According to the St. Petersburg Tribune (April 28, 2013) state lawmakers approved $50 million for the first leg in a 275-mile bike and walking path stretching from St. Petersburg to Titusville.
“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s goal is to bridge seven gaps among more than a dozen regional trails that snake across Central Florida. Collectively, the gaps cover 72 miles. Once completed, the trail would be longest continuous bike path in Florida and among the biggest in the nation.”
The aim is to increase recreational options, tourism and economic development. There are also health benefits.
The $50 million set aside to build the trail would be rolled out over five years in $10 million increments. Most of the money would go toward acquiring parcels of land needed to link various pieces of the trail. The trail helps increase home values and the quality of life.
“Bicycle touring is one the most popular outdoor recreation activities in the country,” said Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists.
For anyone who rides along these bike trails – old or new there are many safety suggestions. Here are some additional resources for cyclists:
What Florida Requires of Bicyclists
Overview of Florida Laws for Cyclists
These are some of the relevant provisions. Please seek legal advice to determine what Florida legally requires.
- Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. These laws include stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Bicycles must have a seat.
- Bikes are designed for a specific number of riders. An adult rider may carry a child securely attached to his or her person in a backpack or sling. If the child is under 4 years of age or under 40 pounds the child must be carried in a seat or carrier designed to hold a child of the appropriate size.
- Riders under 16 years of age MUST wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened and which meets federal and state guidelines. .
- Bicyclists cannot attach themselves to any other vehicles on the roadway.
- Bicyclers may ride two (at most) abreast unless a lane is specifically set aside exclusively for bicycles. When riding two abreast, bicyclers can not impede local traffic if they’re traveling less than the normal speed limit.
- 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 person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
- Bicycles in operation between sunset and sunrise must have “appropriate” lighting. You’ll need to consult the Florida laws or a lawyer to determine whether your bike’s lighting is appropriate.
- No parent of any minor child and no guardian of any minor ward may authorize or knowingly permit any such minor child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this section.
- As of 2011, the lane position and bike lane law include an exception for avoiding a potentially unsafe condition. This is significant in that it allows bicyclists to anticipate dynamic conditions which have the potential to make a bike lane or far right lane position unsafe.
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If anyone you know is a victim of an accident involving a bicyclist please let our law firm help you get the recovery you deserve.