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View Poll Results: Do you stop @ STOP signs?
Yes 16 22.22%
No 5 6.94%
Depends (On situation) 51 70.83%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-22-02, 04:28 AM   #1
TotalKos
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Stop @ stops?

STOP

OK I know we wall stop at red lights while out and about. But what I want to know is: Do you all stop (complete stop) at STOP signs?
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Old 05-22-02, 05:39 AM   #2
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depends on situation, i quite regularly by-pass traffic lights by mounting the pavement and scampering past, then back onto the road, that way i dont have to wait for the lights to change.
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Old 05-22-02, 06:01 AM   #3
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if it's a 4-way kind of intersection, then yeah.

if it's a stop-sign, i slow so that i can safely see and then go through --- usually pretty slowly --- i base my decision on *safety* and definitely don't make sure to come to a complete stop

back in college (UT austin) campus cops used to give tickets if you didn't put your foot down which is dumb b/c i can trackstand a long time and does a motorist open the door and put his foot on the ground at a stop sign? anyway, i would ride down stairs jumpt out-sprint them or whatever when the campus bike police tried to catch me
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Old 05-22-02, 07:06 AM   #4
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if there are cars/pedestrians present then i wait to make eye contact. if i can make eye contact and the motorist is waving me before i come to that complete stop then i'm off.
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Old 05-22-02, 07:11 AM   #5
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Voted yes cause I do stop.

But I also make it a point to go through with a car at intersections with 4-way stop signs. I use the car as a "blocker". Meaning I know that other motor vehicles will not attempt to cross the intersection if a car is going through as they might with just a bike there. I always completely stop at intersections with only a 2-way stop sign. If there is not car there for me to go through at a 4-way then I stop and go throught when it is safe.
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Old 05-22-02, 07:37 AM   #6
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In my small subdivision there are a few stop signs
that I kind of roll thru, but there is VERY little
traffic. At all other intersections I stop at em.
I don't want to a) become a statistic
and b) cause more drivers to hate cyclists.

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Old 05-22-02, 07:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by b_rider
Voted yes cause I do stop.

But I also make it a point to go through with a car at intersections with 4-way stop signs. I use the car as a "blocker."
I do the same, because, IN THIS SPECIFIC INSTANCE, it is safer than being literally legal, particularly if one is dealing with a multilane 4-way stop. In general, however, I believe following the "Same Rules" is the price we must pay to maintain our "Same Rights" on the "Same Roads."
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Old 05-22-02, 07:54 AM   #8
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As much as I hate to lose my momentum, I stop at all stop signs and signals. I wait for lights to change, even if there is no one coming. Why?

Because predictability is the key to safety. If motorists know exactly what I'm going to do, instead of trying to read my mind as I make up my own rules, I am safer.

Also, I get less respect from motorists if they see me break a rule. I don't appreciate motorists who disregard my safety by ignoring the rules, so I give them the same regard, even if I have to wait an extra 30 seconds. (Gives me a chance to get a drink, anyway.)
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Old 05-22-02, 07:57 AM   #9
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I voted NO because I dont stop for the Stop sign, but I do stop for the crossing traffic.

In Montreal and most N. American towns,there are way too many Stop signs. I was on vacation in the UK last year and found the almost total absence of stop signs, made driving a lot easier.

If a car approaches a 4 way stop at the same time as I do, I wave it on as I slow down. Usually they then stop and wave me through. I then go through without stopping, and thank them as I go. If they go on my wave, they are out of my way before I come to a complete stop, so I go through. The important thing is polite communication.

People complain of bikes going through stop signs. It is just a matter of perception. A car slowing from 50 to 5 at a stop sign appears to be stopping, while a bike slowing from 15 to 5 looks like it is breezing right through. I think cars are as bad as bikes in stopping at stop signs.
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Old 05-22-02, 08:04 AM   #10
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I think putting your foot down is the equivilent of a car changing gears to park or neutral.
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Old 05-22-02, 08:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by b_rider
...I also make it a point to go through with a car at intersections with 4-way stop signs. I use the car as a "blocker".
I don't find this necessary. In fact, I would consider it dangerous to ride alongside another vehicle in an intersection, intentionally.

