Maria asked: My community has designated bicycle lanes and signs posted as well, yet many people ride on the sidewalks forcing myself, children and dog to move out of the way and even into the street. If there is a designated bicycle lane, why are they allowed to ride on the sidewalk where that is my only place to walk/run?
Just as pedestrians in the roadway are a problem for bicyclists, rude or inconsiderate bicyclists can inconvenience and endanger pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Sidewalks are designed and intended for pedestrians.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(47) Sidewalk – That portion of a street between the curbline, or the lateral line, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians.
However, even if bike lanes are present, bicyclists may use the sidewalk unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Bicyclists must always yield to pedestrians, which means slowing or stopping as necessary to yield, and must signal when passing.
(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
That does not mean yelling, “Get out of the way. I’m coming through.” A better signal is to politely ask, “Passing on your left please?” from a safe distance after slowing.
If you have a persistent problem, I suggest contacting your local police and asking them to intervene or asking your local officials to enact an ordinance and signs prohibiting bicyclists from using the sidewalk.