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  1. #1
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    Stop Sign = Yield?

    It seems to me that the law ought to reflect reality better. Given that a bicycle has much less mass and momentum and runs on human power, bicyclists should be able to treat stop signs as yield signs. Here in San Francisco the vast majority of bike riders rarely stop completely at stop signs. In fact, it seems to confuse motorists when I actually do stop. My technique is to slow down, look both ways, and if no one is already stopped, I motor on through. If a car gets to the intersection first, I stop but about half the time they wave me on through. To cut down on confusion I sometimes fake a right turn so that the car will continue into the intersection and then I go around behind it.

    Whaddya think? Does this make sense or will the caged people get mad because it seems like bicyclists get special priveleges? (In California motorcyclists can split lanes while cars are stuck in traffic, so different rules for different vehicles seems like a valid idea). How many of you actually come to a complete stop at every stop sign?

  2. #2
    commuter all star peregrine's Avatar
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    i never stop competely at a stop sign unless it's absolutely impossible for me to continue. i'm lucky because the area i live in is very bike-friendly and most drivers sort of freak out when they have to deal with cyclists. usually no matter if i have the right of way or not, they just let me through to be done with me many bikers here cross streets on a red traffic lilght when there are no cars coming and pretty much disregard most traffic laws

  3. #3
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    The tendency of cars to stop when they have the right of way proves most annoying to me. I'm in a track stand, which is work, and some bozo screeches to a halt and looks at me. I'm not very good at one-handed track stands, so I can't wave the car through.

    If I go and he goes, I've failed to yield ROW at a stop.

    I don't know any answer, just annoying. The yield not stop seems very accepted here for all vehicles, but I think I know how the law suits for "accidents" resulting from this practice work out.

  4. #4
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    It depends on my mood as to whether I stop at stop signs... But, I have to admit that I like the feeling of obeying the law even if nobody is around... so I could be strange

    While I would love the opportunity to roll through signs without the possibility of a ticket, lack of power is probably irrelevant. If carried to the extreme then, everyone not driving a car capable of getting up to the speed limit in 3 seconds should be exempt. Also, if enough people get shot, should we eliminate the laws prohibitting murder? (I know this last one is a variation of "If all your friends jump off a cliff...) I believe that it is a valid item to bring up to get emotional support, but I think it also needs some logical reasoning as well.

    Of course, I do join in the view that laws should be enforced the way they are written, and if not, they should be rewritten... for example the speed limit. The way it is written a person going 36 in a 35 zone could be ticketed. In reality it is enforced as some higher speed (40-50) before a ticket, and people get angry if they are behind you and you are not going at least the speed limit.

    I had two discussions with relatives a while back when they independently complained about other cars who don't do "at least the speed limit" and they looked like deer in the headlights when it was pointed out that the speed limit is supposed to be the maximum speed. (My sister brought the subject up specifically about cyclists, and my mother had expressed ire at slow cyclists before)

    I say post them as 35 - 45 and ticket anyone going below 35 without a SMV symbol or a specific exception (bicycles for example) unless conditions preclude (fog etc). And I also think that tickets should be issued for 46 mph (in this example).

    The current method of public interpretation and "enforcement" gives the advantage to those who flaunt the law. If the law is supposed to be for the public good, then they should be written and enforced in a way that promotes the public good, and evens the playing field. The only effect of obeying the speed limit in a car is that the police officer will pull up behind you to try to figure out why you are driving so slowly.

    But, for now, we are stuck with what we have. If the risk of a ticket is a reasonable cost for rolling through a stop sign for you, then roll on... Since the risk is low, I don't expect most cyclists to stop completely. I do generally support the OP's proposal, its just the reasoning should be targetted at why the objectives of the law could still be achieved while allowing bicycles to roll through, like they won't impede another vehicle's right of way.
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  5. #5
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    Well, since it seems just about everyone on California, regardless of vehicle type, treats stop signs as yield signs, it's kind of a moot point out here, wouldn't you think?

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    I stop at all stop signs and stop lights. I do this not only for my personal safety, but out of respect for everyone else on the road! Riding a bicycle on the street is a privilege, not a right. If you expect respect from drivers and other cyclists, then you better be an example. Don't worry about your best time, maintaining your heartrate or racing home to do whatever; isn't riding about NOT WORRYING and relaxing a little (even when you're seriously training or racing)?
    I'm thinking of starting a campaign here to have the police ticket anybody who runs a stop. Period.
    If you wonder why I am the way I am...my oldest brother was killed while riding his bike outside of the rules of the road...the truck was doing 60 when it hit him.

  7. #7
    commuter all star peregrine's Avatar
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    you're absolutely right. i know i'm careless sometimes and have seen many a cyclist run red lights like there's no tomorrow. i guess, though, no matter how careful you are, when you're biking on the street you're at a disadvantage and if drivers don't respect the rules of the road, there's so much you can do to protect yourself.

  8. #8
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Ain't no stop signs in the fast lane baby!

    Az

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riddler
    I stop at all stop signs and stop lights. I do this not only for my personal safety, but out of respect for everyone else on the road! Riding a bicycle on the street is a privilege, not a right. If you expect respect from drivers and other cyclists, then you better be an example. Don't worry about your best time, maintaining your heartrate or racing home to do whatever; isn't riding about NOT WORRYING and relaxing a little (even when you're seriously training or racing)?
    I'm thinking of starting a campaign here to have the police ticket anybody who runs a stop. Period.
    If you wonder why I am the way I am...my oldest brother was killed while riding his bike outside of the rules of the road...the truck was doing 60 when it hit him.
    Actually operating a motor vehicle on a highway is a privilege. Moving on said highway by human or animal power (walking, riding a bicycle or riding an animal) is a right. That's why you have to have a license to operate a motor vehicle and why it can be taken away. And it is why cars have to yield to pedestrians in all cases. Bikes are in a gray area.

