Question Jeff asked: I’m having a technical discussion with someone over who may use a bicycle lane. I believe a bicycle lane is a preferential lane for bicycles as opposed to an exclusive lane for bicycles. The definition is important. …
Category: Bike Lanes
A bicycle lane is a part of the roadway intended to provide bicyclists with a more “comfortable” experience. Feeling safe does not equate to being safe. Research into the relative safety of bike lanes and shared lanes is inconclusive. The Federal Highway Administration does not have a crash reduction factor for bicycle lanes. Bicycle lanes are intended as “preferential use” lanes, not mandatory use lanes (although Florida statute 316.2065(5) now makes their use mandatory, with exceptions for unsafe conditions and situations).
In order to meet the statutory language, the paved area in question must be marked with a bicycle symbol and a directional arrow. There are numerous spaces on area roads that do not meet minimum width standards and other characteristics of correct bike lane design. Bicyclists are permitted to use such spaces, but are not required to. The width of the adjacent lane then determines whether or not the bicyclist is required to share that lane.
The minimum standard width for a bicycle lane is five feet from the lane stripe to the curb face, and a minimum of four feet of asphalt beyond the gutter pan. For state roadways with design speeds 50 mph and higher, the minimum width is 6.5 feet.
Question Alex asked: What do the statutes say about cyclists and pedestrians, particularly when a pedestrian enters a designated bicycle lane? What does it say when both are using a paved shoulder?
Question Herman asked: Is there a minimum width requirement for a bike lane to be a bike lane?
Question Nathan asked: Are you required to use a shoulder that is marked as a bike lane? For example: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=29.68452,-82.228471&spn=0.008296,0.016512&gl=us&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=29.684345,-82.228663&panoid=hnjR0kHKenOb_aRjkq9rSQ&cbp=12,248.86,,0,0.09 This is obviously a shoulder, yet a sign says BIKE LANE BEGINS. (Incidentally, there’s a share the road sign just …
Question Thomas asked: I was pulled over today and was told by local police that when a bike lane is available it must be used instead of vehicle roadway.