Speeding Sidewalk Cyclist


Paul asked: Is there some restriction for cyclist traveling at high speeds on sidewalks? If riding at speeds of over 20 mph, it would clearly be a safety issue to mix this activity with walking, jogging, or other slower moving pedestrians.


There is no state speed limit for bicycles on sidewalks. There may be local ordinances and signage about sidewalk speed limits for sidewalk cyclists in some areas.

Sidewalks are intended for pedestrians and designed accordingly.

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.

All cyclists on sidewalks are required to yield to pedestrians:

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.

(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.

A speeding bicyclist yelling, “Lookout! Coming through” is not yielding. The cyclist must actually yield, even if it means slowing or actually stopping to avoid the pedestrian.

Any investigation of a crash or other incident involving a cyclist and a pedestrian would certainly consider the speed of the cyclist.

A speeding cyclist on the sidewalk could be cited for failure to exercise due care.

s. 316.183Unlawful Speed

(1)No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

s. 316.185Special Hazards

…. when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians …. speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, …. and the duty of all persons to use due care.

The “highway” in the statute above includes the roadway and the sidewalk.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(53) Street or Highway

(a) The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic ….

2 Comments on “Speeding Sidewalk Cyclist

  1. Why are there no laws about how fast a bicyclist can go on a sidewalk where there are pedestrians? (I see it is vague: “reasonable and prudent.”) Today I could have been run down and injured or even killed if I hadn’t exited onto the grass from the sidewalk to let a speeding bicyclist pass by, one of these fellows with the bike club clothes on. He simply had no business speeding on a sidewalk, and no intention at his speed of slowing down. There are many older folks like me out taking walks. I held my tongue. But this is often a situation that comes up where I walk in Dunedin, Florida. Is there anything that can be done?

    • Don’t wear headphones, so you can be sure that you can hear passing alerts. Walk on the right side of the sidewalk, so you are not blocking a passing lane. You do not have to leave the sidewalk to allow a cyclist to pass, but you do have to yield the right of way in the space where the cyclist is passing. Acknowledging that you have heard a cyclist’s passing warning also protects you and them. Saying thank you to a cyclist after they give you a passing warning also builds friendly relationships.

      The cyclist should recognize that many pedestrians do not understand the laws that apply to them and to pedestrians. They should realize that many pedestrians wear headphones and ear buds that prevent them from hearing the audible passing warning that cyclists must legally provide before passing. They should realize that many pedestrians do not look behind them when they are moving to the left or to the right on a sidewalk, so they should not assume that a pedestrian will remain in the position where they are. They should also try to give pedestrians as wide a berth as possible in case the pedestrian does something unexpected. The more narrow the sidewalk, the closer the cyclist must be to the pedestrian while passing, so the slower the cyclist should go while passing the pedestrian.

      You can reach out to local government to try to have signs installed that educate the users of sidewalks and multi-use paths (wider versions of sidewalks) about their responsibilities. A cyclist can limit their speed to 10 mph and still be injured by a pedestrian who is not paying attention or is not engaging in the behavior required from them by the law. Believe me, cyclists don’t want to get knocked off their bikes and hit hard asphalt that rips the skin of their bodies as much as pedestrians don’t want to be hit by a person and a bike at any speed.

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