Direction of Travel on a Sidewalk
Sharon asked: I live in Manatee County. I have to turn right onto a fairly high trafficked road when exiting my neighborhood. That road has both bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides. There is a stop sign where I make my turn. 3 times now I have almost hit the same guy who is riding his bike on the far left side of the sidewalk, on the left side of the road. In other words, he is riding against the flow of traffic. When I pull up to the stop sign and check for vehicles on the road, he is so far to the left that he’s not in my line of sight, but when I pull out to make my right turn, he is there and has not even slowed down for the cross street. This morning he started yelling at me, even though I apologized. But shouldn’t he be riding on the other side of the road, going with the flow of traffic? And doesn’t he have some responsibility for his own safety? I certainly don’t want to run into him; I don’t want to be the cause of anyone getting hurt, but I’m also not going to be screamed at by someone who is not following the rules of the road.
A bicyclist on the sidewalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. Unlike a bicyclist in the roadway, there is no requirement that the bicyclist (with the same duties as a pedestrian) travel in a particular direction.
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.
A driver at a stop sign must stop and yield to traffic on the highway.
s. 316.123 – Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection
(1) The right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs ….
(2)(a) …. every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.
The highway includes the sidewalk.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(81) 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 …
Pedestrians (or bicyclists with the same rights) have the right of way when in a crosswalk.
s. 316.130 Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
(7)(b) The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk ….
…. steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
Simply being in the crosswalk does not necessarily impart right of way. One cannot dart in front of an oncoming vehicle into a crosswalk or otherwise and expect the driver to be able to stop in time.
(8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
Another requirement is that a motorist may not stop in a crosswalk to wait for traffic in the roadway to clear.
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:
4. On a crosswalk.