Which Direction?


Lynnessa asked:

Is it illegal to ride your bike down a one-way street against the flow of traffic? Is it illegal to ride your bike down the sidewalk of a one-way street against the flow of traffic?


Whether the roadway is one-way or not, when in the roadway, a cyclist has the same rights and duties as other drivers and must ride in the same direction.

When on the sidewalk or crosswalk, a cyclist has the rights and duties of a pedestrian and may ride in either direction.

See the posts on “Sidewalks and Crosswalks” and “Rights and Duties”.

3 Comments on “Which Direction?

  1. It is legal to ride against traffic if there is a shoulder that is not marked as a bike lane. But shoulders are rare in the urban environments that beget one-way streets.

    • My question is then, if I’m going down that same one way street and I’m riding with the flow of traffic in the shoulder, who has the right of way and how are we going to pass each other?

  2. This statute seems to apply and doesn’t distinguish between drivers on the road, paved shoulder or sidewalk:

    s. 316.082 – Passing Vehicles Proceeding in Opposite Directions
    (1) Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right.

    That implies that the cyclist traveling against traffic would have to leave the paved shoulder and enter the roadway, making the act unlawful.

    One of the serious problems with riding against traffic on a shoulder is the same as for the roadway or the sidewalk, drivers don’t expect traffic from the right and don’t look before entering the roadway.

    Another is the inability of the cyclist to see and obey traffic control devices facing the other direction.

    The wrong way cyclist would also have to enter the roadway at intersections, also unlawful. A legal, but less safe option for the reasons above, would be to move to the sidewalk and use the crosswalk at intersections.

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