Orlando Sidewalk Cycling
Lance asked: I ride most often around downtown Orlando. While I ride on the road or bike paths following the rules as often as practicable, rude/reckless drivers and brick streets create a hazard that necessitates the use of sidewalks in some cases. I was always under the impression that riding on the sidewalk as a pedestrian was permitted in the City, as it is under Florida law. A couple of weeks ago, I was verbally berated by a pedestrian who saw me riding on a sidewalk – he insisted it is illegal.
Giving the pedestrian the benefit of the doubt, I dug through the municipal code, and found he was correct.
City of Orlando Code of Ordinances, Title II, Chapter 10, Section 10.15
“(1) No person shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk within the corporate limits of the City unless the sidewalk has been designated for joint use as a bicycle path and posted with appropriate signs indicating such use.”
In 10 years of riding on sidewalks downtown, I have never been stopped by officers or heard from any source that it is prohibited (other than the path around Lake Eola, where posted signs specifically prohibit bicycles).
Can you offer some insight regarding Orlando Police Department’s enforcement or treatment of this ordinance? What area constitutes the “corporate limits” of the City? Are there provisions in Florida law that allow cyclists to deviate from the rules to prevent endangering themselves, and would that sort of law trump the local ordinance and allow a cyclist to use a sidewalk as a pedestrian if the roadway at a given time and place was unsafe for bikes?
Also, a consolidated list of the municipalities in Florida that specifically prohibit bicycles on sidewalks (including the conditions under which they are prohibited) would be valuable.
As you noted, the Florida statutes allow cycling on the sidewalk when there is no local ordinance that prohibits it as does Orlando. Good on you for doing the research and finding the applicable code. The state law does not trump the local ordinance, which is based in the statute that gives local authorities the power to regulate bicycling among numerous other things within their jurisdictions.
s. 316.008 – Powers of Local Authorities
(1)The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:
(h)Regulating the operation of bicycles.
You should note that state highways that pass through municipalities are not within the jurisdiction of the municipality, but are under state jurisdiction, and state statutes apply.
The highway includes all the right of way attached to the roadway to the property boundary and includes the sidewalk.
A good example of that is the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine which has a local ordinance prohibiting bicycles on sidewalks. The bridge is part of the A1A highway system, a state roadway that passes through St. Augustine, and bicycles are permitted on the sidewalk crossing the bridge. Signs are posted accordingly.
Regarding your phrase, “allow a cyclist to use a sidewalk as a pedestrian”, a cyclist riding on the sidewalk is not a pedestrian. The cyclist has the rights and duties of a pedestrian, but is operating a vehicle. The laws applicable to the vehicle still apply, such as required lights at night, helmets for those under age 16 and DUI.
Cities are incorporated as municipalities and there are many sources of the city ( corporate) limits including city maps and this and other web sites:
In some cities, such as Daytona Beach, bicycling on the sidewalk is prohibited only in business districts, defined as 50% or more business properties, and requiring signage to inform citizens.
We can’t give you the sentiment of the police department or Sheriff’s Office having jurisdiction over Orlando about enforcement of sidewalk cycling ordinances. Perhaps CommuteOrlando.com may be able to assist you.
It is unrealistic to expect someone to detail all the numerous local ordinances that relate to sidewalk cycling since they all vary. It is incumbent on each citizen to do as you did and research the local ordinances of their communities. A search of the municodes for a community is not difficult. For Orlando for example, simply Google Orlando Municodes.
Orlando’s zoning maps are more up-to-date and precise, showing exactly which side of a road the limits are on: http://www.cityoforlando.net/gis/zoning/
The sidewalk is usually on the same side of the right-of-way line as the roadway, but if you want to be completely sure, check the property appraiser’s map (change base map to aerial and turn on parcel lines): http://maps.ocpafl.org/webmap/
“You should note that state highways that pass through municipalities are not within the jurisdiction of the municipality, but are under state jurisdiction, and state statutes apply.”
Are you sure about this? Presumably the city can regulate activities such as loud music, engine braking, and panhandling on state roads. St. Augustine appears to have a city parking meter on King Street, part of State Road 5A: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=29.892243,-81.313484&spn=0.013283,0.024784&gl=us&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=29.892233,-81.313603&panoid=giWgxMYcnIL-znQJtiFcgg&cbp=12,129.28,,1,7.54
(Note that even if it is correct, Orange and Rosalind/Magnolia are locally maintained between Gore and Colonial. Otherwise anything with a state or U.S. shield should be state maintained, including Mills north of Anderson, Colonial, and Robinson east of Hughey, for example.)