    I do agree about stopping at all traffic control devices, however. Getting into the habit of running them leads to not looking when you run them and can, tragically, end up with someone being dead. This applies to both motor vehicle operators and bicyclists.
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  10. #10
    Bent_Rider
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    This is the law in Idaho.

  11. #11
    EARTH IS FULL. GO HOME. heckflosse's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder why they call them STOP signs?
    Maybe they should be renamed "Stop, except for the self rightious"

  12. #12
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    This is the law in Idaho.
    --- Yeah, check out this thread entitled "bike-roads with bike-exempted stop signs" on the Advocacy forum, August 23, 2005:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ho#post1508106
    It includes the actual text of the Idaho law.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  13. #13
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    I roll through unless there are pedestrians or vehicles already stopped at the stop signs or approaching them. Once I was given a hard time by some motorist who was travelling in the same direction as I. He rode up to me and told me that I am supposed to come to a complete stop at the stop signs even though there were no vehicles in sight except for me and him. Technically he was right, of course... but why be such a pain in the butt?.. Do I rush to correct every vehicle that performs much more dangerous illegal maneouvers?

    Perhaps what I should've done is agreed with the guy and then reminded him that under the same law he is quoting, i.e., the Highway Traffic Act, I am entitled to take up the lane. Then I should've just ridden in front of him and stopped at every stop sign for at least 10 seconds (just to make sure that nobody is coming, you know...).

  14. #14
    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute

    I do agree about stopping at all traffic control devices, however. Getting into the habit of running them leads to not looking when you run them and can, tragically, end up with someone being dead. This applies to both motor vehicle operators and bicyclists.
    STOP MEANS STOP.

    It applies to you as well as me, whether you're on your bike or in your SUV.

    Why do they bother putting them up if it's safe to just yield?

    Would you rather shave a few seconds off you're ride time, or time your ambulance ride to the hospital?

    John Wilke
    Milwaukee

  15. #15
    lws
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    Why do they bother putting them up if it's safe to just yield?
    Because they know that if they put up a yield sign, drivers wouldn't even slow down, much less yield. I thought that was obvious.

  16. #16
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    It seems to me that the law ought to reflect reality better. Given that a bicycle has much less mass and momentum and runs on human power, bicyclists should be able to treat stop signs as yield signs. Here in San Francisco the vast majority of bike riders rarely stop completely at stop signs. In fact, it seems to confuse motorists when I actually do stop. My technique is to slow down, look both ways, and if no one is already stopped, I motor on through. If a car gets to the intersection first, I stop but about half the time they wave me on through. To cut down on confusion I sometimes fake a right turn so that the car will continue into the intersection and then I go around behind it.

    Whaddya think? Does this make sense or will the caged people get mad because it seems like bicyclists get special priveleges? (In California motorcyclists can split lanes while cars are stuck in traffic, so different rules for different vehicles seems like a valid idea). How many of you actually come to a complete stop at every stop sign?
    I think your asking because it makes it better for you,right? You dont think its a problem for a bike to roll through but what about your bike and a car rolling through at the same time? Could suck for you.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  17. #17
    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    Because they know that if they put up a yield sign, drivers wouldn't even slow down, much less yield. I thought that was obvious.
    You're supposed to STOP at stop signs ... I thought that was obvious. But hey, it's your health.

    John Wilke
    Milwaukee

  18. #18
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wilke
    STOP MEANS STOP.
    Actually 'RED MEANS STOP'

    This is an actual street sign that is put up about 100yrds before intersections where red light running is common.

    A

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
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    I find that very few people come to a full stop at stop signs. I have already come to the point of being very suprised when riding along in someones car to feel that mild characteristic jerk of coming to a full stop at a stop sign.

    When riding, I try and make a point of always stopping (unless theres no traffic, its dark, and I'm starting to feel a bit frightened at the edge of town where the wild things live).

    Somebody here said that they (or somebody else) rides through stopsigns like there no tomorrow. The only trouble with that is, if you do that, there may very be no tomorrow.

    If you follow the rules of the road on a bike, I have found that people do notice that because its out of the ordinary. Some people will even appreciate it and complement you on it.
    Pythagorean Theorum: 24 words. Lord's Prayer: 66 words. 10 Commandments: 179 words. Gettysburg Address: 286 words. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words. U.S. Government Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage: 26,911 words.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandovoodoo
    I don't know any answer, just annoying.
    you dismount. walk your bike over to the car, lean in the window, and (nicely) tell the driver how the thing works. then go back to your intersection and wait for them to go through. give 'em a big clap-handsies for positive reinforcement if they do it right


    a lot of drivers around here seem sincerely confused as to whether or not a bicycle is a full vehicle in those situations. they're used to giving row to pedestrians at any intersection (our law), and maybe they think 'pedestrian' really means 'without car'. i confess i don't always make a full stop at stop signs; there's one every two (short) blocks along the bike road i take for part of my commute. however, i do slow down enough to look WAY down both roads as i come to them. ime, drivers on the road with the row tend to see or know the stop signs is there too, so they're a hair less cautious themselves.
    ain't no man can help being born average. but ain't no man got to be common - satchell paige

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