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Old 01-10-08, 03:54 PM   #1
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All-way-stop signs

In Richmond (the Fan in particular), the streets favored by cyclists generally have a plethora of All-way-stop signs to which the majority (perhaps after a yield) zoom through. I am quite guilty of not stopping at many, and I was wondering ya'll's thoughts on the matter. (I searched the forum for similar threads but to no avail)

Other than expecting car drivers to recognize the stops (which many do not, sadly, especially commuters to VCU), what are the inherent risks here? Is it wrong to recognize stop signs on an extremely undertravelled grouping of roads as more than a request to yield to a faster moving/larger vehicle?

Also, it is VA law that we have to stick our wheels as far to the right as possible, most times much into the door-zone.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:52 PM   #2
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One risk is a ticket. This is something that can vary widely from place to place and even over time.

A lot depends on just how much you don't stop. If you just fly on through sooner or later you will be a statistic. If you slow down enough that you are spending enough time in hte area a car would have stopped to actually get a good look odds are you will be fine forever.

But I would not count on cars stopping until they actually have hit the brakes. Nine out of 10 will stop even if they don't have a stop sign and you cut in front. But one out of 100 or 1000 will simply blow the stop sign.

Also you can get into a bad habit. I can think of one cycling route near me where you cross a minor street which now has a 4 way stop, but the minor street you cross did not have a stop, even though a block later you cross a major street and it has been a 4 way stop forever. Even worse that minor street was the shortcut for those (drivers) in hte know so cars often were reallt moving. Add in poor sight lines and I'm surprised no one has been killed there. (or perhaps that is why it is now a 4 way.

Hmm maybe that points to one little self check. At the very least slow down wnough to be sure you actually see the stop signs for the cross street.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:55 PM   #3
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I treat stop signs as suggestions, not the word of God. If a can run a stop sign without in any way interfering with anyones right of way, I do it. If not, I take my turn at the stop.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:57 PM   #4
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Yep, I always run them, although the ones I encounter are all residential with good sight lines.
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Old 01-10-08, 05:19 PM   #5
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Yet when a car breaks the rules of the road, it's evil....
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Old 01-10-08, 06:05 PM   #6
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Other than being hit by a car or bike, hitting a pedestrian, or getting a ticket, there are no issues whatsoever. You increase the traffic avoidance workload of other road users and may pose a danger to pedestriand and other cyclists, but that's their problem.

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Old 01-10-08, 06:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by indexdothtml View Post
In Richmond (the Fan in particular), the streets favored by cyclists generally have a plethora of All-way-stop signs to which the majority (perhaps after a yield) zoom through. I am quite guilty of not stopping at many, and I was wondering ya'll's thoughts on the matter. (I searched the forum for similar threads but to no avail)

Other than expecting car drivers to recognize the stops (which many do not, sadly, especially commuters to VCU), what are the inherent risks here? Is it wrong to recognize stop signs on an extremely undertravelled grouping of roads as more than a request to yield to a faster moving/larger vehicle?

Also, it is VA law that we have to stick our wheels as far to the right as possible, most times much into the door-zone.
Just wanted to clarify on the last paragraph there. Here's a link to the Virginia "keep right" law. It's actually very similar to the law here in California.

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-905

Note it says "as far right as practicable" not "as far right as possible" and there are many exceptions (including passing parked vehicles). Obviously riding in the door zone is not safe or practicable, and the law does not require you to ride there.

As for not stopping at stop signs, the majority of motorized vehicle drivers around here don't come to a complete stop at stop signs if there is obviously not going to be a conflict (the "rolling stop"). I usually do the same thing at the large number of residential 4-way stops I come across. If there is another vehicle or a pedestrian approaching the 4-way stop from a different direction, I'll come to a complete stop and put my foot down. If not I'll slow down, check for conflicting vehicles/pedestrians approaching the intersection, and if there are none I will proceed with caution.

Idaho seems to be a forward thinking, innovative state in this regard. Their law allows cyclists to do exactly what I do.

http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newi...id=490070020.K
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Old 01-10-08, 06:25 PM   #8
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Other than being hit by a car or bike, hitting a pedestrian, or getting a ticket, there are no issues whatsoever. You increase the traffic avoidance workload of other road users and may pose a danger to pedestriand and other cyclists, but that's their problem.