“Are you sure about this? Presumably the city can regulate activities such as loud music, engine braking, and panhandling on state roads.”
No, but that hasn’t stopped me before. Other than the laws related to bicycling, this is beyond the scope of this site, but I’ll give it a try.
Let’s distinguish between enforcement and establishing local regulations. They are covered separately in the statutes.
Police officers in municipalities are charged with enforcing all state laws within the boundaries of their municipalities.
s. 316.640 – Enforcement
The enforcement of the traffic laws of this state is vested as follows:
(a) The police department of each chartered municipality shall enforce the traffic laws of this state on all the streets and highways thereof and elsewhere throughout the municipality wherever the public has the right to travel by motor vehicle.
For example, panhandling may be construed to obstruct traffic.
s. 316.2045 – Obstruction of Public Streets, Highways, and Roads
(1) It is unlawful for any person or persons willfully to obstruct the free, convenient, and normal use of any public street, highway, or road by impeding, hindering, stifling, retarding, or restraining traffic or passage thereon, by standing or approaching motor vehicles thereon, or by endangering the safe movement of vehicles or pedestrians traveling thereon; and any person or persons who violate the provisions of this subsection, upon conviction, shall be cited for a pedestrian violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.
(2) It is unlawful, without proper authorization or a lawful permit, for any person or persons willfully to obstruct the free, convenient, and normal use of any public street, highway, or road by any of the means specified in subsection (1) in order to solicit.
The jurisdictions discussed herein are for the purpose of traffic control. Other statutes and local regulations may be covered by other statutes, such as criminal violations such as assault and battery, which can obviously be enforced by police on state property. I would think that loud music would fall in that category.
This statute specifically excludes state roads from the jurisdiction of municipalities for the purpose of traffic control devices, except as noted below.
s. 316.006 – Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction to control traffic is vested as follows:
(1) State – The Department of Transportation shall have all original jurisdiction over all state roads throughout this state, including those within the grounds of all state institutions and the boundaries of all dedicated state parks, and may place and maintain such traffic control devices which conform to its manual and specifications upon all such highways as it shall deem necessary to indicate and to carry out the provisions of this chapter or to regulate, warn, or guide traffic.
(a) Chartered municipalities shall have original jurisdiction over all streets and highways located within their boundaries, except state roads, and may place and maintain such traffic control devices which conform to the manual and specifications of the Department of Transportation upon all streets and highways under their original jurisdiction as they shall deem necessary to indicate and to carry out the provisions of this chapter or to regulate, warn, or guide traffic,
The statute related to powers of local authorities states that DOT can approve placement of signs, etc, by local authorities.
s. 316.008 – Powers of Local Authorities
(u) Enacting ordinances or erecting signs in the rights-of-way to control, regulate, or prohibit hitchhiking on streets or highways, including all state or federal highways lying within their boundaries.
(3) No local authority shall erect or maintain any official traffic control device at any location so as to regulate the traffic on any state road unless approval in writing has first been obtained from the Department of Transportation.
.008 lists numerous items that can be regulated by municipalities. All items from .008 above can be seen here.
If the item in question is not included state laws prevail.
Although the local authorities can enact regulations for certain activities, those regulations cannot conflict with state law.
s. 316.002 – Purpose
It is the legislative intent in the adoption of this chapter to make uniform traffic laws to apply throughout the state and its several counties and uniform traffic ordinances to apply in all municipalities. The Legislature recognizes that there are conditions which require municipalities to pass certain other traffic ordinances in regulation of municipal traffic that are not required to regulate the movement of traffic outside of such municipalities. Section 316.008 enumerates the area within which municipalities may control certain traffic movement or parking in their respective jurisdictions. This section shall be supplemental to the other laws or ordinances of this chapter and not in conflict therewith. It is unlawful for any local authority to pass or to attempt to enforce any ordinance in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
For example, in regulating bicycles, a local regulation cannot prohibit bicycles from using the roadway, whether it is a municipality or a state roadway. Bicyclists and operators of other human powered vehicles have the same rights and duties as other drivers. The most basic of those is the use of the roadway.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle
Bicyclists can be prohibited from sidewalk use by local ordinance since there is no inherent right to use the sidewalk in a local jurisdiction as there is the roadway, but not on state highways, because there is no state statute that prohibits it.
9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk
I invite others who may be more knowledgeable on these subjects to contribute.
Dwight, if you are listening, do you have anything to add? Or change or subtract?