DATE: March 8, 2013
Bicyclists and motorists should pay attention to these new signs being installed during Bicycle Month in several cities.
CONTACT: Mark Horowitz, Broward County
Highway Construction and Engineering Division
March is Florida Bicycle Month and Broward County's Highway Construction and Engineering Division has been working with communities and Bicycle Month organizers to help ensure pedestrians, motorists and cyclists can all navigate streets and roadways safely. The purpose of Florida Bicycle Month is to promote bicycle safety, provide bicycle educational programs and offer both leisure and competitive bicycling opportunities.
"With the number of events and activities planned, we anticipate an increase in the number of bicyclists that motorists and pedestrians will encounter on our streets," said Mark Horowitz, Broward County's Complete Streets Program Manager with Highway Construction and Engineering Division. "Everyone needs to be mindful of some basic safety guidelines."
In preparation for Bicycle Month, Horowitz conducted a "Train the Trainer" workshop that teaches participants who conduct bicycle rodeos how to fit bicycle helmets, bicycle/pedestrian laws and safety tips, defensive walking and bicycling skills and best practices for conducting a bicycle rodeo.
The County's Traffic Engineering Division is also working with several municipalities, including Sunrise and Parkland, and bicycle advocacy groups to install signs during March that read, “3-Feet Please – It’s the Law.” The intent of these educational signs is to encourage motorists to abide by Florida’s overtaking and passing another vehicle law (316.083, F.S.) which requires a 3-foot minimum clearance between their vehicle and the adjacent bicyclist.
Additionally, Traffic Engineering is working with the City of Fort Lauderdale on a pilot implementation of a special all-way pedestrian phase at the intersections of Las Olas Boulevard with Southeast Eighth and Southeast Ninth avenues located in the heart of the Las Olas shopping and restaurant district. An all-way pedestrian phase provides an extended all-red interval for vehicular traffic so that pedestrians can cross from all corners of the intersection simultaneously. The pilot program also hopes to raise public awareness that drivers also share the roadway with pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users – not just cars.
Some basic safety tips offered by the Florida Bicycle Association include:
• Cyclists on roadways fare best when motorists treat them as vehicular drivers.
• When riding at night, you must have a white light on the front of your bike and a red light on the back.
• A bicyclist traveling slower than other traffic should ride to the right, except to pass, to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid hazards in the roadway or when a lane is too narrow to share.
• A bicyclist riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk follows the same rules as pedestrian traffic.
• Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes. Brake pads should be inspected and replaced if they are worn or cracked. They should be equal distance from the wheel rim.
• A bicycle should carry only the numbers of individuals for which it is designed or equipped.
• A bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet.
• A cyclist may not wear a headset, headphone or listening device that distracts the cyclist.
• A cyclist on a roadway who is traveling slower that the speed of traffic must ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as possible to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway.
• Cyclists may ride two abreast only within a single lane and when not impeding traffic.
• Cyclists may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
• A cyclist is safer when riding in the same direction as traffic.
Throughout March, a variety of fitness and education-centered events are planned for riders of all ages to enjoy at various County and city parks. For more information and a complete guide to bicycle laws, visit floridabicycle.org.