Paul
How does running a stop sign while not interfering in any way with anyone's right of way lead to the parade of horribles you describe?
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Old 01-10-08, 07:02 PM   #9
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Stop at the signs.

Also, until you are written a ticket and loose in court when you fight it, consider it to be "not practicable" to ride right at intersections. Riding in the gutters at an intersection is a good way to get killed.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:18 PM   #10
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There are some backstreet intersections that I do slow roll through the stopsign, but most stopsigns I encounter on my commute, whether they are 2 or 4 way stops, are at busy intersections, and I always come to a complete stop for them.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:21 PM   #11
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I approach these intersections well out from the gutter because that gives a better sight line on the other street. I slow down a bit and if a car is approaching on the other street at the same time, I wave it on. Usually they then wave me through, so I proceed without slowing any further. However, the few that go, are usually out of the way before I come to a full stop. Communication between road users is the civilized way to go.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by indexdothtml View Post
In Richmond (the Fan in particular), the streets favored by cyclists generally have a plethora of All-way-stop signs to which the majority (perhaps after a yield) zoom through. I am quite guilty of not stopping at many, and I was wondering ya'll's thoughts on the matter. (I searched the forum for similar threads but to no avail)

Other than expecting car drivers to recognize the stops (which many do not, sadly, especially commuters to VCU), what are the inherent risks here? Is it wrong to recognize stop signs on an extremely undertravelled grouping of roads as more than a request to yield to a faster moving/larger vehicle?

Also, it is VA law that we have to stick our wheels as far to the right as possible, most times much into the door-zone.
I encounter many 4 way stops on my commute and rides and always stop and yield the right of way as I would if I was driving my old car... not everyone understands who has the right of way so you have to be cautious when your turn to go comes along.

If I am travelling at times of the day when there is little to no traffic I tend to slow down and yield at stops (when there are no cars) but do not blow through them.

I don't ride in the gutter and tend to take the lane because it is either winter or because I am usually going fast enough to not impede traffic... if I am not doing that I follow the 3 foot rule in that I stay 3 feet from the curb and 3 feet from parked cars (out of the door zone).

When you are crossing streets, whether you have to stop or not, it is always safer to take the lane so that cars are less liklely to right hook you and so cars at your right have a better chance to see you.
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Old 01-11-08, 03:01 AM   #13
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I usually stop, and by stop, I mean I slow to like 3mph, look, and then go. It's what motorsits do, and it's what I do for the most part. An exception is near the university, where there are more cyclists, etc. It's the wrong way cyclists, which aren't where I'm looking for them first, that I'm most worried about. Probably wouldn't even hear one until it was too late.
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Old 01-11-08, 04:58 AM   #14
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Other than expecting car drivers to recognize the stops (which many do not, sadly, especially commuters to VCU), what are the inherent risks here? Is it wrong to recognize stop signs on an extremely undertravelled grouping of roads as more than a request to yield to a faster moving/larger vehicle?
What? Pot meet kettle. So, you want drivers and cyclist try to determine who is going faster or is larger? Which gets the right of way, a Honda Civic going 20 mph or you on the bike going 25? I would assume if VA wanted you to use it as a yield, they would have put a yield sign there instead of a stop sign.
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Old 01-11-08, 06:25 AM   #15
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Ah, yes. This subject and endless discussions of it cannot be found on the forum . . . In most of this great land of ours, the rule on the streets is that, if an intersection is controlled by a light, you obey the light. At stop signs, generally, whoever arrives first has the right of way. If in doubt, yield to traffic from the right.

Follow those rules at four way stops, and you will likely encounter very few problems. The size and/or speed of vehicles relative to one another has little to do with right of way.

Of course, being among the lightest and slowest of vehicles on the road, it behooves you to make certain that other traffic is actually aware of and willing to yield to you when it is your turn. You don't want "he had to right of way" to become your epitaph.

