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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Interesting observation...

    I noticed something the other day:

    When stopping at a stop sign, car drivers stop, then look both ways, before proceeding. Cyclists look as they stop, so once stopped, they go right away. This may be why car drivers assume that cyclists do not stop, there is no waiting period between stopping and proceeding.

    Discuss...

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    I think car drivers think bicyclists don't stop at stop signs because bicyclists don't come to complete stops at stop signs. I know I don't if I can avoid it. I love clipless pedals, but that's one of the things that aren't fun about them: complete stops means unclipping. Also, when you bike is fit correctly you can't stay in the saddle and put your foot down and keep the bike vertical. It's a big hassle to stop, and drivers who stopped riding when they were kids don't realize that sometimes.

  3. #3
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I'll be honest with you Wogsterca, I don't notice very many cars comming to a complete stop at stop signs.

    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist. I feel that is used as an excuse just like how it "takes more energy to get going again". You're exercising right? Use a stop sign as a chance to do some sprint intervals. Both sides blow stop signs, I think an argument could be made for cyclists who choose to blow red lights.

  4. #4
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    I think car drivers think bicyclists don't stop at stop signs because bicyclists don't come to complete stops at stop signs. I know I don't if I can avoid it. I love clipless pedals, but that's one of the things that aren't fun about them: complete stops means unclipping. Also, when you bike is fit correctly you can't stay in the saddle and put your foot down and keep the bike vertical. It's a big hassle to stop, and drivers who stopped riding when they were kids don't realize that sometimes.
    I don't find it a big hassle to stop, my bike is properly fitted, and I can put my toes on the ground while seated and keep the bike vertical. People's proportions vary, whether your feet can touch the ground is nothing to do with whether your bike fits you.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    I'll be honest with you Wogsterca, I don't notice very many cars comming to a complete stop at stop signs.

    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist. I feel that is used as an excuse just like how it "takes more energy to get going again". You're exercising right? Use a stop sign as a chance to do some sprint intervals. Both sides blow stop signs, I think an argument could be made for cyclists who choose to blow red lights.

    These are my thoughts as well. We are supposed to follow the same laws. In Michigan we have some turns that if you want to turn left you actually have to go past the street and then do a U-turn and come back and then make a right to get on the street you wanted. I follow this on my bike as well. I can't be sure but it seems like I get more respect from the cars when I am obviously following the same rules they have to.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rockdog's Avatar
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    It seems to me that when there is no opposing traffic present most drivers do more of a rolling stop than a full stop (I know I do). I doubt if my rolling stops on the bike have me moving any faster than the average car at the same intersection, it's just more obvious on a bike. I have to say that drivers around my area have never been anything but courteous with me at four way stops when I'm on my bike. If anything they can be polite to the point of being a PITA, waving me through instead of taking their turn - I always worry that there may be another vehicle coming from a different direction I haven't seen yet.

    lechwe, not many "boulevard turns" in my part of Michigan so I haven't ridden through one yet but now I'm looking forward to it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Laserman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    It seems to me that when there is no opposing traffic present most drivers do more of a rolling stop than a full stop (I know I do). I doubt if my rolling stops on the bike have me moving any faster than the average car at the same intersection, it's just more obvious on a bike. I have to say that drivers around my area have never been anything but courteous with me at four way stops when I'm on my bike. If anything they can be polite to the point of being a PITA, waving me through instead of taking their turn - I always worry that there may be another vehicle coming from a different direction I haven't seen yet.

    lechwe, not many "boulevard turns" in my part of Michigan so I haven't ridden through one yet but now I'm looking forward to it.
    +1
    IMHO Utah got it right when they said bicycles can treat stop signs as yield signs, that is what I do on side streets with low traffic volume. Traffic lights and stop signs at heavy traffic intersections always get a full stop.
    Set phasers to butt-whup!

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist. I feel that is used as an excuse just like how it "takes more energy to get going again". You're exercising right? Use a stop sign as a chance to do some sprint intervals.
    +1

    Riders who gripe about "losing momentum" or some other whine at a stop sign are crappy sprinters. Sack up and learn how to hammer off the line.
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    Senior Member shmily_dana's Avatar
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    I have encountered two situations in which a driver assumed I did not stop. First, I stop at the stop sign and then move forward and yield for a car. The driver did not see my stop because they were too far away. It is also possible that there is landscaping between us. In the second situation, I don't stop till I have passed the stop sign. I stop such that my front wheel is about where the front wheel of a typical driver. Many drivers overshoot the stop signs by a car length. I have overshot the the sign by about 2 or 3 bicycle lengths. In both situations, I've been honked at for not stopping.