A "blocker" may not know they are being used as such. Cooperation with motorists is crucial at all times, and a motorist who is unaware of my presence cannot cooperate with me.

I prefer to act precisely as I do in my car. First come, first serve. Yield if some goofball takes my turn.

Again, if I follow the same rules, motorists can read my intentions. The biggest problem I have a 4-way stops is motorists who want me to go ahead of my turn. I wave them through.
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Old 05-22-02, 08:09 AM   #12
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Like most people, my ethics here are situational. I would not usually stop when I was on the crossbar of a "T" intersection with no possible traffic on my right, for example. I would almost always stop at a 4-way when there were cars, including parked cars.

The important thing is to never assume anything and never trust a driver. Having just seen my 17-year old through the process of getting his driver's license, I'm acutely aware that there are lots of inexperienced, tentative, scared, and easily distracted drivers on the road. For one of them, you may be the very first cyclist they ever have to deal with as traffic.

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Old 05-22-02, 08:36 AM   #13
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I'll blow a whole lot of stop signs -- particularly ones I know, where the traffic is light and where I can see a fair way up and down the cross streets. I'll blow lights if there's no traffic. I'll blow lights if it's a T-intersection and there's NO CHANCE of traffic cutting across or in front of me... assuming there are no police around. I respect busy intersections and I'll slow, often with a foot out of the pedal, even at intersections where I have right of way, but where there is traffic. Some observations:

1. Motorists are stupid. They don't respect stop signs -- only about 5% seem to come to a full stop at stop signs in Montreal, and they invariably roll halfway over the stop line. My strategy is to be aware of all traffic and be able to respond.

2. The two times I have been hit by cars, I was (1) crossing an intersection with right of way [no stop sign] by a car that blew his stop sign, (2) rear-ended by a car at an intersection after having stopped at a stop sign.

3. I can stop far more quickly and manoeuvre much more nimbly than any car. I've dodged squirrels, chipmunks and groundhogs on my rides, I'm certain I could stop or avoid any pedestrian that comes in my path at an intersection.

The traffic laws are made for cars, not bikes. And the cars don't even observe them.
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Old 05-22-02, 09:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by b_rider
...I also make it a point to go through with a car at intersections with 4-way stop signs. I use the car as a "blocker".

I don't find this necessary. In fact, I would consider it dangerous to ride alongside another vehicle in an intersection, intentionally.
i too don't usually find this necessary at stop signs. but i do often use a 'car block' for left turns on busy roads - there is a bus i often follow for a left turn on a busy road on my home commute. if there's space for the bus then i can fit too (or the car will hit the bus first and probably not push the bus into me) of course you have to be careful b/c no one can see you behind a bus...
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Old 05-22-02, 09:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by velocipedio
The traffic laws are made for cars, not bikes. And the cars don't even observe them.
Traffic laws apply both to bikes and cars in the U.S. They are in place to protect all road users.

The last road user I want to imitate is a motorist who ignores traffic rules.
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Old 05-22-02, 09:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by velocipedio
I'll blow a whole lot of stop signs -- particularly ones I know, where the traffic is light and where I can see a fair way up and down the cross streets. I'll blow lights if there's no traffic. I'll blow lights if it's a T-intersection and there's NO CHANCE of traffic cutting across or in front of me... assuming there are no police around. I respect busy intersections and I'll slow, often with a foot out of the pedal, even at intersections where I have right of way, but where there is traffic. Some observations:

1. Motorists are stupid. They don't respect stop signs -- only about 5% seem to come to a full stop at stop signs in Montreal, and they invariably roll halfway over the stop line. My strategy is to be aware of all traffic and be able to respond.


The traffic laws are made for cars, not bikes. And the cars don't even observe them.
Aren't you supposed to be following the rules of the road just as any other vehicle? (Actually, aren't we all supposed to (follow the rules)?) I hope you don't drive a car the same way you ride a bike ...

