Bike Lane Pavement Markings
Howard asked: I received a ticket for parking in a bicycle lane. There were cars parked on both sides of the street and you could not see any bicycle symbols. How frequent and how far apart do these markings have to be to comply with the law? One symbol per mile? Per 100 ft.? The street was blocked off for an art show, and there were lots of ticketed cars.
Apparently you were violating this statute:
s. 316.1945 – Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Places
(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:
(b) Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers,
(6) On an exclusive bicycle lane.
The statutes do not provide roadway design guidelines. The national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices gives guidance about distance between bike lane markings.
Section 9C.04 Markings For Bicycle Lanes
…. bicycle lane word, symbol, and/or arrow markings should be placed at the beginning of a bicycle lane (And 100 feet from the end of a bike lath) and at periodic intervals along the bicycle lane based on engineering judgment.
The MUTCD was adopted as required by state law for use as the standard for roadway signs and pavement markings.
Florida Department of Transportation
Plans Preparation Manual
The MUTCD is therefore the basic guide for marking. The requirements of the MUTCD shall be met, as a minimum, on all roads in the State.
If you need further information about the placement of the bike lane markings, you should contact the engineers who designed the roadway in question to determine their criteria.
My question is about the same… When I pull onto a main road from the side road how do I know the area on the right if it is a shoulder or a bicycle lane… If I don’t see any kind of marker for a 1/4 mile, is that “long enough” to decide it’s a shoulder…
There should be some applicable distance..
Many or most bike lanes in Florida are posted with Bike Lanes signs at intervals, although the signs are not strictly required. If no Bike Lane signs are posted then, at the very least, a bike lane would need to be designated with the bicycle lane symbol marking (the symbol of a bicycle with a rider) at intervals.
If neither signs nor markings are used, the strip of pavement, whatever it might be, wouldn’t be “a portion of a roadway that has been designated for preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists by pavement markings and, if used, signs” (definition of “Bicycle Lane”, MUTCD 1A.13 P03, http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009r1r2/part1/part1a.htm#section1A13 ).
FDOT Standard Index 17347 (http://www.dot.state.fl.us/rddesign/DS/15/Rev/IDx/17347.pdf) states:
“Recommended placement of bicycle lane markings:
a) At the beginning of a bicycle lane, on the far side of major intersections, and prior to and within the bicycle lane keyhole [“keyhole”=term used by FDOT to refer to the section of a bike lane that runs between a through lane and a right-turn lane on an intersection approach].
b) Along the roadway as needed to provide a maximum spacing of 1,320 feet for posted speeds less than or equal to 45 mph…”
1,320 feet, of course, would be a quarter mile.
What if there’s a car already parked on top of the bike lane marking? Wouldn’t this be like a parked truck blocking a stop sign, making it impossible to see that you have to stop until it’s too late?
In suburban Florida, parking in bike lanes on major streets is unusual. Off-street parking is usually ample, it’s usually closer to motorists’ destinations, and bike lanes are too narrow to accommodate (dual-track) parked motor vehicles. Bike lanes in areas where motorists might be tempted to park (e.g., where a popular destination draws motorists and legal parking spaces are limited or require payment) should be (and usually are) signed.
Good question and maybe a defense in traffic court.