Riding Two or More Abreast
Sandy asked: I live in Weston, FL, where there are specific bike lanes. However there are “clubs” that ride together, 2-3-4-5 abreast at times that literally take over the entire right lane for drivers of autos. Is this legal?
Under some circumstances, bicyclists are required to remain in marked lanes.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(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 ….
Some may believe that cyclists are always required to remain in bike lanes, which is not true. There are many exceptions to the “keep right” rules. Section (5)(a) continues:
…. except under any of the following situations
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane.
When in a bike lane, bicyclists may ride 2, 3 or more abreast.
(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Under some circumstances, bicyclists may not ride two abreast in the roadway. Subparagraph (6) continues,
Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane.
In a narrow lane, two bicyclists riding abreast in the roadway are not impeding traffic more than a single bicyclist riding legally. See these posts for a full discussion of riding abreast and impeding traffic.