The Idaho Stop

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Francis Di Domizio
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon May 12, 2014 12:28 pm

Yes, and I don't think it's sloppy, but I still don't think it addresses population density differences appropriately. Sacramento has roughly 2X the population density that Boise has. That's going to affect traffic density significantly. Bakersfield is a different story and actually has a lower population density so is probably more apt.

You're right that it isn't useless, however on further reflection, I think population density is just one of several things that would affect how well a law like this would work. General driving habits and cultural mindsets will also have a factor in it's success, as will the percent of drivers who have gone through and completed a drivers education course (as opposed to just took the test, or driving without a license).

DCB
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby DCB » Mon May 12, 2014 12:29 pm

snoqueen wrote:The person who crashed his bike last week (apparently with serious injury) in the 700 black of E. Johnson had just run a stop sign according to witnesses. While the news reports also suggested he might have had a mechanical failure, it's hard not to wonder if speed had something to do with his wreck, especially on a piece of street as torn up as that one is right now.

Why would you wonder that? "Fast" for a cyclist might be the difference between 15mph and 20mph.

CapFox
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby CapFox » Mon May 12, 2014 1:30 pm

Seriously?! Population density?! Have you ever been to Boise? It's almost exactly like Madison.

The point is that slowing way down, looking both ways and then continuing on without actually putting your foot down is perfectly safe biking. Let's quit talking about it like it's not.

And anyone who tells you they're constantly being flipped off by bikers flying through intersections is lying. Tell them to stop lying.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby rabble » Mon May 12, 2014 1:33 pm

CapFox wrote:And anyone who tells you they're constantly being flipped off by bikers flying through intersections is lying. Tell them to stop lying.

Do you ride on or near UW campus much?

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon May 12, 2014 1:45 pm

CapFox wrote:Seriously?! Population density?! Have you ever been to Boise? It's almost exactly like Madison.

Except for the behavior of the driving population I'm guessing. Which is why I mentioned it as another factor.

CapFox wrote:The point is that slowing way down, looking both ways and then continuing on without actually putting your foot down is perfectly safe biking. Let's quit talking about it like it's not.

If the rider is attentive and yields to cars with the right of way. The fact that there are a good number of riders who don't is the issue.

CapFox wrote:And anyone who tells you they're constantly being flipped off by bikers flying through intersections is lying. Tell them to stop lying.

You absolutely have no way of knowing this. Stop being dishonest.
Personally I could care less if they flipped me off. If I have to slam on the brakes to stop from getting a moron for a hood ornament, that's an issue.

david cohen
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby david cohen » Mon May 12, 2014 3:08 pm

Someone elsewhere suggested making the Idaho stop legal AND giving any motorist (with a legal right of way) who hits a cyclist performing the Idaho stop immunity from prosecution. Sounds fair to me. I don't think drivers want to hit cyclists any more than cyclists desire to be hit. That's what upsets drivers- cyclists flaunting traffic laws and scaring the crap out of drivers...just as drivers who flaunt traffic laws scare the crap out of cyclists.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby snoqueen » Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

DCB wrote:
snoqueen wrote:The person who crashed his bike last week (apparently with serious injury) in the 700 black of E. Johnson had just run a stop sign according to witnesses. While the news reports also suggested he might have had a mechanical failure, it's hard not to wonder if speed had something to do with his wreck, especially on a piece of street as torn up as that one is right now.

Why would you wonder that? "Fast" for a cyclist might be the difference between 15mph and 20mph.


What would be the purpose of blowing through a stop sign if not to go faster or at least avoid slowing down?

And if he hit a rough patch or a pothole that damaged his bike and caused him to crash, wouldn't a lesser speed have reduced his momentum and impact? To some extent anybody on a bike assumes these risks, but the faster you go the greater they become.