    Another problem is that many drivers have only programmed them selves to look for cars at intersections. Bicycles and pedestrains don't show up on their radar. I saw one driver scan a parking lot to see if any police were there. (Sometimes several police cars will meet in the parking lot). He did not see any police, so he ran the stop sign. Fortunately, I had stopped my bicycle at my stop sign. I know he did not see me at the intersection.

    Another weird situation is when you get honked at for stopping. I've had cars that are at intersections 10 seconds before me and wait till I get there and then honk because I stopped. Or someone will honk at me from behind. Maybe they wanted to roll the stop sign on a right turn.

    I always look around at the stop sign. I ride early mornings, and there are always ninja runners, ninja dog walkers, and ninja bicycle riders. They can be coming from any direction on any side of the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    This may be why car drivers assume that cyclists do not stop, there is no waiting period between stopping and proceeding.

    Discuss...
    At least some of the time, it's because cyclists really don't stop. I'm one of them. I was telling a friend who drives to work that "You can go right on red, but I can go straight on red." Both of us ( people using autos and bikes ) can only do this trick when it's safe to. It's pretty rare that somebody in a car will see me run a sign or a light, though; if there's a person in a car nearby, it's probably not safe to short-circuit the normal procedure.

    On the other hand, I was racing somebody over the weekend. We came up to a two-way stop sign; a car was coming at the same intersection on the cross street, with no stop. So, I stopped, while my adversary ran the sign, forcing the driver to come to a stop even though he had the right of way. I think this is what cars object to, at least most strongly. I lost the race, by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist.
    Yep. Clipping and unclipping only takes a second, although I find myself doing track stands instead most of the time...
    Don't believe everything you think.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    lechwe, not many "boulevard turns" in my part of Michigan so I haven't ridden through one yet but now I'm looking forward to it.
    The only thing I really don't enjoy is trying to get from the far right hand side to the far left hand side on a 4 lane. Lansing has several of these around MSU campus.

  12. #12
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist. I feel that is used as an excuse just like how it "takes more energy to get going again". You're exercising right? Use a stop sign as a chance to do some sprint intervals.
    If I'm commuting, I'm not out for exercise, I just want to get to work as sweat free as possible so keeping a smooth pace and maintaining momentum is better than stopping and re-starting. Anyways, you ride as expected for your locality. In my case, everyone runs reds and jay walks and drivers expect it so there's no "giving cyclists a bad name" here.
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  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I STOP! COMPLETE STOPS! I LOOK BOTH WAYS MORE THAN ONCE! I know lots of lousy drivers and riders so I protect myself.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rockdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lechwe View Post
    The only thing I really don't enjoy is trying to get from the far right hand side to the far left hand side on a 4 lane. Lansing has several of these around MSU campus.
    LOL I was a cab driver in E. Lansing in one of my past lives, there is no safe way to get around the MSU campus.

  15. #15
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

    Yep. Clipping and unclipping only takes a second, although I find myself doing track stands instead most of the time...
    Track standing is a fun and valuable skill to develop. Next time you hit some technical single track you'll be thankful you had the practice.

    That and it's fun to do.

  16. #16
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    If I'm commuting, I'm not out for exercise, I just want to get to work as sweat free as possible so keeping a smooth pace and maintaining momentum is better than stopping and re-starting. Anyways, you ride as expected for your locality. In my case, everyone runs reds and jay walks and drivers expect it so there's no "giving cyclists a bad name" here.
    Very true. Be safe out there.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    LOL I was a cab driver in E. Lansing in one of my past lives, there is no safe way to get around the MSU campus.
    It's worse than you can imagine. Since fall is here the population is up and it's kind of like a train wreck. You just can't stop yourself from looking. The scenery is outstanding lately. Good thing the wife doesn't ride with me or I would probably run into her by accident.

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    From my days in the navy..the nautical rules of the road are the laws, but the law of gross tonnage generally prevails. Same with cars and bikes, IMHO.

    I stop at lights, but not at all stop signs, especially if there is not one in sight. I never, however, just bust through them, that is for sure.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    I'll be honest with you Wogsterca, I don't notice very many cars comming to a complete stop at stop signs.

