Pedestrians in Bike Lanes


John asked: I live in a deed restricted community in Tampa Florida (a master planned community) with clearly marked “bike lanes” and adjacent sidewalks. Frequently, when I am riding in the marked bike lane, I run into runners, joggers, or walkers that are moving in the opposite direction in the bike lane. I’ve had people literally cuss at me and motion for me to move out of the way. I would like to bring this issue up in the next board meeting. Am I in the wrong? Are these runners and walkers in the right? I was under the impression that the bike lane is to be used only by bicyclists, and is not a shared path for all pedestrians. Your clarification on this citing defining statutes would be very helpful. Also, are there any signs that the city or county can post to spell out to those with questions in an effort to prevent these conflicts?


Bike lanes, if properly marked, are part of the roadway and are for the preferential or exclusive use of cyclists. This post will answer your questions about the laws.

I am not aware of signage that would state these laws, which are self-explanatory.

Your seeking assistance from the board is a good approach. They might want to advertise the laws in your local newspaper or community newsletter.

You may also want to contact your local police and ask them to conduct operations to advise pedestrians and others of the laws.

The lack of understanding of the laws may be widespread in the county and you may want to contact the Hillsborough MPO Bike/Ped Committee to ask if they can assist or have educational resources that might apply.

4 Comments on “Pedestrians in Bike Lanes

  1. Unlike many states, Florida has no road rule that (explicitly) prohibits a motorist from using a bike lane (although, given typical BL widths, driving a MV in a bike lane for any distance is likely to be impractical). Pedestrians are (usually) prohibited from using a bike lane by the rule that a pedestrian is not to use the roadway “where sidewalks are provided” (s. 316.130(3)).

    Runner (or other pedestrian) use of bike lanes can be problematic where sidewalks are not provided, are narrow and/or heavily used, are poorly maintained (cracked, heaved by roots, etc.), or where sidewalk is provided on only one side of a road but runners want to run on the other, or where sidewalks are interrupted by many driveways or curb cuts, or where sidewalk use is awkward or inconvenient for some other reason (e.g., where utility poles, corner street signs, mailboxes, unpruned shrubbery, bags of yard waste and/or trash and recycling carts left at the curb turn a sidewalk into a gauntlet to be threaded).

    Where sidewalks are provided and in good and useable condition, some runners still favor bike lanes because they believe the greater elasticity of asphalt pavement reduces jarring of the knees. Because the coefficients of elasticity of running shoe soles are so much greater than that of asphalt, it’s hard to imagine that runners could notice any difference in this regard (as a runner, I can’t tell any), but that’s their belief, and some runners cling to it pretty passionately.

  2. I live in Palm Beach County abd there was a incident last week where a jogger(78 years old!) was jogging at 6AM in the bike lane. He was running with traffic(unlawful). He was run over by a car and died!!! This is a CLEAR example why joggers,walker,etc cannot use the bike lanes because of SAFETY!!! The excuse these jogger have about the asphalt being kinder on their feet that the concrete sidewalk is ludicious!!! Your feet are more important than your life??? My husband and I are bicyclists and have had numerous issues with joggers in the bike lane where we ride. We have contacted the local police and their answer is always” We have more important things to do!” What is more importnat than saving lives???? So frustrating when the police do not enforce the state law!!!! We are using the sidewalk more to ride but get harassed by people on the sidewalk for being there. IT IS STATE LAW THAT BICYCLISTS CAN USE SIDEWALKS!!! I carry the law endorcement guide to show those people but as usual, they continue to “lecture” me!!! The problem is selective enforcement by law enforcement. Where we ride is a “wealthy” area of Jupiter and feel law enforcement is letting the joggers,walkers off the hook and won’t enforce the state law as to not UPSET them???? How many more people are going to die till law enforcement does their job and enforce the state law???

  3. Can we just share the road and be civilized about it? As a runner and biker and mindful of both. It is true I run more than I bike, but regardless I do it to enjoy outdoors activities and have a good time. I always run on the bike lane and I have always been courteous to bikers and mindful of their safety. I step aside when there is nonspace for them to pass safely (cara coming behind them and generally keep myself to the left to leave enough space for the biker to pass next to me on the bike lane. However, lately, bikers road rage seem to have increased, three times in a month a biker would not budge and threatened to run me over because I did not move over to the grass despite of having enough pace for both of us, and no traffic.

    Yes there are all kind of uncivilized people out there, but as sports aficionados, don’t we have a duty and responsibility to be kind to each other? I even try and educate the occasional runners that does not know better and runs with traffic on the bike lane.

    • Can you just obey the law that is in place to protect everyone? That’s kind.

      Stay out of the bike lane as legally required. That’s kind.

      If you refuse to stay out of it when no one is around, at least get out of the bike lane when you see a cyclist approaching you, and make sure you stay 6 feet away. We don’t want to potentially breathe in someone’s Covid. Those are kind behaviors.

      Making up your own rules and exposing others to risks they don’t want (and are not legally required to accept) is unkind.

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