On April 18, 2019, we posted information on our blog regarding the marked crosswalk on South Midvale Boulevard near Yuma Drive, where the Southwest Path crosses. This location is a mid-block crossing with marked crosswalks and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB). The blog focused specifically on the bike path as is relates to the roadway.
Many people expressed concern following our blog post, relating to the stop sign posted on the bike path. The stop sign is regulatory and applies to the bike path in relation to crossing the sidewalk, prior to reaching the roadway. The stop sign does not apply to the bike path at the roadway. The requirement of bicyclists to stop for this stop sign before crossing the sidewalk was not part of the original blog post.
We do apologize we did not cover both of these topics in the original post.
Rules Related to the Bike Path and Sidewalk
Bicyclists - The stop sign on the bike path requires the bicyclist to stop and yield to people using the sidewalk. Once the bicyclist proceeds across the sidewalk, the bicyclist has the same rights as permitted at any other uncontrolled intersection with a designated crosswalk. Drivers – A crosswalk is a regulatory control, and you must yield to people in the crosswalk.
Rules Related to the Bike Path and Roadway at an Uncontrolled Intersection with Designated Crosswalk
Based on Wisconsin State Statute §346.24(1), an uncontrolled intersection is defined as "an intersection or crosswalk where traffic is not controlled by traffic control signals or by a traffic officer." Traffic control signals are further defined, per Wisconsin State Statute §340.01(69), as "any device, whether manually, electrically or mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed." The RRFB is not a traffic control signal under that definition.
Marked crosswalks warn drivers to expect people crossing and the RRFB is a device to provide high-visibility warning to drivers when people are using the crosswalk. When a driver approaches a legal crosswalk, which may be marked or unmarked, according to state law, the driver must yield to "a pedestrian or to a person riding a bicycle in a manner which is consistent with the safe use of the crosswalk by pedestrians."
For further information, please access the link below to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Guide for Path/Street Crossings.