Friday, January 30, 2009

Stop sign......what stop sign?

So yesterday Bend's daily paper printed an article on a proposed law that would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields. I was contacted for my perspective and I think the reporter did a fine job expressing the pros and cons...Check it out here

I have been paying a bit more attention to my habits as a cyclist over the last couple of weeks and I've got to tell you...This law makes even more sense now than it did before.

Most of the arguments that I've heard aren't generally against the law itself but more against how the law will be perceived by motorists and cyclists...I don't think that is a good enough reason to prevent a step forward for commuting cyclists.

In my experience, I generally travel through intersections at about 5 mph...I am up higher and can see, in most situations, for at least a half of a block in either direction before I even get to the sign...In a car, you are much lower and back about 6 ft. from the front of the car. Add the ability to hear and you have a legitimate case for cyclists being able to determine whether it is safe to proceed or not.

As to whether it will effect driver/cyclist relations....Hopefully it wont..Drivers don't need to change their driving habits to accomodate this law as it does not give right of way to the cyclist at a stop. I personally think that we should accept sooner rather than later that bikes are not cars...There are laws that make sense for both groups to follow such as using turn signals(when it's safe for a cyclist to do so), stopping at traffic lights, etc. There are however laws that simply don't appreciate the differences between the two forms of transportation...For those that think cyclists should follow the same laws as motor vehicles, I challenge you to ride down Reed Market at 35mph.

If you would like to find out more about this proposed law, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has a great FAQ that can be found here

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