Check out this video explaining the “Idaho Stop” law that allows cyclists to yield at some intersections, rather then coming to a complete stop. It’s been on the books for the past 27 years in that state.
The Oregon legislature is considering passage of a law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. These “rolling stops” would allow bike riders to preserve some of the momentum they depend upon for efficient travel, just so long as they don’t infringe on the safety and rights of others.
The law is based on one that’s been successful in Idaho for the last 27 years, so it’s come to be known as the “Idaho Stop” law.
I’ve long contended that if a person on a bicycle is expected to come to a full stop at every single intersection no matter the circumstances, it’s the equivalent of a car driver putting their vehicle into ‘park’ and turning off the ignition before continuing through.
Aaron Bialick at SF Streetsblog weighs in with a powerful argument supporting “Idaho Stop” law in California.
The stop sign law in effect in almost every state has a fundamental flaw: It assumes that bicycles are just like cars, creating the unrealistic expectation that someone on a bike should make a full stop at every stop sign, even when there are plainly no cars or pedestrians nearby.
The problem with this is that it effectively criminalizes the way that people naturally negotiate stop sign intersections on a bike: by slowing, checking for traffic, and being prepared to yield to others. Try the experiment a million times, and you’ll get the same results: everyone, including SF police officers (and probably the lawmakers themselves), will negotiate this way.
The reason behind this is, basically, that operating a 30-pound bicycle is quite different from driving a multi-ton, motorized vehicle. A bicycle doesn’t encase the user in a bulky metal frame that hinders vision. Bicycles can also stop on a dime compared to cars. It’s for these reasons that when driving a car, the care needed to avoid a crash is drastically higher.
To reflect this reality, Idaho amended its stop sign law to allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. This means that while a bicycle rider still can’t blow through stop signs or violate anyone’s right-of-way — which is dangerous and should be enforced — they are allowed to slow down, check for traffic, and proceed legally. The law has clarified expectations between road users, and, as the above video (produced by Spencer Boomhower in support of an effort in Oregon to pass an Idaho-style law) notes, it has a 30-year track record.
Would you support an “Idaho Law” in Florida?
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Mike Moskos on Event: Donald Shoup-The Godfather of Eliminating Required Parking
- Matthew Toro on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Adam Old on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Mike arias on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
- Matthew Toro on Commercial Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- ivo on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Walk, Bike, Transit Advocates Lose Sunday Parking Vote April 17, 2014Despite a grassroots campaign to retain Sunday parking meter charges it only approved two years ago, the San Francisco MTA agreed with Mayor Ed Lee to drop the charges, hoping that voters would approve two transit funding measures in November.
- Why Don’t More Conservatives Support Smart Growth? April 17, 2014A self-identified conservative who supports the “broader vision of smart growth” has identified a reason why more conservatives don’t support smart growth: the political economy of sprawl.
- Pittsburgh Land Bank Approved—With Compromises April 17, 2014Pittsburgh recently approved a land bank to acquire properties when owners fall behind on property taxes. The question about how much control to grant an independent authority, or maintain with the City Council, remains controversial.
- Is Cleveland Too Negative? April 17, 2014A recent opinion article by Richey Piiparinen of the Center for Population Dynamics at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University says “Cleveland's negativity is a challenge to the city's future.”
- New Urbanism Gets a New Leader April 17, 2014Lynn Richards, formerly of the U.S. EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities, is set to become President of the Congress for the New Urbanism in July. In this interview, Richards says that forging new alliances will be a key goal for her.
- Bike Lanes, Maybe, But Let’s 'Lose Yourself to Dance' April 17, 2014Being on the street used to be a dance, but not so since the automobile took over. Is there a way for all modes to coexist through a mutual ethic rather than compete for a street’s right of way?
- A Comprehensive Examination of the Bay Area Housing Crisis April 16, 2014The Google Bus protests got the media’s attention, and the Ellis Act has politicians' attention, but the Bay Area’s current tech-housing-gentrification crisis is a big, complicated mess.
- What Does 'Feminine' Mean to Women Who Bike? April 16, 2014Women are less likely to ride bikes than males in the United States, and part of the complicated issues of gender and biking have at least partly to do with perceptions. A recent article examines what it means to be “feminine” while riding a bike.
- Capital Beltway Peak Toll Tops $11 April 16, 2014Use of the 495 Express Lanes, a HOT variable toll, has been fetching a pretty penny this year for commuters looking to escape the notoriously congested Capital Beltway. The ongoing experiment in commute pricing should recede before a tipping point.
- Details on the Drastic Legislative Efforts to Block BRT in Nashville April 16, 2014Although other states prohibit the use of state funding for public transportation projects, Tennessee state legislators are moving toward an outright ban of bus rapid transit projects anywhere in the state.
- Walk, Bike, Transit Advocates Lose Sunday Parking Vote April 17, 2014