in the early 1970’s, trikes, recumbents and velos were hardy known, and the law did not take them into account in establishing seat height. I believe the statute was written to exclude toy bikes from the roads. These are serious vehicles and obviously not toys.
A bigger question is why the organization is not encouraging the use of a non-polluting, healthy and economical means of transportation. Even if your vehicle is not technically a “bicycle”, as the operator of a human powered vehicle, you have all the rights and duties of other drivers and pedestrians when you are on the sidewalk. In this age, society is becoming more aware of these concerns and is generally supportive of such vehicles.
Where you park your vehicle should not be an issue. Why is the board opposed to your choice of vehicle?