Parking in Bike Lanes
Claus asked: Our community is debating on having the county put in bike lanes. The property owners’ association board is stating that garbage trucks, lawn service trucks and other private service trucks can stop and remain in the bike lane while they are conducting their business and that bike riders will have to go around these trucks into the traffic lanes. Is this true? Also they are planning to make the bike lanes 5′ wide and I believe that the new regulation will be 7′ by this fall.
The applicable statute is this.
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.
Clearly, the intent of the law is to give preferential use to bicyclists and not allow parking or standing for more than a very short time, and then only to embark or discharge passengers.
An obvious conflict exists due to the requirement to pick up household waste and the fact that bike lanes are along the right edge of the roadway. Accepting that would not seem to extend to the parking of commercial vehicles to perform work in a home and on the landscape, which could take hours to complete.
Unfortunately, there is no statutory definition of “exclusive bicycle lane”.
The Florida Department of Transportation
Plans Preparation Manual (For state roadways)
Bicycle Lane: A bicycle lane (bike lane) is a portion of a roadway (either with curb and gutter or a flush shoulder) which has been designated by striping and special pavement markings for the preferential use by bicyclists
FDOT Manual of Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways (Florida Greenbook) (For counties and municipalities)
Bicycle Lane (Bike Lane): A portion of a roadway (typically 4-5 ft) which has been designated by signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists.
The width of a bicycle lane is determined by the location and type of roadway. If this is a state roadway, the PPM above applies. See this post and Dwight’s comments for bike lane widths on state roadways:
The following from the Greenbook applies to county or municipalities.
B.1 Bicycle Lanes
Bicycle lanes delineate available roadway space for preferential use by bicyclists
Bicycle lanes also help increase the total capacity of highways carrying mixed bicycle and motor vehicle traffic. Bicycle lanes shall have a minimum functional width of 4 feet. (Does not include the gutter pan)
I recommend asking your local law enforcement agency, in writing, to address the proposal to allow parking in bike lanes by the Association.