Tuesday, October 20, 2009

stop not stopping? stop!

If you didn't already know, Idaho recently amended its' traffic code to allow cyclists to legally roll stop signs when the way is clear of vehicles and pedestrians.

Here's a video summary:

Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

Slate published an article about the concept last week, and the Active Transportation Alliance here in Chicago has posed the question, "Are you a vehicular cyclist or a facilitator?"

I see myself in the grey area between being a vehicular cyclist and a facilitator, how about you? When drivers yell at me for rolling a stop sign, I wish there was a way to say "seriously, have you ever rolled a stop sign in that car EVER?!" in two or three yellable syllables. Bike lanes are great, though I see drivers give no respect to them on a regular basis. Bike paths like Chicago's Lakefront Path can be good, but they're no place for bikes traveling at 17-20mph, not to mention that path intersections like those around Montrose point are the scene of many a collision between cars and path users.

Last, here's a great article about a dutch town that took a hard look at the way people moved around town and actually did something about increasing everyone's safety... notice there's no mention of "safety-enhancing" red light cameras (and red lights!)

1 comment:

Ragfield said...

Yah, things are a bit different in Chicago than Champaign-Urbana. My rule (here at least) is to roll through stop signs when nobody else is present, slow down at 4-way stops when motor vehicles are present but I have the right of way, and always stop when a motor vehicle has the right of way. I never run stop lights, except in the very rare case when the light doesn't properly recognize my bike and hence never turns green.

It didn't take long in Chicago for my etiquette to revert to terrible. Trying to get out of downtown and hitting something like 8 stoplights in a row within a span of 8 blocks, I started running them without hesitation.