Of course, the bible-thumpers in this "community" will go on about how stop means stop - foot down and all. Follow that wrote advice if you choose - it will not necessarily make you a safer rider. There are many times while encountering a stop sign when the safest move on my part is to keep moving and be clear of the area before oncoming traffic arrives. . . but you will actually find posts in this forum where riders are advised not even to accept a driver's offer to yield when offered because of possible legal "consequences" should an accident (god only knows of what sort) occur.

I think you already know from experience the inherent risks of your method of handling four-way stops.

Use your head and you'll be fine.

Caruso
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Old 01-11-08, 08:58 AM   #16
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I usually stop, and by stop, I mean I slow to like 3mph, look, and then go. It's what motorsits do, and it's what I do for the most part. ...
That's pretty much what I do, as well, assuming no one else has right-of-way precedence over me, in which case I trackstand or slow to a creep at a small fraction of an mph. They call a 2 mph roll-through a "California stop" precisely because such a huge majority of motorist do precisely that. In terms of safety, what really matters is the difference between "blasting" through a stop sign and slowing radically enough to get a good look at the intersection, rather than the technical difference between completely or almost-completely stopping.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:23 PM   #17
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Oh goody, another stop sign thread.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:37 PM   #18
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How does running a stop sign while not interfering in any way with anyone's right of way lead to the parade of horribles you describe?
It makes your scan for conflicting traffic more effective. This is especially significant if there are obstructions.

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Old 01-11-08, 08:37 PM   #19
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(I searched the forum for similar threads but to no avail)
You really couldn’t find anything on this topic?
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Old 01-11-08, 08:45 PM   #20
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You really couldn’t find anything on this topic?
He has a valid excuse, search isn't currently working correctly
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Old 01-11-08, 08:51 PM   #21
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He has a valid excuse, search isn't currently working correctly
I rarely use the search anymore. I do it the old fashioned way. My bad.
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Old 01-12-08, 08:26 AM   #22
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That's pretty much what I do, as well, assuming no one else has right-of-way precedence over me, in which case I trackstand or slow to a creep at a small fraction of an mph.
I can't even trackstand , so I unclip at least one foot and let it dangle -- hopefully an onlooker will see it and infer that I'm not planning to keep pedaling through the intersection.
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Old 01-12-08, 11:25 AM   #23
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That's pretty much what I do, as well, assuming no one else has right-of-way precedence over me, in which case I trackstand or slow to a creep at a small fraction of an mph. They call a 2 mph roll-through a "California stop" precisely because such a huge majority of motorist do precisely that. In terms of safety, what really matters is the difference between "blasting" through a stop sign and slowing radically enough to get a good look at the intersection, rather than the technical difference between completely or almost-completely stopping.
This what I often do... but if there is any traffic that may be unsure of the ROW as some cyclists are not exactly compliant, I put down a foot to indicate I have stopped. I really hate that though... having to unclip and reclip for such a minor thing... but I want to convey clear intentions to any other traffic.

Regarding the CA stop thing... if I remember correctly, there is one western state (Iowa perhaps or maybe Idaho... I forget) that allows cyclists to simply treat stop signs as yields.
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Old 01-12-08, 01:31 PM   #24
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Regarding the CA stop thing... if I remember correctly, there is one western state (Iowa perhaps or maybe Idaho... I forget) that allows cyclists to simply treat stop signs as yields.
That's Idaho -- and they also allow cyclists to treat stoplights as stop signs.

It's also the state that's preventing a national Miss Ebonics pageant. No self-respecting girl wants to go on stage, strut up to the microphone, and proclaim, "I da ho!"

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Old 01-15-08, 06:44 AM   #25
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I have met the enemy

AMAZING!...No wonder so many people hate cyclists, including me. So we negotiate traffic laws as a convenience? Why are you riding? Do you really need to run traffic signals and stop signs to achieve something? Perhaps the dream of being on the Tour implies that one must not regard stops as required since they don't do it. Reminds me of boaters who think no wake zones apply to everyone but them. We are a country that believes in the rule of law(or used to)... and if you want to change them, there are ways to do so. If the majority of motorized vehicle drivers disregarded traffic signs and signals the way cyclists do, there wouldn't be be nearly enough emergency services to respond. 80% of cyclists disregard signals and 20% of motorists do the same. Could be a lot worse if the numbers were reversed or equal.
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