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"Stop as Yield" Rochester, Boston, DC Advocates Report Progress

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"Stop as Yield" Rochester, Boston, DC Advocates Report Progress

Old 03-03-24, 11:03 AM
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"Stop as Yield" Rochester, Boston, DC Advocates Report Progress

People on bikes are afraid of getting a ticket for behavior that the National Transporation Safety Administration says is the safest behavior. Now, efforts are underway nation-wide to change the law to permit cyclists to be safer. We talk to advocates in Boston, Washington DC and Rochester about Stop as Yield or Safety Stop. Also, Erik Noonan of We Bike Rochester is an =AZW8VSKcWrWRMMhGkLJ5nViWcd6xfD9Jgy9VrEPzLQ8fsoOH_ntU1LQIR6IxAUC8RFScA-fE-JqB1DjeDXV-5Mv9XXluywDE7KEXDYHXdf7yaTBzOGv8hO4GTVVVp3Vux_NUjL4Z04nKlKxWFIzxAvZ2vUhVYTv1ZFDB8MlGXnEY5SmgycagrD6o Fqk7OssHnKc&__tn__=-]K-R]League of American Bicyclists Certified Advocate who is moving to Las Vegas. We are working on similar Safety Stop legislation in Nevada. =AZW8VSKcWrWRMMhGkLJ5nViWcd6xfD9Jgy9VrEPzLQ8fsoOH_ntU1LQIR6IxAUC8RFScA-fE-JqB1DjeDXV-5Mv9XXluywDE7KEXDYHXdf7yaTBzOGv8hO4GTVVVp3Vux_NUjL4Z04nKlKxWFIzxAvZ2vUhVYTv1ZFDB8MlGXnEY5SmgycagrD6o Fqk7OssHnKc&__tn__=*NK-R]#BikeLife Radio airs on 97.7FM in Reno at noon on the first Sunday of every month and it will be on Spotify. You can listen now to show 37 on YouTube:
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Old 03-03-24, 12:51 PM
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I always approached this with the attitude that if a tree falls in the wood and no one is around, does it make noise.

If any motor vehicle is approaching the intersection, then I probably need to stop and make sure they are going to stop. For times there is no traffic close enough to be a conflict, I'll roll through it.

Will a cop be watching for me and care? I don't know. Here we are supposed to do a full stop by law. I think the local police don't care. Just as long as it creates no conflict with other traffic or violates the rights of the other traffic. Especially since the mayor is a longtime advocate for cycling.

I suppose it'd be great if a Idaho stop law was made for stop signs at the Federal level that states had to follow. But still the bigger picture will always be driver education. Most drivers here are likely taught to drive by a family member and only get enough education to pass the written test. So much of their perceptions about the driving laws are from imagined construction in their own mind of them. Even the stuff taught in my children's high school drivers ed class was very questionable for teaching them anything useful about interaction with other vehicles of any type, including bikes.

So I guess yay if we don't have to worry about a ticket. Though I never have worried about a ticket.
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Old 03-03-24, 08:09 PM
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I think the more basic issue is a long history of selecting traffic control devices for intersections that may be too restrictive; e.g. STOP signs where YIELD signs or no control might be more appropriate. In the new 11th Edition of the MUTCD, on page 75 in Section 2B.06 there is a good discussion of how to evaluate unsignalized intersection control to properly apply the least restrictive control appropriate for the conditions at that intersection.

Nearly all US traffic law is handled at the state or local level. When Federal legislation has intended to change state or local law, it's often through a mechanism of awarding or stripping Federal aid based on whether a state has a law of the desired type.
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Old 03-03-24, 10:13 PM
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Why is it safer than coming to a complete stop?

thanks
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Old 03-04-24, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach
Why is it safer than coming to a complete stop?

thanks
For one thing, it can help you keep ahead of car traffic. In a city like Philly, with many narrow streets, that’s a good thing,
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Old 03-04-24, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach
Why is it safer than coming to a complete stop?

thanks
Thanks for asking! It's apparently reduced accidents dramatically. Mainly because the intersections are the most dangerous places to be. In fact, they are thinking that putting crosswalks at four-way intersections now, may be the most dangerous place for pedestrians. Here is what the fact sheet from NHTSA says: “Stopping discourages bicycling, substantially increasing time, energy expenditure, discomfort, risk of collisions, and risk for strain and overuse injuries” (Tekle, 2017).

For more, here is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration fact sheet.

Tekle, A. M. (2017, October 30). Roll on, cyclist: The Idaho rule, traffic law, and the quest to incentivize urban cycling, Chicago-Kent Law Review 92(2). https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/...w/vol92/iss2/8
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Old 03-04-24, 10:33 PM
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I believe this is known as the Idaho stop, as it has been the practice there for 40 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho_stop. It is legal in a few other states, including Minnesota, where it became law last summer.
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Old 03-04-24, 10:43 PM
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Yes! You are correct. My understanding is that Idaho is the first state that passed it. Other states are changing the name with the hope of getting adoption.
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Old 03-05-24, 09:44 AM
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It's important to realize that the Idaho Stop law does require cyclists to stop in certain circumstances, I think some cyclists think it means they can just roll thru and the motorists must yield to them, but that is just wrong.

