Speeding Sidewalk Cyclist

Question

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.

Answer

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 ….

1 Comment 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?

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