[MissoulaGov] Bikes Yield at Stop Signs?

David Strohmaier dstrohmaier at msn.com
Tue Jun 5 23:39:15 MDT 2007

Interesting, although I'm not at all enthusiastic about this proposal and
have encouraged the Missoula Police Department to oppose it. Indeed, I think
this effort tends to undermine many of the arguments proferred in past days
that have rightly endeavored to raise the status of bikes to that of motor
vehicles. I firmly believe that bikes, as vehicles in their own right,
should obey all the laws applicable to motor vehicles. I recently spent some
time in the Missoula Municipal Court after receiving a well-earned ticket
for making a rolling stop. Did I look both ways as I approached the
intersection? Yes. Did my actions seem safe to me at the time? Yes.
Nevertheless, those are no excuses, and there have been times when I thought
I had adequately scanned the streetscape only to nearly miss a pedestrian,
bicycle, dog, etc. I don't think bicyclists are well served by placing too
much energy into an issue like this, which merely reinforces stereotypes of
cyclists as considering themselves above the law.

And stay tuned, I remain convinced that we need a bike helmet ordinance in
Missoula and will be attempting to revive this effort before the City
Council at some point in the future. But that's another story . . .


Dave Strohmaier
508 E. Pine
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 327-8911, home
(406) 721-1958, office

>From: "Robin Halmilton" <robinlhamilton at bresnan.net>

>To: "Bob Giordano" <mist at strans.org>,missoulagov at cmslists.com

>Subject: Re: [MissoulaGov] Bikes Yield at Stop Signs?

>Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 15:01:05 -0600


>Bob and others, I think this is a good bill and the Idaho authorities say


>is a non issue. I'll need the support of the bicycle community to testify







>On Tue, 5 Jun 2007 08:26:41 -0600 (MDT)

> "Bob Giordano" <mist at strans.org> wrote:

> > Regarding bikes yielding at stop signs: I'm forwarding some emails from

> > this past legislative session to shine some more light on the issue..

> >

> > --------------------------

> > *email 1, some background on what was proposed, from January '07:*

> >

> > http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2007/billhtml/HB0581.htm#About

> >

> > This is a link to a bill that would allow cyclists to proceed through


> > signs and (in some instances) red lights, if it is safe, without coming


> > a complete stop.

> >

> > This seems to be a good bill- for safety and for equity of cycling.

> >

> > At stop signs, most often it is not necessary to come to a complete


> > only necessary to yield. A cyclist, with the way derailers work,


> > immensely from slight momentum, instead of starting from a dead stop.

> > Yet, most importantly perhaps, is that cyclists, unlike drivers, can

> > readily determine if stopping, yielding or proceeding is appropriate


> > the senses of a cyclist are strongly engaged).

> >

> > At red lights, it is sometimes much safer to proceed through the

> > intersection instead of waiting for traffic to build up. Many cyclists

> > (and peds) are injured or killed at stop lights each year due to

> > inattentive driving. (replacing signals with modern single lane

> > roundabouts would likely be a better step).

> >

> > This bill seems to promote personal responsibility on the part of

> > cyclists. We (society) have become so used to lights and signs


> > traffic flow that we have forgotten that we all do share the road and


> > responsibility to use it properly and cooperatively.

> >

> > What do others think??

> >

> > -Bob Giordano, MIST

> >

> > -----------------------------------------------------

> > *email 2, the final status of the bill, around Feb. '07*

> >

> > The 'bikes yield' bill (sponsored by Robin Hamilton, and based on a

> > similar law passed in Idaho) did not go through- a big reason,


> > was the msla police opposed it. But then, they withdrew their


> > after talking to police in Idaho that said it was a 'non-issue' for them

> > (but the bill had already died).

> >

> > Bikes yielding at stop signs, esp. neighborhoods, makes good sense.

> > Traffic signals are more complex of an issue. MIST is working hard to


> > replace signals with single lane roundabouts where appropriate and 2-


> > sure signals are designed with peds and bikes at the forefront of


> >

> > -------------------------------------------------------------

> >

> > Should there be a movement to get this bill, or similar, passed in the

> > 2009 legislature? Should it be just stop signs, or include red lights

> > like Idaho's law?

> >

> > thanks, -Bob Giordano, MIST

> >

> >

> >

> >

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