[MissoulaGov] Bikes Yield at Stop Signs?

Jodi Allison-Bunnell jodi at allison-bunnell.net
Sat Jun 9 11:37:58 MDT 2007

HI all:
After a lively breakfast discussion on this topic with my DH, I'll chime in.

I do not favor specific rules for cyclists that are different from cars.
It's just too confusing to actually encode separate rules for everyone. And
making rules that cyclists don't have to stop at stop signs or red lights is
not really a great idea.

That said, I don't necessarily think that a cyclist who comes to something
less than a dead stop, looks, and proceeds should be cited. One who blows
through an intersection at full speed, expecting everyone to get out of
his/her way, should. As should one who runs red lights; you never know when
a car is going to whip out of some location you can't see and nail you.

Common-sense enforcement would go a long way here.

Great discussion, thanks everyone!

Best, Jodi

On 6/5/07 8:26 AM, "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 stop

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

> 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 stop,

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

> 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 (all

> 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 directing

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

> 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, apparently,

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

> 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 1-

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

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


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


> 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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