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Old 05-22-02, 09:31 AM   #17
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I voted "depends"
I prepare to stop at all intersections even ones without signs or
signals. and if I'm riding with a group of cars I follow the rules
so they know what I'm doing. I will look for right turn signals and wait behind them to make there turn. if I dont see a signal I will go to the front and look at the driver making sure he/she knows I'm there. then will lead the ligth so that I have a good pedal going by the time they start. ( dont want to be putting foot in pedals when cars are passing me). I try to do what is expected.
and follow the rules. to many blind spots on the road and to many drivers that dont know how to drive in mixed traffic(sp) ...
just my .02 worth
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Old 05-22-02, 09:37 AM   #18
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Traffic laws are different for bicycles in some areas. I know that in Moscow, ID (home of the University of ID) bicycles are required to yield at stoplights and signs (a fantastic law) and may ride on the sidewalk but must yield to pedestrians. In Walla Walla, WA, however, you must obey the same traffic laws as cars. Of course, it depends on how strictly the cops choose to enforce said laws. You may also wear headphones while riding in Moscow, but not Walla Walla. Of course, I continue to follow the Moscow rules ... yield to cars rather than lights and signs. I also use cars, trucks and semis to block for me.
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Old 05-22-02, 09:45 AM   #19
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I always stop at a red light, it´s a shame so many cyclists do not. They just give all cyclists a bad name!!! Here in Sweden like in US, bikes and cars aply to the same rules. It´s not allowed to ride the pavement along the road that´s there for pedastrians, to avoid red lights. Not here in Sweden. Not hard to see why we cyclist are "hated" by taxi drivers and others who has driving as profession. We must better our selves, now.
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Old 05-22-02, 09:52 AM   #20
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It is ridiculous and archaic for bicycles to stop at a vacant intersection. If one interferes with the flow of traffic by running a red light or stop sign then you are endangering the lives of others and deserve a ticket. However, if you do not have a law that allows bicycles to yield at a redlight or stop sign then do something to change it. Most communities have citizens panels that review such things or work to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.
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Old 05-22-02, 09:58 AM   #21
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I stop at stop signs if there are other vehicles approaching or stopped at the intersection. Even if I clearly stopped first, I'll make eye contact and wait for a cue from the driver. Without eye contact, I assume that they do not see me. Sometimes they see me before I completely stop and wave me on as they're stopping. By then, I've slowed down, and I roll on through.

If there is no traffic, I slow to a near stop, but don't put my foot on the ground and carefully scan for vehicles or idiots. Provided that there are no hazards, I continue on my way.
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Old 05-22-02, 10:33 AM   #22
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I voted "depends". In my immediate neighborhood, there are intersections with not too much traffic, except that we are right near a school. If it's at time of day where the kids are out, I go SLOWLY and carefully. Also, if you pass a school bus when its lights are flashing, it's a huge ticket, even for bikes. Busy intersections, I stop. I find that if you stop, motorists like it and often will just wave you through and let you go. It depends on many things- traffic flow, time of day and intersection.
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Old 05-22-02, 10:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by LittleBigMan

Traffic laws apply both to bikes and cars in the U.S. They are in place to protect all road users.
That's true. And if we run stop signs, we ought to be prepared to own up to whatever consequences, legal or otherwise, that may result.

That said, one must recognize that laws have to be interpreted. The entire system of jurisprudence exists, and the legal profession is so lucrative, because interpretation is necessary.

If you're driving on an interstate and there's an exit ramp on the left, and a sign that says "keep right except to pass," what do you do? Obviously, you interpret the law.

I agree with the principle that cyclists should understand that they are traffic and that traffic law applies to them. But I believe that there are many situations where safety and practicality mandate interpreting those laws somewhat differently when riding than when driving.

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Old 05-22-02, 11:13 AM   #24
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I ride mainly rural roads, so more than half the time there's nobody but me at the intersection.

If someone else is there, I will stop and put my foot down.

If I'm pretty much alone, I will do a 'rolling stop,' just applying the brakes and peddling again as soon as I'm almost halted.

I never just breeze through, unless I'm really tired and really in the middle of nowhere, and can see that there's not a car in sight (or anywhere for it to appear from for at least a mile in each direction.)
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Old 05-22-02, 11:24 AM   #25
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It depends on the situation of course, but my main argument for not stopping is that most traffic laws are very car specific. There is a point to come to a full stop when you’re driving a car. There isn’t when you’re biking. They’re two very different kind of vehicles.

You can’t always use this argument, but I think the stop sign is an obvious situation where you can.
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