September 26, 2017

The Idaho Stop Ramps up for Delaware Cyclists

In 1982 Idaho Traffic laws were revised with a new bicycle code that included a provision to allow bicyclists to do a “rolling stop” instead of a dead halt at stop signs~treating the “stop sign” like a “yield” sign.  Some cyclists and police officers advocated for an amendment to this law which was passed in 2006. The amendment stated that cyclists must stop on red lights, and must yield before proceeding straight or making a left turn at an intersection. The benefits of the Idaho Stop according to two studies is that safety is improved, and cyclists can move to see around obstacles, lessening car collisions. While this cyclist law has been enacted in Idaho, no other jurisdiction picked it up~until now.
The Governor of Delaware is expected to sign legislation allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yields in  early October. Even though Idaho has a long safety record with cyclists treating stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, Delaware’s legislation will apply only to two lane roads with  stop signs. Cyclists must still wait at red lights. Drivers will be required to change lanes when passing cyclists on the road, and  will be legally prohibited from honking at cyclists when passing. Municipalities in Delaware will be also be able to operate traffic signals that are bike specific.

Meanwhile back in Vancouver cyclists who do not do a full stop at a stop sign can be (and are) ticketed. Here’s a 20 second video produced by the City of Vancouver (and filmed right outside city hall at Tenth and Yukon Street outlining City Policy.

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  2. How often do motorists come to a full stop at stop signs? Maybe 10% of the time. Most often it’s the sushi roll; sometimes a yield; other times a merge. A full stop, frankly, is anal and anti-ecological. It wastes fuel; wears out the vehicle; and wastes everybody’s time. I’ve come to a full stop more often on Hwy 1 than in the city.

    1. I agree. In the Netherlands, it is very rare to see a stop sign or for that matter any signs at all. Yield stips (“shark teeth”) are painted on the road. Implied yield (no signs at intersection) are very common. We used to have this in residential areas of Vancouver until the city plastered the areas with stop signs. What a waste of money that was. We should take out most of the stop signs so that we can have a hope of becoming a greenest city.

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