When working on projects that disrupt the natural flow of traffic and impede the public’s ability to get from point A to point B in an efficient manner, you need to be extra careful in the way you manage your team to ensure that you are protecting yourself against any legal trouble pertaining to potential city ordinances, building code violations, or OSHA citations.
Construction projects are complex, so it takes skilled contractors who can manage multiple teams at once to see them through to completion. Managing a team includes accounting for the health and safety of every worker, tracking their progress at each stage of construction, and ensuring that they are following all pertinent laws in the area. In regards to the latter, one folly that many workers mistakenly make is blocking the public sidewalk during work. As our Florida construction lawyers will explain in this two-part series, this seemingly minor violation can have major consequences.
1. Violation of the 2018 Florida Statutes (316.1945)
Under Chapter 316 of the State Uniform Traffic Control, which covers “stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places,” no person (including a worker) is permitted to park a vehicle on any of the following:
- Roadway side of a stopped or parked vehicle touching the edge or curb of a street
- Between a safety zone and an adjoining curb; alternatively, within 30 feet of a curb positioned directly opposite to the end of a safety zone pending Department of Transportation review
- In close proximity to street excavations where parking would obstruct traffic
- Bridges and other elevated structures including the highway or a highway tunnel
- Railroad tracks
- Bicycle path or lane
- Locations where official traffic control devices ban parking
- Roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility unless otherwise permitted by the Department of Transportation
- Paved section of a connecting ramp
- Public or private driveway
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- Within 20 feet of a crosswalk intersection
- Within 30 feet of a flashing signal, stop sign, or traffic control signal on the side of the road
- Within 20 feet of the entrance to a fire station or 75 feet of the entrance when parked on the opposite side of an adjacent street
- Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing unless permitted by the Department of Transportation
- Any location where clear and official signage bans parking
2. Many Cities are Cracking Down
Sidewalk obstruction is relatively common in the construction industry, even if it is technically illegal. Although construction companies are permitted to close sidewalks, they are responsible for providing an alternate route for all types of commuters. In some cities, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists are banding together to fight against construction companies who aren’t providing the necessary accommodations for commuters. Whether it’s bulldozers or your workers’ personal vehicles, they must park in compliance with Florida Statutes.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.