I am not sure of the reasoning behind david cohen's legal suggestion either. I can't imagine anything worse than hitting somebody on a bike, even if there were a legal loophole allowing it. If car drivers pretty much have to assume bikes are not going to stop for signs, things are going to get chaotic really fast especially when there are more than one car and bike at an intersection.

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon May 12, 2014 3:38 pm

david cohen wrote:Someone elsewhere suggested making the Idaho stop legal AND giving any motorist (with a legal right of way) who hits a cyclist performing the Idaho stop immunity from prosecution. Sounds fair to me.


Hmm, that may have been me. It sounds like something I would suggest. In actuality a driver already would be immune from prosecution in such a situation unless there was evidence of impaired driving, or actual intent to hit the cyclist. That said, no I have no interest in hitting cyclists (or being hit when cycling). On the other hand on the occasions when cyclist have caused me to slam on the breaks to preserve their lives I might have given into the temptation to pass them then toss in a break check, just to share the fun. I like sharing.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby CapFox » Mon May 12, 2014 4:56 pm

I drive near campus (University Ave.) every day and my opinion is that it's cars that present the biggest problem, not bikes. They should simply close internal campus streets to motor vehicle traffic during certain times of the day.

I've lived here 30 years and can count the times I've been flipped off by a bicyclist on one finger. This one! And it's for you!

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby david cohen » Mon May 12, 2014 4:59 pm

It wasn't my original idea, Sno, I just read a comment somewhere to that effect. Francis is correct that if a bike blows a stop sign and is struck by a motorist, the motorist won't be prosecuted. However, the bicyclist might attempt redress in a civil court, so giving the motorist immunity might make bicyclists think twice...then again, as discussed, idiots ARE everywhere on our streets:(

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby CapFox » Mon May 12, 2014 5:04 pm

There's a difference between "blowing" a stop sign and slowing down to 2 mph and having some jerk in a Saab yell at you to stop. And flipping you off.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Mon May 12, 2014 7:37 pm

CapFox wrote:There's a difference between "blowing" a stop sign and slowing down to 2 mph and having some jerk in a Saab yell at you to stop. And flipping you off.
What's worse is that it was probably a GM Saab.

(But I think 5-8 mph is more realistic.)

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon May 12, 2014 9:02 pm

Let's be realistic. There is no way someone in a Saab is driving fast enough to hit anyone.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby DCB » Mon May 12, 2014 11:12 pm

snoqueen wrote:
What would be the purpose of blowing through a stop sign if not to go faster or at least avoid slowing down?

And if he hit a rough patch or a pothole that damaged his bike and caused him to crash, wouldn't a lesser speed have reduced his momentum and impact? To some extent anybody on a bike assumes these risks, but the faster you go the greater they become.

It sounds like you're arguing that we need stop signs to slow down bicyclists for their own safety. Because 20mph is too dangerous? Sorry, but that sounds silly.

I'm not sure what to think about the Idaho idea. I share Detritus' concerns over the lack of standards about what passes for 'common sense'. On the other hand, what if we just let cyclists treat a 'Stop' sign as 'Yield' sign? That has a well-defined meaning to anyone who cares about following the rules of the road.

For the ones that don't care - the legislation probably wouldn't change their behavior much.

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Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby rabble » Tue May 13, 2014 9:48 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
CapFox wrote:And anyone who tells you they're constantly being flipped off by bikers flying through intersections is lying. Tell them to stop lying.

You absolutely have no way of knowing this. Stop being dishonest.
Personally I could care less if they flipped me off. If I have to slam on the brakes to stop from getting a moron for a hood ornament, that's an issue.

After some thought, I have to agree with CapFox. There aren't many bikers out there flipping off cars.

Since they treat all cars with the same attitude, it would require that they ride one-handed pretty much constantly and few of them feel that drivers are worth that much effort.

So, I retract my skepticism. I've BEEN flipped off but the rest of the bikers that sailed through the intersections and plowed through groups of pedestrians didn't bother to acknowledge existence, much less flip anybody off.


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