Why we’re facing a mandatory bike lane law

Wednesday, Mark Simpson of WMFE joined Brad Kuhn and me on a video and mentoring mission in South Orlando.

WMFE’s Mark Simpson recording his radio segment while controlling the lane on South Orange Avenue.

Our original mission was to work with Brad’s friend Katherine, who wants to use her bike for transportation but has been fearful of Orlando traffic. A secondary mission was to get video of the transition from lane control all the way from downtown to the bike lane south of Pineloch, and the dramatic decrease in comfort we had experienced when entering the bike lane the previous week.

In the meantime, Mr. Simpson was putting together a story on HB971 and called for an interview. So we invited him to ride along. I have more to write about the ride and a video to share in a forthcoming post, but first I want to talk more about HB971.

You can listen to Mr. Simpson’s story here or read the transcript here. Keep in mind, that when you are interviewed for 10 minutes, it typically results in a snipped soundbite that doesn’t completely convey the context. Such is the nature of time slots. But Aubuchon’s statements are quite telling:

The Cape Coral republican says he inserted the bike lane mandate after a fellow lawmaker brought a south Florida cycling problem to his attention, “along A1A they were having some challenges with cyclists who were choosing not to ride in that lane and causing backups and traffic.  In that case it will give law enforcement the ability to require cyclists to move over and stay in the bike lane rather than to simply choose to ride in the road instead.”

There you have it. A representative using the legislature to change a statewide law (to the detriment of cyclists all over the state) in order so solve a local problem with one pack of riders on one road.

Aubuchon wonders if taxpayers should continue paying to build bike lanes if cyclists aren’t going to use them, “I think at the end by the governor signing this bill he will actually give us the tools, the ammunition if you will to make the case for more cycling lanes  in our state.”

First of all, what if the riders in question didn’t want those bike lanes and didn’t ask the taxpayers to spend money on them? Who are the bike lanes for, since the rub seems to be cyclists getting in the way of motorists? This seems kinda like complaining about spending money on a garden hose out back when all them colored people want to drink out of the white water fountain.

Oh but wait! Forcing cyclists to ride in bike lanes will give “us” more political support for building more bike lanes that cyclists don’t want!


The results of Aubuchon’s politics will be felt on the street.

Here are 5 examples of the need to avoid or leave a bike lane which will not be covered by the exceptions to the FTR law:

  1. A case where a bike lane should often be avoided entirely is the door zone. The law says you can avoid an obstacle or parked car. It does not specify the hazard zone 5 feet from the parked car, where a suddenly-appearing obstacle can kill a cyclist. If you ride in Baldwin Park, you have to ride entirely outside the bike lane because the entire thing is in the door zone. In some cases, you then have to control the travel lane to prevent being brush-passed back into the door zone. I have worked with police on bicycling issues for 3 years, I can tell you unequivocally that they will not interpret this law in our favor without the exception being spelled out.
  2. Another type of bike lane which should be ignored is on a downhill (this would apply in a place like Tallahassee more than here). It is extremely dangerous to descend a hill in a bike lane. While the bike’s speed may be may be slower than the speed of traffic, it is too fast for a bicyclist to react to the conflicts (which are exacerbated by the cyclist being in a bike lane!). For more on this, I recommend Wayne Pein’s paper on High Speed cycling.
  3. High-conflict areas should also be avoided. When I used to use Edgewater Drive every day, I learned (after being hit once and almost hit countless times) that the safest and easiest way to ride north was to leave the bike lane before Yale and control the general travel lane all the way to Vassar (where I turned right). The crossing and turning conflicts through that area are so bad, it’s just not worth running that gauntlet in the bike lane. Especially since you have to be in a lane control position before the bike lane ends at Princeton anyway.
  4. This is a 10+10+4 conversion on a St. Pete thoroughfare. That is a small SUV. A bus or truck fills the right lane completely with no buffer at all. That’s 2 feet narrower than the lane in the photo at the top of this post.

    There are several roads that have narrow minimum-width bike lanes shoehorned next to narrow travel lanes. Most of these configurations occur on multilane roads. It is far more comfortable to ignore the bike lane and control the lane. If the space is 14ft, I would have to defend the practice under the FTR law. However, under the MBL law, it would be specifically illegal. And worse, there are many places where the DOTs have striped space to the right of the travel lane that is so substandard, it cannot be designated as a bike lane. Yet, to the untrained eye, it looks like one.  The MBL, creates more opportunities for harassment by motorists and law enforcement for avoiding these bike-lane-like deathtraps.

