Sometimes, you may not know where you can ride your bicycle. Do you have the right to share the road with cars and trucks? Can you use the sidewalk? What if there is a bike lane; do you have to use it? We will explain the options you have as a cyclist in the state of Florida.
Riding On The sidewalk
Florida law states you can ride your bike on the sidewalk. Even though a bike is considered a vehicle on the road, they have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians. Yet, the biker must yield to the other people using the sidewalk. They must audibly let them know when they are turning or stopping, as well as use hand signals and lights.
When they come to a crosswalk, they obey the same rules as pedestrians, and other automobiles must yield to them. Pedestrians and cyclists always have the right of way.
When you are on the road, there are times when you will encounter an impatient or rude driver. As a biker, it can be frightening to share the road with this type of person. This is also true when riding your bike on the sidewalk with other pedestrians. You must ride defensively, and do not engage with an angry pedestrian. You have a legal right to use the sidewalk.
Do You Have To Ride On The Bike Lanes?
What if there is a bike lane provided? Do you have to use it? The answer is no. You have the option of using the bike lane at your discretion.These lanes tend to be near other traffic lanes, which could be intimidating during high traffic hours. You may choose to use the sidewalk instead. However, sidewalks can also become congested and make your commute much slower. Sometimes using the bike lane is the easier option. Choose whichever options is safer to you.
Riding In The Street
It is legal to ride in the street. If children are playing on the sidewalk or there are too many pedestrians, using a bike lane or the street is better. If there is no bike lane, you can use the street with other drivers. You must obey red lights, traffic signs, and use hand signals while riding. Automobiles can pass you, but must allow at least 3-feet of distance between your bike and their vehicle.
Local Rules May Apply
We have spoken about Florida law, but you must consider that neighborhoods, towns, and homeowners associations have their own rules. For example, if you buy a house in an area that has a Homeowners Association, you must agree to follow specific guidelines. Those rules may include where and when you may ride your bicycle.
Choose Whatever Option Is Safer For You
In Florida, traveling by bicycle is an enjoyable way to commute and exercise in the beautiful outdoors. Sometimes it can be confusing where you can ride your bike. As a cyclist, your rights are protected. You have the freedom to explore the state using public roads and sidewalks.