Limited Access Highways
William asked: I am involved in a situation concerning this very statute 316.091. We were biking eastbound on US92 past the Hard Rock Casino. There is a dedicated bike lane that follows US 92, which is Hillsborough Avenue. The bike lane continues on a bridge that crosses over I-4. At the end of the bridge there is a sign that says that bike lane ends. We intended to continue on US 92 across the canal but we were stopped in the area between the end of the bridge but before the 301 cloverleaf. We were not on the road but rather on the 8 foot wide paved shoulder. I looked at the straight line inventory for this segment and it appears to be designated as US 92 not I-4 or i-4 exit ramp. I do not see where the class is designated on the drawing, but it makes no sense that the state would lure us into this area without a way out. Based on the strict reading of 316.091 this might fall within the definition of limited access facility but I would argue if it is a limited access facility the bike lane and signs marking it should fall within the exception.
It may also fall outside the definition of 316.003 if you can really figure out what that means. There are no signs excluding bicycles or any one for that matter from the area in any direction. If it is limited access 316.091 says you cannot be on the shoulder either. Can anyone give me any insight as to this particular area and perhaps some direction in my argument that it is not a limited access facility. Common sense says it is not but I need more.
I am aware of another similar situation in which a “No Bicycles” sign is in place on a county roadway that passes under a limited access roadway and has on and off ramps. The reason apparently is that the entire intersection is considered limited access, even though, as you state, bicyclists ride the county road with no detour at the sign.
I don’t understand the rationale since there are many similar roadways that pass under I-95 and possibly other interstate highways and are not so constrained.
I’m afraid I have no answer to the situation but will ask our readers for assistance. Dwight, are you out there?
The two applicable statutes are these.
s. 316.091 – Limited Access Facilities; Interstate Highways; Use Restricted
(2) Except as provided herein, no person shall operate upon a limited access facility any bicycle, motor-driven cycle, animal-drawn vehicle, or any other vehicle which by its design or condition is incompatible with the safe and expedient movement of traffic.
(3) No person shall ride any animal upon any portion of a limited access facility.
(4) No person shall operate a bicycle or other human-powered vehicle on the roadway or along the shoulder of a limited access highway, including bridges, unless official signs and a designated, marked bicycle lane are present at the entrance of the section of highway indicating that such use is permitted pursuant to a pilot program of the Department of Transportation.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(33) Limited Access Facility
A street or highway especially designed for through traffic and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons have no right or easement, or only a limited right or easement, of access, light, air, or view by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access facility or for any other reason. Such highways or streets may be parkways from which trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles are excluded or may be freeways open to use by all customary forms of street and highway traffic.