According to them, the addition of bikes lanes cannot be considered for inclusion on this project as per Florida Statutes. It also cannot be considered as a pilot project because the requirements for selecting and implementing have already passed. Also, nor would the Fuller Warren Bridge have qualified as a pilot project due to the close proximity of the Acosta Bridge.
While it is true that they can not include bike LANES on a limited access highway or bridge, the FDOT may be misguiding city officials and the general public on its true ability to address alternative forms of mobility with this project.
I-195 in Miami. An FDOT pilot project allows cyclists to ride bikes on the shoulder of the highway. The shoulder is the pavement to the right of red jeep in image. Florida Statute 316.091 prohibits this from taking place on the Fuller Warren Bridge.
The problem here is that FDOT specifically uses Florida Statute 316.091 as the primary reason why they can't include bike and pedestrian improvements as a part of their Fuller Warren Bridge plan. This statute prohibits bikes on the roadway or along the shoulder, including bridges, on limited access facilities; interstate highways. There are a few pilot projects in the state where this is allowed, such as I-195 in Miami. However, the Fuller Warren Bridge isn't eligible for this program because pilot projects had to be selected by October 1, 2012 and the Acosta Bridge, which does have sidewalks, is roughly a mile north of the Fuller Warren Bridge.
Understanding the statute - two different animals: On the left, a bike lane or shoulder. These are prohibited by Florida Statute 316.091. On the right, a physically separated multi-use path. Florida Statute 316.091 is not applicable for physically separated multi-use paths. Images courtesy of http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/category/backroads/
For those interested in improving all forms of mobility in Jacksonville's urban core, don't ask for bike LANES, ask for a physically separated multi-use PATH. Florida Statute 316.091, its pilot project program and the location of the Acosta Bridge, have nothing to do with physically separated multi-use PATHS. In fact, there is no statute prohibiting the inclusion of a physically separated multi-use path on the Fuller Warren Bridge or adjacent to any other limited access highway in Jacksonville and the State of Florida. As the images illustrate above, they are two different types of facilities.
If this isn't enough, Florida is home to several examples of physically separated multi-use PATHS adjacent to limited access facilities. If FDOT District 2's claim that they can't legally enhance bicycle and pedestrian modes as a part of this project is true, then FDOT Districts 4 (Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach), 6 (Miami), 7 (Tampa Bay), and 8 (Floridas Turnpike Enterprise) are all openly breaking the law.
NEXT PAGE: Examples of existing FDOT funded Multi-Use Paths