  5. Following your instinct and reading the environment is more important that following the paint or adhering a discriminatory law. This post contains a personal story where leaving a properly-designed bike lane saved my life. In no uncertain terms, I would not be alive today if I had followed the paint instead of my instinct. I have to wonder how many instances where I may need to follow my instinct will be illegal under the new law.

As if we don’t have enough trouble with misinterpretation of 316.2065, this bill (which I’m still praying Crist will veto) will add another obstacle for cyclists trying to stay safe. Aside from being a nuisance to those of us who are educated and are not going to change our riding practices, this language is one more inhibiting factor in empowering new cyclists to ride safely. It’s hard enough to teach people to outsmart the bike lane without having them fear a ticket. These are the people I fear for most. People like Tracey Sparling and Bret Jarolimek, who died in mandatory bike lanes because they were led to believe they had to stay there and that other drivers would ensure their safety.

This law does nothing to promote safety. It is a misuse of traffic statutes to control and discriminate against one segment of the cycling community which is considered a nuisance to motorists.

55 replies
  1. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    Well written, Keri. You’ve pointed out one aspect of today’s roadways of which I’m sure we will have trouble, the “undesignated bike lane” of which FDOT is so fond. It’s easy enough for me to avoid the two roadways striped and signed for bikes, but other stretches of road have the two or three feet of asphalt to the right of the stripe. Even the four-footers include ten or twelve inches of gutter, making it nearly useless.

    How many uninformed uniformed officers are going to see those stripes and write a citation for MBL? I know that my friends in Port Orange will be first in line.

  2. Eric
    Eric says:

    FBA has worked very hard for years to get these lanes with LAB approval. I wonder why anyone would be surprised when a law like this was passed. There has been grumbling for years.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      Agreed. I opposed that lawsuit for a number of reasons. The potential for this was one of them.

      I also dislike the mandate to put bike lanes on new construction projects. All it does is mindlessly create bike lanes willy-nilly with no consideration for appropriate context. It’s a complete distraction from finding useful solutions to help cyclists. AND it fuels arguments for mandatory bike lanes.

      Now we’re seeing more and more “complete streets” proposals that shoehorn doorzone bike lanes in to urban streets that don’t need bike lanes in order to check off that box: “symbolic accommodation for cyclists.”

      Making things worse for cyclists in the name of looking like you’re promoting cycling. Bravo.

  3. Frank
    Frank says:

    I think that is the major problem here. We have been fighting bureaucratic and legal battles in order to put bike lanes on roads all over the state. Now FBA takes a stance AGAINST bike lanes?!? It’s just confusing.

    Right-of-way, especially along A1A in South Florida, is very expensive and hard to come by. To have the 5 feet of bike lane on each side instead of a wider sidewalk, more landscaping, etc was a huge battle. I can rightfully see a community leaders get frustrated when the lanes they built and paid for with a trade-off of right of way are ignored by the people they built it for.

    Its just very frustrating that all of us are not on the same page.

    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:

      We have been fighting bureaucratic and legal battles in order to put bike lanes on roads all over the state.
      How disappointing.

      Bike lanes seem like a good idea until you learn how to ride safely and comfortably in all kinds of traffic. Once you do that, you realize how useless bike lanes are, unless you enjoy riding where you’re likely to be overlooked, and where debris accumulates.

      The mere existence of bike lanes reinforces the wrong-headed notion that bicyclists shouldn’t ever be on roads in the way of motorists, and are doing something wrong if they are. Making bike lane use mandatory by law exacerbates that problem.

      Its just very frustrating that all of us are not on the same page.
      What’s frustrating is that so many bicyclists support measures that greatly worsen the conditions for the kind of safe and comfortable bicycling in traffic so often written about on this blog.

      • fred_dot_u
        fred_dot_u says:

        Equally frustrating is the attacks from some cyclists on those riders who are trained and skilled in safe cycling and understand when it is better to not ride in a bike lane and when it is advised to control the lane.

