Stopping on a Bike Lane
Amy asked: I have looked at the bike lane parking info posted and it has been very informative. I just wanted to get your input about the legality of momentarily pulling into a bike lane to pick up a walking child vs a line of 15 cars standing in a bike lane (over 5min) to turn into a school pick up lot. Are both legal? Also, I have some friends that have assured me that riding against the flow of traffic in this area is much more legal than picking up a child in bike lane. I am concerned for my bike riding child.
The former is certainly legal since the law specifically allows for momentarily standing or parking on a bike lane to “pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers”.
s. 316.1945 – Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Place
(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:
12. For the purpose of loading or unloading a passenger on the paved roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility or on the paved portion of any connecting ramp.
(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.
Motorists in the bike lane parked and waiting to turn into the school would not seem to be stopping “momentarily” and would not seem to meet the intent of this statute:
s. 316.151 – Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections
(1) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:
(a) Right turn – Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
Riding or driving on the left side of the roadway against the flow of traffic is permitted only under certain circumstances, and then only when there is no oncoming traffic, intersection, etc.
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
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway
(There are many exceptions to this. See other posts for that information.)
s. 316.081 – Driving on Right Side of Roadway; Exceptions
(1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;
(b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;
(c) Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or
(d) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.
(2) Upon all roadways, any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
I suggest discussing the circumstances and this information with school officials and local police.
Besides what has been explained, and I have done this, call the police department and tell them that the vehicles are parking in a bike lane and remind them that it is against the law for a vehicle to park in a bike lane. These vehicles are not just dropping or picking up someone as the law say. It works as long as you don’t give up and say nothing. Same way as with a vehicle blocking a sidewalk, by sitting across it, you might have to be insistent but if no one complains nothing will get done. The way I look at it is that your child’s safety is more important than their convenience.
And as riding against the traffic, that is the way I was taught to ride a bike, which is dangerous and at times due to safety I ride against it but only if I can get off the roadway. My personal feelings is unless a young child is with a parent they should not be in the road but on the sidewalk due to the fact that they do not pay attention.
These comments are my views only.
Are they parking or just stopped in traffic for that long? Straddling the bike lane is the correct place to be if turning right at the next intersection. I have been stuck in long school pickup lines, and the only thing to do other than the obvious (wait in line) is to keep driving around the block (while other cars continue to get in line).