    Unclipping and putting a foot down isn't really big deal for a cyclist. I feel that is used as an excuse just like how it "takes more energy to get going again". You're exercising right? Use a stop sign as a chance to do some sprint intervals. Both sides blow stop signs, I think an argument could be made for cyclists who choose to blow red lights.
    Your right, I think part of the issue is that other then the typically car only, 4 lane wide, 70km/h limit arterials, streets suitable for cycling almost always seem to be streets where there is a politically oriented 4 way stop every freaking block, simply to keep cars from exceeding the lower speed limit. Usually because someone bugged their city councillor about speeding cars and the easiest and cheapest way to fix it is another 4 way stop. Of course they wouldn't think of getting the local constabulary to haul the cars over for speeding for a couple of weeks until the cars slow down....

    Of course many cyclists will eventually get tired of the starts/stops every block, and start rolling through some of them. Drivers often do this too, but usually have an arterial a couple of blocks away they can use instead. Now because a cyclist is much more aware generally of their surroundings, you could argue that a rolling stop at a stop sign is safer then doing the same thing in a car and that places that allow this are more progressive then ones that do not. I will roll stop some of the signs if there is not a soul around, traffic lights though, nope, too dangerous. The only problem with traffic lights is that there are still, way too many that a bicycle will not trigger, so you could be waiting there all day. I would think out of 1000 traffic signals there are probably 5-6 that are marked that a bicycle can trigger them..... What bugs me though is when they do major construction on an intersection, which would include new traffic loops, and do not make it bicycle compatible, especially when it's on a signed bike route. You would think, in this day an age that cities would make it SOP to make updated traffic lights bicycle compatible, but who knows.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    I usually stop at stop signs, but there are times when I roll up to the stop sign I can see that it is clear and then traffic coming. I figure if I clear the intersection I'm less of hazard to the other drivers, plus not having to start from a complete stop let's me clear the intersection quicker. But, I always error on the side of caution, even if I have the right of way I lose in a collision.

    On some of the routes I ride I occassionally will run some traffic lights after coming to a stop and waiting to see if there are any cars coming - up behind me. There are no crosswalks or buttons to activate the traffic light and it is an on demand light that won't cycle through unless triggered and my bike doesn't trigger the light. I could take a free right and then a u-turn, but I figure that is more dangerous having to look back over my shoulder to clear traffic.

    I wish we had the law like Idaho and I guess Utah that says bikes can treat stop signs more like yield signs.

  21. #21
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    I almost always stop at stop signs out here, and ALWAYS stop at traffic lights. Most of the 4-way stops are blind or nearly-blind corners, starting with the one less than 100 feet from my house. The traffic lights are even worse, because of the layouts: one in particular has the left-turn lane traffic blocking sight of almost all of the oncoming traffic beside them until the last twenty feet or so to the corner.

    I, too, am rather annoyed at the lack of bicycle-friendly routes around where I live. Especially on the Friday-Sunday end of the week, when the cops are trawling through town more thoroughly. With all the parking problems in downtown Monroe, you'd think they'd thank me for saving a parking space, but noooo.

    It's a catch-22 sometimes out here: ride on the sidewalk and it's against local ordinances, but ride on the street and it's "Endangering The Public," which they hit people with this past weekend, during the local jazz fest. I got off on that one when a bicycle cop rode past me and started looking daggers at the officer in the patrol car.

  22. #22
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Agreed!I love it when the car behind me at the light can't keep up with me going across the intersection because I can out accelerate him up to about 20-25 MPH.
    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    +1

    Riders who gripe about "losing momentum" or some other whine at a stop sign are crappy sprinters. Sack up and learn how to hammer off the line.
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  23. #23
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    When I'm out and about I just try to use my best judgment. When riding through town, I stop (complete stop) at each and every stop sign and traffic light. There is traffic and the only way to be as safe as possible is to be as safe as possible. When I ride the back country roads down by the river and such, I may ride 25 miles and never see another person the entire time. In those cases, I approach each stop sign (no lights out there) cautiously. If there are no vehicles within eyesight or earshot, I will keep my momentum going and roll through. Maybe that makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but to me it seems more like common sense.
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  24. #24
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    I read article some time ago in 'Bicycle Times' (dirt rag offshoot for commuters and tourists) about the law in Idaho they called the Idaho Stop, which is basically a bicycles-treat-stop-sign-as-yeild-sign law, and there are many arguments for and against this law.

    The fact of the matter is that most cyclists in my area - myself included - already do the 'Idaho Stop' even though it is not the law in Ontario.

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    I always stop at red lights, but stop signs I'll slow down to about 5-8 mph and take a look around. If it's safe to go I will go, If I see cars coming I'll stop. I tend to keep my hands on my brakes though when going through stop signs, never know... I was waiting at a stop sign for a car to move on, as he passed I started pedalling to cross the street. The ******* behind him decided not to wait and plowed right through the stop sign, almost hit me...
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