        A rider in a bike lane might not be educated enough to know why it’s not the best place to ride. That same rider will feel it necessary to respond in a derisive manner to those who are capable of skilled riding.

        It’s demoralizing sometimes.

        • Marty Cohen
          Marty Cohen says:

          The same way it’s demoralizing when one cyclist looks down their nose at others because they chose to use the bike lane when its appropriate.

          • Serge Issakov
            Serge Issakov says:

            Has anyone ever looked down their nose at others because they chose to use the bike lane when it’s appropriate?

            I don’t know of a single such case; never heard of one.

            Have you? Has anyone? What are you talking about?

          • Rodney
            Rodney says:

            Marty- Bike lanes do not get the love they were installed for. Meaning this-in Orlando, I personally have seen many vacant bike lanes with the novice/”Butts-On-Bikes” (BOB) riders showing the parallel sidewalk all the love.

            Education has been the key for me. I now have the knowledge and skill to operate all three….road, BL, and the ever so rare need for sidewalk. Many of the BOB’s however, do not.

            It’s a tra-la-la, get on a bike and ride like I did 15-20 years ago mentality (read stay out of the cars way) from my observations. Times have changed since then. I think these present day BOB’s have just enough information to be a danger to themselves and others (Marty and Rodney, etc.).

            Lack of knowledge in regards to best cycling practices drives the novice/BOB to be fearful and succumb to the perceived safety of BL’s when, in many instances, BL’s really aren’t necessary.

            If felt that one does not fit this group of BOB’s/novice riders then I say Ride Big and Ride On! See you out there!

  4. acline
    acline says:

    I feel lucky that there is very little call for bicycle lanes in Springfield (and what calls there are, I am fighting). Our next big project — planned and “shovel ready” — is a sign and sharrow system covering our entire bicycle route system — approx 50 miles of city streets. When the CIP tax renewal passes next week, work will begin shortly.

    Too many lines on the pavement just invites nonsense from politicians.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      Andy, I have so much admiration for the advocacy work you’re doing in Springfield! I may have to come up there and check out your route system when you get it in.

  5. Wayne Pein
    Wayne Pein says:

    In this critique I wrote regarding the conversion of 14′ lanes in FL into
    11 + 3 “undesignated” bike lanes, on Page 4 is Figure 1 that shows A1A as actually having that 3′ area marked as a bike lane. You can’t really blame individual or group bicyclists for not riding there.

    Often people call a 3′ “bike lane” plus 2′ of gutter pan a 5′ bike lane. That is simply parroting schizophrenic, bul–hit AASHTO standards.

    If that really is 10/10/4 in the photo above with the SUV, that bike lane is non-compliant. It should be 5′ minimum from curb face.

  6. this is the real reason why
    this is the real reason why says:

    HB 971 was signed into law on June 4th.

    What is shown on this video is one of the reasons why statutes such as this are written; despite the authors statement that this is a local problem, it is not. I will gladly give you more videos and have tried, but they get deleted. IF indeed the argument could be made that this is a local problem, and subsequently impacts few people, then the same argument can be made against tax payer funded bicycle lanes, especially in rural areas, since cyclists are such a low percentage of the general population:


    If we as cyclists can not govern ourselves, we will be governed. Unfortunately, these group riders are having a negative impact on small group riders, solo riders and cyclists who commute.

    Rhetoric, comparing motorists to terrorists and statutes restricting cyclists to making “colored people” drink from a garden hose, only polarizes the conversation even more. I guess I can repeat the authors sentiment: “Making things worse for cyclists in the name of looking like you’re promoting cycling. Bravo.”

    In fact, team and group riders go against every argument a commuter makes, a fact that this blog has never pointed out:

    Energy conservation: you dont conserve energy by puttting your cervelo on your thule, driving your automobile 50 to 100 miles to your favorite training location, then driving your automibile home. For goodness sake, ride where you live if at all practicable and if you dont, dont argue how environmentally friendly you are.

    Following the law: I see very few commuters who break the law egregiously or knowingly. They typically are more law abiding than group riders, who, as the video shows, ride four abreast, dont pay tolls (yes, in most cases they are supposed to), and blow stop signs and red lights.

