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#1 2020-01-01 14:37:01

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,199
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Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/us/new-l … index.html

This reminds me how years ago I slowed to 0.1 mph at a stop sign on my bike, and some hero in an SUV made a U-turn to chase me to tell me that bicyclists have to follow the law "too" if they want respect.  I'm certain he never chased down car drivers, who typically roll that particular stop sign (and countless others) at a far greater speed and velocity than I did.

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#2 2020-01-02 09:48:08

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 202

Re: Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

Getting the Idaho Stop here would be one of the best things we could do. It would undercut that whole stupid thing about 'cyclists not respecting the law'.

I argue that in many cases (not all) it is safer to keep some momentum while riding a bike through a stop.  You can't change gears on a stopped bike and you are inherently unstable on two wheels. Yeah, you should have geared down ahead of time, but you might not have gone far enough. And yeah, you can learn to do a track stand, but why should you have to. Slow to a walking pace and your cone of perception is just as good at 0.1 mph as it is at 0 mph, so why spend extra time getting through an intersection? And that's not about being fast but about spending less time where most crashes occur. On a bike you don't have the kinds of blind spots you have in a car. If the coast is clear - then the coast is clear. You can't get hit by a car if there aren't any cars around. Go before a car gets there. 

That said, I try to do a full stop if anyone is around just to avoid adding fuel to the fires of hatred. But, at 0530 on some quiet neighborhood street - no I am not wasting energy.   We need laws that make sense for the mode of travel.

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#3 2020-01-02 11:45:59

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,199
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Re: Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

Everything you said makes sense, but non-cyclists just don't understand it (or don't care).

I remember hearing about "[Some state] Stop" years ago but couldn't remember which one it was, so thanks for the reminder.  Looking up Wikipedia's article on the Idaho Stop, I see that the Idaho law also allows bicyclists to treat red lights as stop signs.  Honestly, I used to do that myself in the absence of a law, and when people argued with me that it was unsafe, I'd ask, "How exactly is it possible to be hit by a non-existent car?"  To that, they'd say that maybe I couldn't see the car.  So I'd remind them that the principle of a Stop sign is that it *is* possible to look around you and see when it's safe to proceed, but if the person arguing with me doesn't believe in such a concept, then they ought to advocate for ripping out all the Stop signs worldwide and replacing them with red lights.

But I digress.  Anyway, here are all the places in the U.S. that offer stop-sign-as-yield.  (Idaho is the only place with red-light-as-stop-sign.)

* Idaho (1982)
* Delaware (2017; no red light provision)
* Colorado (local opt-in, 2018)
* Arkansas (2019)
* Oregon (2020; no red light provision)

In Texas, where the governor vetoed the non-controversial Safe Passing Bill multiple times, and where the state legislature canceled Austin's no-handheld-device law, I don't expect to get an Idaho Stop here any time soon.

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#4 2020-01-02 12:08:13

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 202

Re: Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

MichaelBluejay wrote:

In Texas, where the governor vetoed the non-controversial Safe Passing Bill multiple times, and where the state legislature canceled Austin's no-handheld-device law, I don't expect to get an Idaho Stop here any time soon.

Yeah, I agree there is no real hope here. It's just wishful thinking.

Wait, they cancelled the no-handheld law?  Just recently?  This means people can now legally drive around Austin while operating a cell phone?  I missed that news!  I know they got rid of red light cameras last year.

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#5 2020-01-02 15:34:27

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,199
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Re: Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

I missed the ban on red-light cameras.  It's true.

The same people whining about the supposed injustice of red light cameras, are the same ones complaining about bicyclists not following the law.

My wife asked why Republicans would be opposed to red light cameras.  I told her what I told her long ago:  Basically, for any issue, think of the wrong way to do it, and that's what Republicans will choose.

Yes, Texas said that municipalities may not regulate cell phone use while driving, in favor of the toothless Texas law that says no texting while driving.  Since it's impossible to prove whether someone fiddling with their phone was *texting* (vs. say, using the Maps app), enforcement is now impossible.  That's why Austin's law was *no handheld devices*.  If you were holding it, that was enough to charge you, so it worked.  Here again, think of the wrong way to handle the issue, and that's what the Republicans gave us.

For Republican voters who are offended by my pointing this out, I'm just the messenger:  If you don't want me to point out that Republican politicians do stupid things, then lobby the people you voted for to stop doing stupid things, or else stop voting for them.

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#6 2020-01-10 14:03:32

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon

Yeah, the state law has some pretty big loopholes that the city ordinance did not have.

That said, looking at the preemption clause of the state law -- the very last part -- it's phrased oddly.  For starters, it prempts local ordinances regarding motor vehicles -- does that mean the city ordinance could still be used against cyclists?  And it spefifically mentions electronic messages -- does that mean the local ordinance could be used against those making phone calls?

Certainly, the city has made no efforts to remove the ordinance from their list of ordinances or otherwise list it as being prempted.  (But that could just be because they're lazy or don't care to do so.)

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