Walk Bicycles Across Bridge – Again? Really?

Question

Rocky asked: Some bridges in my area have a sign stating that a bicyclist walk the bicycle across the bridge, is there a law stating that we must dismount and walk the bike across?

Answer

No!

Bicycles are vehicles and their operators have the same rights and duties as other drivers. The most basic of those rights is the use of the roadway. See this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/01/walk-bicycle-across-bridge/

After the reader asked this question about this situation in SW Florida, they took this information to their county officials and asked that the signs be removed. After study, the county replaced the signs with “Share the Road” signs.

The Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine had similar signage for the temporary bridge while the new bridge was being built. Our suggestion to the FDOT for the new bridge, that they use “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs and “Sharrows” instead, resulted in placement of those signs and pavement markings.  See this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2012/03/bicycles-may-use-full-lanes-signs/

Immediately after the signs and markings were in place, there was a great commotion from uninformed citizens about the carnage that would result from this “new law”. The law is not new and applies to all Florida roadways that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel safely side by side within the lane, defined in the statutes as a substandard-width lane and typically less than 14 feet wide. The signs simply point out that we need to cooperate and be patient while obeying the laws. There was no carnage and everyone seems to get along just fine with the new signs and markings.

See the other posts on this site about “Rights and Duties” and “Lane Width and Sharing”.

I recommend that you take this information to the local officials and police and ask that they remove the signs and replace them with BMUFL signs and Sharrows.

1 Comment on “Walk Bicycles Across Bridge – Again? Really?

  1. A traffic sign displaying a regulatory message must be supported by an applicable law or regulation.

    Many bridge sidewalks are narrow (5 ft or even less) and bordered by a traffic barrier on one side and a railing on the other. allowing little room to maneuver. A sidewalk rider can experience awkward conflicts with oncoming or overtaking sidewalk riders, or with runners or other pedestrians. At night, some bridge sidewalks are poorly lit. As a runner who sometimes runs at night, I’ve occasionally been startled by oncoming or overtaking sidewalk riders riding without lights. Cans, bottles, and other debris can be hard to see on a bridge sidewalk under low-light conditions, increasing risk of a flat.

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