    Commuters are typically going about a task, ie: going to work. With the rare exception of the professional rider, group cyclists are doing nothing more than chasing a hobby. In other words, responsible cyclists have much to lose relative to group riders.

    The post is too long already, but I think its time cyclists stop being our own worse enemies, and responsible cyclists need to take a stand against illegal riders and STOP using fifth grade ad hominem attacks and straw men.

    We need to examine the catalyst of this verbiage, otherwise, more restrive laws will be come to pass, as well as less bike lanes (that seems to what youre arguing for here) and rightfully so…

    • Efpsp
      Efpsp says:

      Nice of you to use your identifier. First off, what you do is even more repulsive to we road riders than what you chastise us for. You take an example of a group of ‘roadies’ abusing the lane & proceed to lump all of us who “chase a hobby” into the same group. Have you considered that many of us do it for health & fitness reasons?

      I have been riding for many years with many group rides & what you like to portray as routine riding for group riders is far from that but, rather the exception. I’ll have you know that we roadies do a great job at policing ourselves – we don’t tolerate such riding or ANY unsafe riding from any member. Are there exceptions/ “Yes”, as your video shows but, they are the exception rather than the rule.

      I ride Orange, Lake, Seminole & Volusia counties virtually daily for long distances & I pass many Club groups & I seldom see roadies abusing the lanes or riding in such unsafe manners as you seem to think is the norm.


      • Eric
        Eric says:

        Next time you are out in Clermont, ask the folks what they think about the triathletes training there.

        • Keri
          Keri says:

          Triathletes and club cyclists have just as much right to use the road as any other “recreational” user… motorcycle groups, horseback riders, antique car groups…

          Use of the public road is not up for referendum by impatient motorists. Even if they think they hold a majority opinion.

          From what I’ve seen the majority of club riders around here are courteous to a fault … and often ride near the edge of the road at their own expense to keep from offending anyone.

          • Marty Cohen
            Marty Cohen says:

            Look at the video. The driver tries to pass in the seperate passing lane and the cyclist takes the other lane to block him. They are riding 4 abreast in and out of the 2nd lane. etc.

          • Keri
            Keri says:


            What does that have to do with my comment?

            I don’t live in St. Pete.

            I know there are a few groups around here that ride more than 2 abreast, run stop signs, whatever. They don’t represent a majority of the club cycling community.

            The existing law 316.2065(6) was adequate for enforcing the behavior Aubuchon thinks he’s fixing by adding a a mandatory bike lane law.

            Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions existing, and shall ride within a single lane.

            Impeding Traffic Explained

            The 2-abreast rule … applies to roads on which a single rider can operate side-by-side with a motor vehicle (i.e. a lane 14 ft or wider, or a road with a bike lane).

            Creating a new law to give police a duplicate tool when they weren’t enforcing the existing law is bad public policy.

    • Jayeson
      Jayeson says:

      It is always amusing to me when someone rants about a particular cycling demographic and their negative effect on motorist attitudes. From what I can tell there is only one kind of cyclist that is favored over others: the kind who stay out of the way (if not out of sight).

  7. Wayne Pein
    Wayne Pein says:

    What I saw in the video was a group of fast guys using the full lane, usually avoiding a shoulder that happened to have in some places bike lane symbols. You can tell its a shoulder with the symbols added afterward by the way it is treated at intersections. In places the bike lane shoulder is clearly substandard width.

    What I also saw was usually 2 or more lanes and very few cars. Doubtful any motorist was inconvenienced at all, and if so, for a few seconds at most.

    A couple of guys did go into the left lane a bit early in the film. Boo hoo!
    They did blow a stop light and ran the toll. Are they supposed to pay?

    I’ve been a bike commuter and utilitarian rider for 30 years. I also ride with big groups. I really have to laugh how some people think the highest calling is riding a bike to displace car use. I think the best use of the bike is because one likes to ride a bike.

    I guess if FL updates their bicycle facilities guide they’ll have to redefine bikes lanes. Instead of preferential lanes as they are described (like HOV lanes) it’ll have to say mandatory lanes for bicycle use.

    I’d be out there with black paint covering the bullshit bike lane markings, especially all those horrendously designed bicyclist containment lanes. Or maybe take red paint and draw the NO symbol around the bike lane markings.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      Well said, Wayne.

