Bikes on Sidewalks
Bill asked: What is the Florida law regarding riding bikes on sidewalks?
Bicycles may be operated on sidewalks unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary. You should check your community codes at Muni-Codes (your city or county) to determine if such an ordinance exists. Cyclists on the sidewalk have the same rights and duties as pedestrians under the same circumstances, and must 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.
Doesn’t this contradict the rules that state that bicyclist must obey the same rules as any driven vehicle, I.e., travel in the same direction as vehicles and ride in the roadway?
You are correct that a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as other drivers,
“s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, ”
We need to read the rest of the paragraph though, which says there are circumstances in which that does not apply. Being on the sidewalk is one of those circumstances.
” …. except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.”
There is no law that says bicyclists may only use the roadway.
There may be local ordinances that affect the use of bicycles in a city or county.
What about homeowners/tenants who park their car so that some or all of the car blocks the sidewalk?
They are in violation of the law.
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:
(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
2. On a sidewalk.