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July 14, 2011

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Idaho Stop Law rebuttle

Dave W. Idaho may be rural, but the law is statewide. More people are in cities, as are stop signs and traffic signals. Certainly more bike miles are ridden in the cities. The law was first proposed because of the number of riders wearing clipped pedals. Coming out while trying to stop often resulted in falls. The north end of Boise has stop signs at every intersection, every block. It's residential. Pain to drive through, pleasant to ride. And that's the point.

b young more than 1 year ago

Idaho Stop Law

Everybody seem to ignore that Idaho is a rural state. The yeild provision is only in the rural areas of the state where there is no traffic. In the urban areas, with high traffic volume, stop means STOP. The real problem is that bicycles do not activate traffic signals knows as dead red, requiring the cyclist to treat the signal as malfunctioning and as a stop sign. But let's keep the Idaho Stop reserveds for rural ares. As for the argument for difficulty of starting either use a geared bike, or change gearing where pedelling will be easier.

David Washburn more than 2 years ago

• I don't think we're ever going to get past the publicity nightmare until our society faces the reality that the rules motorists actually follow are different from the law. When we learn to drive, this first becomes a rite of passage: Today I am a man, because now I know how to go 15mph over the speed limit without the cops busting me! Over time, though, it becomes an unconscious part of our observer bias.

Widespread motorist lawbreaking is ingrained in law enforcement (who have policies about how much of it to ignore, at least for white motorists) and traffic engineering. We have STOP signs at nearly every intersection in America not because of any burning need to have people stop, but as an attempt to get motorists to speed from street to street rather than down an entire stretch of street. Motorists, in fact, usually don't bother to stop anyway, preferring the "California roll" a.k.a. "Hollywood stop."

Yet some of these same motorists following their unlawful system of rules will blow a gasket when a bicyclist abides by different rules. Which is ridiculous, since "slow and go" is the _de_facto_ behavior all over the world, not just in Idaho, and not just for bikes.

Jym Dyer more than 2 years ago

Police harassment?

I like your rebuttal Elly, and am sorry to hear about police harassment of cyclists in Portland. I would think PDX had a bicycle friendly police force. Here in Davis CA, the police rarely observe a rolling stop outside of downtown. Cycling without lights at night is another law that is scarcely enforced.

Robi Pochapin more than 2 years ago

Idaho stop law

I'm a regular transportation cyclist and am included to believe that, until the majority of drivers accept cyclists on the road and are prepared to accommodate them by reducing speed, looking for them and share the lane, we aren't ready for the Idaho stop law. Criticize Ellie for considering the PR nightmare if you will but public perception has always mattered and it always will. The perception that cyclists behave irresponsibly on the road is real, though it is perpetuated by, IMO, a minority of cyclists. Everyday I encounter cyclists pedaling down the bike lane in the wrong direction. Too many cyclists whereI live don't bother with any lighting or even reflective clothing when biking after dark. I see cyclists blowing lights all the time. I think enforcement by the police would help - a ticket and fine - but they prefer to issue warnings. I suspect these same people do equally irresponsible manuveurs when they are driving, too. That said, yet another cyclist was struck recently in Phoenix by a 69-year-old motorist who failed to look both way, hit the cyclist and kept driving. "Honest mistake", so she won't likely be charged. (Heavy sigh!)

Karen Voyer-Caravona more than 2 years ago


Sorry Elly, you lose this debate. You're only argument is that trying to pass the law has been a public relations problem? And that people (presumably drivers of cars) aren't ready for this kind of change? Well guess what? Bikes on the road is a reality and we all need to learn how to play nice together. Roads are not for cars alone. In fact, many cities have ordinances against bicycles on sidewalks, so where else can a bike go if not on the road?

Bicycles are also very different, as pointed out by Lolly. Bike riders can see more and more clearly (unobstructed) and can stop much quicker than a car. The mechanics of the situation make this a safe thing to do and the "special treatment" for bikes is one more reminder to auto drivers that bikes are out there and they aren't going away. In fact, with gas prices rising like they are the bikes on the road will probably grow pretty steadily from now until we reach oil independence.

Earl more than 2 years ago

Idaho Stop Law

I for one am against the ISL. Why, we cyclists demand to be treated as equals on the road. Don't ignore us - give us the respect we need. Give us our FAIR share of transportation dollars, investigate and treat cars that hit us with the same vigor that you would a pedestrian or other auto. IF that's the case, how can we justify a 'special' law just for us?

Maybe, some time in the future when cars actually believe and treat us as equals, a law like the ISL would be acceptable. But, I'd much rather have the respect and equal treatment that cars get than not to have to stop at a stop sign or light.

Charlie more than 2 years ago

Idaho Stop Law

Minnesota is ADDING stop signs on bike trails parallel to roads without stop signs on the road but intersected by roads with stop signs. Do you think bikes stop at these? No.


Ken more than 3 years ago

Rolling Stop

Ellie I will disagree with you. 50 years of bike riding has taught me that a bike ride is only as safe as YOU the bike rider makes it. Nothing in our lifetime will MAKE people feel comfortable and safe while bike riding. That illusion is hyped by advocates in bike towns. What about the rest of America? What works for Idaho failed out west because frankly, motorist don't hardly stop but roll through intersections as a matter of course

bob smith more than 3 years ago

Idaho Stop Law: A response

I'm a re-discovered rider who at age 54 enjoys the freedom and pace of biking for health, fun and transportation. As a teacher who looks for the best techniques to help my students reach their fullest potential from the reality of their present skills and abilities, I think that bike laws and regulations will be most beneficial when geared to individual communities. Some states have motorcycle helmet requirements, some don't. Some traffic intersections have beeps for visually impaired pedestrians most don't. Some street markings have reflective markers, others do not. A quote I recently read states: "Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor." Let's create a fluid, caring community open to addressing the needs of a global landscape with hometown sensitivity and openess for all!
Duan Cannon
Montessori Teacher and "Granny"
Columbus, OH
Now that would make Major Taylor smile!!!

Duan Cannon more than 3 years ago

No fear for media

The media always go crazy about any good law humanity does :o) Let us think about seat car belt or anti-smoking law, it makes a lot of noise to finally be accepted by people and save so many lives.

Bertrand Morasse more than 3 years ago