      As I discussed in this post, there are very good safety reasons for cyclists in a paceline to avoid bike lanes and shoulders.

      Club riders typically ride early on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Their actual impact is nil. Motorists sit in traffic jams of their own making for hours and then come unglued when they have to wait 10 seconds to pass a group of cyclists. That’s about prejudice and the wrongheaded belief that roads are for cars.

    • this is the real reason why
      this is the real reason why says:

      Yes, cyclists are to pay tolls in most circumstances, it is also illegal to blow stop signs and to ride more than two abreast….its also illegal to mess around with FDOT signs…..this is the empty rhetoric I wrote of in my previous post, but hey, if thats what your into, by all means, shoot some video of yourself when you do it though. Boo hoo

      • Serge Issakov
        Serge Issakov says:

        But did they have to pay a toll in THIS circumstance?

        The no riding more than two abreast law is stupid – we don’t have it nor nor need it in CA. It’s stupid because it applies in all lanes, whether they are too narrow to be shared or not. The only difference between two abreast controlling of a lane and 4 abreast controlling of a lane is that in the former case the group is twice as long.

        I’m sure FL has a slow moving law which requires slow moving drivers to use the rightmost (slow) lane – that’s the law that was violated by the cyclists in the beginning who encroached into the fast lane enough to apparently inhibit the driver of the minivan from passing, though that lane ends very quickly and it’s unclear that the minivan had enough time to pass the entire group safely before the lane ended.

  8. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    I am a big advocate for sharrows and I wonder how this law will affect riders in sharrows. Bike lanes are not the holy grail, but they can be wonderful for both safety and comfort. Every road is different. In the case of A1A, they make sense. However, we have all seen terribly striped/crappy bike lanes. It is incumbent upon all of us to fight to rectify these situations.
    The law doesn’t shift that much for the existing requirement that we ride as far right as practicable, with exceptions. The good that can come from this is mobilization and cross-state collaboration. We’re getting there- Great post!

    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:


      I can see how bike lanes can make some feel more comfortable – based on a false sense of security – but how can bike lanes actually be “wonderful for safety”?


    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:

      (duplicate post – fixing Italics)


      I can see how bike lanes can make some feel more comfortable – based on a false sense of security – but how can bike lanes actually be “wonderful for safety”?


  9. Jeffrey Lynne
    Jeffrey Lynne says:

    The irony that EVERYONE is missing is that FDOT and the homeowners adamantly REFUSED to put bike lanes on A1A in Palm Beach County. Yes, we won the lawsuit against FDOT but the court ruled that FDOT need not go back and fix the road, so THERE ARE NO MARKED BIKE LANES ON A1A; only a 3-foot shoulder. Thus, the rationale for the law, that “along A1A they were having some challenges with cyclists who were choosing not to ride in that lane and causing backups and traffic” is classsic considering that: (1) the road is already substandard width; and (2) there are no bike lanes. Thus, a single cyclist, or 10, by any legal reading of the s. 316.2065, Fla. Stat. can take up the entire road.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      Thanks Jeff. I’ve been confused by that and Jim Smith’s statements about cyclists not riding in the bike lanes. I knew that particular suit did not result in bike lanes on that section of A1A so I figured they were talking about a different area. It is quite ironic if Aubuchon is referring to that part of A1A!

    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:

      LOL! It never ceases to amaze me how little bike lane proponents and apologists understand about the fundamental issues – like being able to distinguish a bike lane from a shoulder. I think this is because in their simplistic short-sighted view, there are two kinds of travel space – space used by cars and spaces not used by cars.

      As long as it’s space not used by cars, that’s where they think they want to be. They don’t care if it’s a shoulder or bike lane, nor do they care if they are required to ride there, because that’s where they want to be, and think all cyclists should be.

      Ignorance knows no bounds.

    • Laura M
      Laura M says:

      not to mention the state owned enough right of way in question, but the homeowners along A1A were claiming squatters rights. I’m almost positive those homeowners didn’t pay property taxes on that right of way either.

      A1A in that part of the state is probably one of the most heavily used roads via bicycle than any other place in the state. It’s scenic, it’s posted speed limit is 35mph or slower in most places, and it’s one of the best places to ride a bike down there, if not anywhere in the country.

