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  1. #1
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    Was I really in the wrong here?

    It was the middle of the night and I was riding my bike at a modest speed. I come to a well-lit intersection and, having a clear view both ways down the road and seeing no cars in sight, I cruise right through the stop sign. Then a woman on the sidewalk yelled at me for running a stop sign.

    Now there were no pedestrians anywhere near the crosswalk and no cars in sight from any direction. The only way a problem could have arisen was if a passing airplane dropped a car from the sky on top of me.

    Now I also know that 100% of all drivers break the law when it comes to uncontrolled T-intersections, because nobody treats them like a 3-way yield (which is the law in Alberta). It's an unwritten (illegal) rule that whoever is going straight along the top of the T goes through without yielding. Nobody follows the law in this case because you'd risk causing an accident if you tried to. But nobody yells at drivers when they break that law.

    So, since I'm admitting I may be wrong, I'm asking here: was I truly in the wrong? I know I literally was breaking the law, but what I did is no more dangerous than turning the car engine over before putting on your seatbelt, which is also illegal.

    Here's my view as I entered the intersection:
    http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=109+Ave...93.99,,0,18.19

  2. #2
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    You are opening the bee's nest. You will be able to group all the responses into 3 categories:

    1. Yes, you were wrong. If bikes are ever to be respected we must follow the rules of the road!

    2. No, you were right. Screw the rules of the road, I do what I want!

    3. Maybe. Were you really extra careful? Did you slow down and look first? It depends on the situation.

    There you have it. You can close the thread now.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  3. #3
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    ah, I see. I sense these threads have come up before... >_>

    I'll close it as soon as I figure out how

    Eh, five minutes and I haven't figured out how to close it. I give up.
    Last edited by Luncbox1; 12-02-11 at 10:26 PM.

  4. #4
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    1. A 'STOP' sign means stop.
    2. The responsibility to yield, goes to those that did not reach the intersection/t-section, first.

    But unless the Google Maps pic is old, it shows no 'STOP' or 'YIELD' signs so, I don't see how you could be faulted regardless of whether or not, you stopped or yielded.

  5. #5
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I double-checked the date on the Google Maps pic. It says 2011. So I would say you are 100% okay. The DOT(Department of Transportation(or whatever the Alberta Provincial government calls it there) really dropped the ball. The only signs visible in the pic, are two walk signs.

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Smile & wave, and say, "I love you!" next time. It puts them off their game.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luncbox1 View Post
    Then a woman on the sidewalk yelled at me for running a stop sign.
    Where you respectful and say:

    OK mommy!
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kjmillig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luncbox1 View Post

    Now I also know that 100% of all drivers break the law when it comes to uncontrolled T-intersections...
    Hmm, then what am I when I drive my car if not a "driver"? You're wrong in this statement because many drivers do, in fact, stop at all stop signs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    The only signs visible in the pic, are two walk signs.
    Back up a little on the street (using Streetview). Stop signs are clearly visible.
    "Pain is weakness leaving the body"......yea, right!

  9. #9
    Senior Member kjmillig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luncbox1 View Post



    ...uncontrolled T-intersections....It's an unwritten (illegal) rule that whoever is going straight along the top of the T goes through without yielding.
    The intersection in question here is NOT uncontrolled. The straight road at the top of the T has no stop or yield signs and thus clearly has the right of way. The approaching road which comes in on a "T" has clearly visible stop signs, and thus must stop and yield to the cross traffic.
    Were you wrong? By law, yes. Would I do the same? No, I would, as a minimum do a slow "rolling stop" because I've seen too many intersections where there were "clearly no oncoming cars" until a fool with no lights zoomed by.
    "Pain is weakness leaving the body"......yea, right!

  10. #10
    Conservative Hippie
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    You were wrong by the letter of the law, but you did act in the spirit of the law.

    The woman who yelled was just one of those jerks who are out to prove they are jerks. These are people who try too hard to make up for their insignificance. Ignore her and ride on.

  11. #11
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    You should have retorted to the woman 1) scripture (of your choice) 2)something in French or Italian 3) Or ask her to repeat herself (several times)

  12. #12
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Sounds like you were technically out of line in that you failed to stop at a stop sign, but in terms of practical impact it really makes no difference. I'd liken it to a pedestrian crossing where one pedestrian pressed the button to get the signal to cross, then crossed anyway only for the light to change as they completed their crossing. Technically you're required to wait until the light turns green again but it's easy to see why an operator of a relatively slow vehicle that can't be readily identified would just go through regardless.