My state has not passed the Idaho Stop law, but I practice it all the time, it just makes sense. However, there is one 5-way stop where it's virtually impossible to roll thru, because of the traffic, so I have to stop just like all other traffic and proceed thru just as if I was in a car. And that's how the Idaho Stop law is written.

Even when I come up to any Stop sign and another vehicle is approaching about the same time, I come to a full stop and do all other action just as if I'm in a car.


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Old 03-06-24, 10:45 AM
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The last time I was riding in ID I forgot about the law. Sat at a red light for a while with no traffic in sight. Finally realized my mistake and had a good laugh at myself.
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Old 03-06-24, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The last time I was riding in ID I forgot about the law. Sat at a red light for a while with no traffic in sight. Finally realized my mistake and had a good laugh at myself.
The last time I was bicycling in Philadelphia (2017) I remembered that I always have treated all stop signs and traffic lights as yield signs since the late 50's and proceeded safely after assuring myself that the intersection was clear of traffic and the obvious presence of an LEO, and always without incident. Note: this bicycling technique also has worked for me everywhere else I have bicycled in the U.S. in the past 70 years.
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Old 03-06-24, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
The last time I was bicycling in Philadelphia (2017) I remembered that I always have treated all stop signs and traffic lights as yield signs since the late 50's and proceeded safely after assuring myself that the intersection was clear of traffic and the obvious presence of an LEO, and always without incident. Note: this bicycling technique also has worked for me everywhere else I have bicycled in the U.S. in the past 70 years.
There is a suburb just west of the Twin Cities, Wayzata, in which police routinely gave tickets to cyclists who slow rolled through stop signs without stopping to put their foot down. Trying to keep an eye out for a LEO was not always effective. The new law is most welcome here.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
The last time I was bicycling in Philadelphia (2017) I remembered that I always have treated all stop signs and traffic lights as yield signs since the late 50's and proceeded safely after assuring myself that the intersection was clear of traffic and the obvious presence of an LEO, and always without incident. Note: this bicycling technique also has worked for me everywhere else I have bicycled in the U.S. in the past 70 years.
A couple of years ago, the city announced that it would no longer be stopping motorists for minor traffic violations like not stopping for stop signs. I figure I am safe from a ticket while riding a bike. I tend to rigidly follow he rules when I am touring elsewhere in order to be a good "representative" and to avoid hassle when I am on vacation touring. Just makes sense to me. The guy who started the now-defunct Pedal PA always made sure to tell participants to be good "neighbors" by not doing things like blocking sidewalks and leaning bikes up against store windows during stops and following traffic laws in towns. And don't photograph apparent Amish without asking permission first. Things like that. Our ACA tour leader did the same before we set off across the country.
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Old 03-09-24, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The last time I was riding in ID I forgot about the law. Sat at a red light for a while with no traffic in sight. Finally realized my mistake and had a good laugh at myself.
Red lights are not stop signs. WA has a stop sign as yield but my understanding is you still have to (are supposed to wait for green.

For other states I think vehicular stops are OK for bikes, no one comes to a complete stop, they crawl through. Even if there's traffic to yield to, efficient to slow when you see them so they pass before you get to sign.

What offends people is not even braking (which is safe if no traffic.) They don't like bikes flying thru intersections. Tell them bikes don't fly. ( But they can in Seattle, very steep streets but cross streets are flat, becomes a ski jump. I've outgrown that, brakes don't work well when airborn.)
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Old 03-09-24, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach
Why is it safer than coming to a complete stop?

thanks
A variety of reasons. One being that waiting at a corner is one of the more dangerous places as we ride. It increases risks as drivers approach planning a right turn. Your slower speed as you start out compounds the problem. Maintaining some speed through the intersection gets you out of the danger zone that much faster.

Besides safety, changing the law to match how mist cyclists actually ride makes intersections more predictable. Drivers don't have to guess whether the cyclist is an outlaw or not, and can drive accordingly.

Keep in mind that we still have to manage our own safety. Stop as yield still means we need to watch for cross traffic. Also, it pays to move out to the center of the lane as you approach ANY intersection to improve sight lines and prevent right hooks.

FWIW while changes in the law are welcome, this has generally been unwritten law in the metro NY area for decades. It changed in NYC as police focused more on "Outlaw" cyclists.
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Old 03-11-24, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cycology
Red lights are not stop signs. WA has a stop sign as yield but my understanding is you still have to (are supposed to wait for green.
My recollection of the Idaho rule is that you can treat stop signs and yield signs and red lights as stop signs. When originally enacted, that second part was not clear, so the legislature amended the law.
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Old 03-11-24, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
My recollection of the Idaho rule is that you can treat stop signs and yield signs and red lights as stop signs. When originally enacted, that second part was not clear, so the legislature amended the law.
That's also my understanding, and an important feature of the law.

Allowing cyclists to jump the gun (cross traffic permitting) has them moving through the intersection before facing potential right hooks and left crosses.

NYC has a similar law, allowing cyclists to go with the pedestrians when they get the "walk" before motorists get a green.

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