      • Eric
        Eric says:

        I’ve always thought as A1A (OLD US 1) being the “scenic route” and new US 1 (vastly further inland) being the business route and this was way before they built I-95.

        A1A was always being closed due to flooding, underminement and all sorts of weather related things, which is why US1 was built.

        I guess that certain people can’t see it that way, though. They live on the beach and don’t want delays.

  10. Jeffrey Lynne
    Jeffrey Lynne says:

    This is part of the reason we (SFBC) teamed up with zMotion to implement the Ride Right/Drive Right program on A1A to the extent that cyclists were mostly travelling in packs on A1A and not riding 2 abreast and cars were clearly not giving us 3 feet clearance. The reason why A1A has become Ground Zero for this battle, IMO, is the concentration of wealth and power of the homeowners that live along this 27-mile stretch. Very wealthy, very Far Right, and very Anti-Populist.

  11. PsySal
    PsySal says:

    Do you want to be marginalized as a cyclist?

    A bike lane is, quite literally, a margin.

    The cyclists that I have met who typically want bike lanes are those who don’t actually ride very much. That doesn’t mean they can’t be appropriate or that if you prefer them your opinion is somehow less than mine; but I do think they are hazardous for many, many reasons.

    As for me, I feel if you put biking infrastructure in, that is fine. I understand some people will use and prefer it. If cycling was ubiquitous, then perhaps they would be everywhere and perhaps they would be safe.

    Just don’t take away my right to ride safely and visibly, and never forget that on the road, it’s *me* the cyclist subsidizing *you* the driver.

    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:

      Do you want to be marginalized as a cyclist?

      A bike lane is, quite literally, a margin.

      Exactly! So true in so many ways.
      Why is this so hard to understand and appreciate?

      • Keri
        Keri says:

        Cultural beliefs (bicycles are toys, cyclists are inferior, roads are for cars, right of speed) coupled with the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

  12. PsySal
    PsySal says:

    Just wanted to add that I live in Calgary wayyy up here in Canada, a long way from Florida. The cycling environment is different in every city, here it is definitely safest to be on the road. The bike lanes here are almost always not safe (with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions) so having a mandatory “ride in the margins” law is a nightmare scenario for me.

  13. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Sorry I just saw the response-
    Bike Lanes *can* be wonderful for safety. I really like them on winding roads where cars are encouraged by previous physical design to speed and not anticipate cyclists. They can create a safer space for cyclists, when designed correctly, on high speed roads with few or no intersections. They can make people feel more comfortable riding, thereby increasing the numbers of people who bicycle and creating in motorists an expectation to see cyclists on the road. Combined with wayfinding, they can direct cyclists to key destinations in a safer, clearer way. There are but one tool in the toolkit, still almost always inferior to sharrows and often bike boulevards, as well.

  14. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    The real world experience of many of us is that we experience MORE conflicts and close calls when we are in bike lanes than when we are not.

    If speed and driver anticipation was an important factor, those of us who routinely ride in the middle of lanes would be getting run over every day. Instead, we have the lowest crash rates of all cyclists.

    The safety rationale among professionals was never that bike lanes directly reduce crashes, but that they encourage sidewalk cyclists to move to the roadway, where they would supposedly get into fewer conflicts. I used to believe that, too. But after watching cyclists in bike lanes for a few years now, I see that is most certainly not the case. I see just as much boneheaded behavior on streets with bike lanes as on streets without; sometimes even more. (For example, wrong way riding is rampant on Edgewater Drive in Orlando.)

  15. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    Mighk, your words ring truer to me than ever before. I used to feel relaxed when reaching a stretch of road that had bike lanes. That was before I learned how to ride more safely.

    I suggest that those who are comfortable in bike lanes are not fully aware of the proper way to operate when outside of one, and are therefore uncomfortable to be on the roadway.

    Since getting some training, I’m far more relaxed than ever before and usually become more so when exiting an area that has stripes without signs. As Keri has noted, it’s easier when operating as a vehicle driver, because that’s for what the road is designed. I say relaxed and more relaxed, but I do not reduce my vigilance, of course.

    Yehuda has a great strip today about riding with other road users. “It’s a matter of perception”

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      I use a similar metaphor:

      The novice following cultural taboos to stay out of the way feels like a guppy in a shark tank. The Savvy Cyclist who has learned to operate with assertive confidence feels more like a dolphin in a whale pod.