    Doing 80mph in a 70-zone on road where you've got three lanes that are totally empty in the middle of the night is technically illegal but it's hard to see very many reasons why it's a big deal.

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    a woman on the sidewalk yelled at me for running a stop sign.


    Guessing she was a school teacher.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  14. #14
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    Yes, you were in the wrong. Sign says stop - you stop. It's one of many habit patterns that keeps society running.

    Paul

  15. #15
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't of heard her over my headphones...

  16. #16
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    You could argue that since signs and lights are for traffic control and there was no traffic, the signs were irrelevant. OTOH, you could say that you as a road user, were in fact traffic to be controlled.

    Sitting at long red lights with no other vehicles in sight, you start thinking about how you can make judgements about your own behavior affecting safe road use and that leads to the thought that you are smarter than the traffic control device. The bottom line is that by blowing the light or stop sign you did not contradict the intent of the control (which was to prevent collisions). Your sin was that you got caught and reinforced to those present that you (and all other cyclists) are scofflaws.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luncbox1 View Post
    Now I also know that 100% of all drivers break the law when it comes to uncontrolled T-intersections, because nobody treats them like a 3-way yield (which is the law in Alberta).
    Poor or illegal behavior by others is not a justification for illegal behavior by you. Whether what you did is "wrong" is a moral question that I will not address nor is it the domain of a government to address the moral issue. However, by youi own admission you broke the law. So are you posting this to hear a bunch of fellow law breakers sing Kumbyah?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
    Yes, you were in the wrong. Sign says stop - you stop. It's one of many habit patterns that keeps society running.

    Paul
    society is in trouble then, running stop signs is probably my number one complaint about motorists on my commute. Which is actually an improvement, because there was a time when fear of assault was my number one complaint about motorists. Now it's down a few pegs.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Depends... was she hot?

  20. #20
    Beer and nachos today!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
    Hmm, then what am I when I drive my car if not a "driver"? You're wrong in this statement because many drivers do, in fact, stop at all stop signs.
    Sure, for certain values of "many" and "stop".

  21. #21
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    Were you 'wrong'?

    You did violate the law, which had no ill or injurious effect on anyone (irrelevant, by the way); so you were 'illegal', a 'scofflaw'.

    You were not dangerous to yourself or anyone else, the common standard in society today for 'right' and 'wrong'. (The whole "no blood, no foul" rule)

    I would likely have done the same thing, and not A.) asked anyone if I was wrong, 'cause I knew I WAS; and B.)not thought about any justification for it. It happened, all survived, and only one person (whose opinions you would not have changed one iota) saw it.

    There. You were wrong; acknowledge it and move on, as I have.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I double-checked the date on the Google Maps pic. It says 2011. So I would say you are 100% okay. The DOT(Department of Transportation(or whatever the Alberta Provincial government calls it there) really dropped the ball. The only signs visible in the pic, are two walk signs.
    It looks like there are two stop signs. The first one is actually on the street sign. The second one is not on the side where you would expect it to be. Its on the left side, on the concrete divider. Neither one are the only sign on the post which is unusual... or maybe that's usual in Canada I don't know.
    Last edited by NYgreyrider; 12-03-11 at 04:26 PM.

  23. #23
    Psycholist radshark's Avatar
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    The problem is many 4 way stops in the burbs are put there to slow down traffic - not because its busy. I personally slow down to double check every thing before going through.

    If that's what you did than the ped can pound sand. Too many self-righteous mouthpieces in this world to start bending to anyone of them.

    My take on it ...
    -R.

  24. #24
    Senior Member silmarillion's Avatar
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    Yep. Run a STOP sign you broke the law. The damage done was that someone witnessed you doing it. This makes you appear to be a scofflaw. This doesn't really represent the cycling community very well.

    But hey, learn from the experience and move on.
    "Whenever you think you have something dummy-proof, someone builds a better idiot." - Wisdom overheard on the BF

  25. #25
    Psycholist radshark's Avatar
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    Yep. The law says stop like a dork despite all your senses telling you its safe to proceed. Can't have anyone thinking for themselves now can we... you should be locked-up you rolling menace!
    -R.

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