  16. Jeffrey Lynne
    Jeffrey Lynne says:

    We are facing a mandatory bike lane law because the “cycling leadership” of our state fails and/or refuses to work within and with the political construct that exists. Orlando is not Miami. Miami is not Jacksonville. What works in one part of the state does not necessarily translate to others. Bike lanes WORK in South Florida because of the overwhelming urban design and vehicular traffic numbers. Bike lanes may not work in other, more sub-rural parts of the state. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but there clearly (IMO) has been a lack of leadership across the board on this issue, which now has national implications. In the balance of things, bike lanes do more good than harm for: (1) advertising to motorists that bikes belong; and (2) to provide a sense (albeit false) of security to the novice cyclist to get from point A to point B. Notwithstanding this debate, there is an overwhelming lack of consensus on how to best proceed next, and with whom. I have seen the enemy, and it is us.

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      “but there clearly (IMO) has been a lack of leadership across the board on this issue, which now has national implications.”

      Not true. The LAB has been conning politicians and the public into spending zillions of dollars on white paint. As far as the LAB is concerned, one size does fit all, else the political subdivision isn’t “bicycle friendly.”

      “In the balance of things, bike lanes do more good than harm for: (1) advertising to motorists that bikes belong;”

      Belong where? “In the bike lane,” is what the white stripe says.

      “and (2) to provide a sense (albeit false) of security to the novice cyclist to get from point A to point B.”

      The novice riders don’t agree. I’ve been watching them around here. They still prefer a sidewalk if they can find one that doesn’t have all broken up uneven concrete.

      • Frank
        Frank says:

        FBA and LAB need to publish a policy statement to clarify their position on bicycle lanes, or we are going to see more and more of them, and we are going to be forced to use them…

  17. Keri
    Keri says:

    The illusion that bike lanes “work” is evidence that they are a bandaid on a festering wound of bad land use, bad transportation policy, incivility, ignorance and the sense of entitlement that comes with handing out driver licenses to anyone with a pulse. Bike lanes don’t solve any of those problems. They are merely a tragic diversion from real solutions at the expense of cyclists.

  18. Harold
    Harold says:

    Yes, yes, I agree. Having cycled for many years, and survived, many attempted, intentional, sideswipes, I have learned to ” avoid” areas for potential crashes. I have been perplexed many times at the placement of bike lanes. One such, is the bike lane BETWEEN the driving lane and a turn lane. This is a sure recipe for disaster. Sandwich comes to mind, not to mention the driver who realizes at the ” last minute” this is their turn, or those who think they always have the right of way, and wouldn’t think twice of cutting off a cyclist (or other driver) untill they are in handcuffs. Unfortunately, it would most likely be too late for the cyclist. Law or no law, I refuse- to ride- any where, it puts my life in danger…. Period.

    • Serge Issakov
      Serge Issakov says:

      Good point, Harold. The sad thing is that the claim is made that bike lanes are mostly needed by novice bicyclists, but it’s precisely the novice bicyclists who don’t have the experience to know not to blindly trust bike lane guidance.

      While novices are likely to feel less comfortable on streets without bike lanes, that’s exactly what they need to pay proper attention to the traffic situation. The traffic situation which bike lanes encourage them to ignore is what should guide where bicyclists ride, not a static bike-specific stripe which cannot automatically adjust to traffic conditions like proper roadway positioning must.

  19. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    Pondering the MBL law as it is nearly here is my latest brain exercise while riding. What is to keep the municipalities from putting cycle symbols in these undesignated bike lanes already existing? If a municipality did so, are they violating any state laws?

    Safe cyclists who elect to avoid the marked bike lanes will have a valid reason to do so, but now are forced either to argue with law enforcement or argue in court, neither of which is pleasant.

    A reference was made above that painting symbols on the road does not make a bike lane and can be determined by the treatment at an intersection. Is this to say that when there is striping to the intersection, to the right of other traffic, that it invalidates the qualification as a bike lane? In my area, specifically most of US1, the striping goes to dots at the intersection, but does not go away, as a proper bike lane should. The striping goes to dots at many driveways as well.

    What’s the word about having this senseless (but unfortunately enforceable) law repealed?

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