Some insightful and thoughtful dialogue has come from Patch's recent update on the .
This summer, a few commenters, , suggested California adopt Idaho’s “Stop as Yield” bike law. and Edmondson shared the above three-year-old video on Patch, which outlines how an “Idaho stop” works.
“It recognizes that it takes a lot more energy to stop [at] each block on a bicycle and that it is fair to be able to keep your momentum,” wrote in a comment on Patch.
The Idaho law encourages cyclists to responsibly slow down at each stop sign and carefully check for traffic. It doesn’t allow cyclists to blow through stop signs or ignore other’s right of way.
Oregon’s attempts to adopt a similar law failed a few years ago (after the above video was made).
As an occasional cyclist, I understand certain circumstances - such as biking on the mellow Landsdale in Fairfax with several stop signs in a row - where stopping at every sign is really, really annoying. There are other instances, usually busy intersections, where I make sure I always stop for safety reasons.
But, as an Idaho native who lived in the rural state until I moved to the Bay Area four years ago, I also understand the sharp contrasts between Idaho and California.
With the significantly lower number of people (the entire state’s population, around 1.5 million, is a fraction of the Bay Area’s population) come less traffic and less aggressive driving. (I drive like a grandma in California, but driving in Idaho now feels like I’m driving in slow motion.)
I’ve spent countless summers rarely coming to a complete stop while safely biking through downtown Boise and the city’s stop-sign filled neighborhoods. It was the same way cycling in the small college town Moscow, in northern Idaho. But there's no way someone can ride like that in California - there are so many more cars. Right?
Call me a naysayer, but I don’t see the “Stop as Yield” law working in California. Do you?
MCBC ADVOCACY DIRECTOR URGES ‘TOLERANCE’
Instead of changing legislation, perhaps we need to all re-educate ourselves on the subject and, as some have suggested, work together.
Marin County Bicycle Coalition Bicycle Director Andy Peri told the Fairfax Town Council at the Sept. 5 council meeting that some of the are a result of a great success the coalition has seen since 1999. There has been a 159 percent increase in weekday cyclists that come through Fairfax and a 172 percent increase in weekend cyclists, Peri said.
Peri said MCBC has been working with the police to educate cyclists and encourage everyone to share the road and to deal with the “growing pains” that are a result of the influx of cyclists coming to Marin from throughout the Bay Area.
“We certainly are not in control of every cyclist on the road, but we do have a number of things we are doing,” Peri said. “It’s not just about numbers. It’s about people following the law. MCBC is committed to safety.”
He acknowledged that many get aggravated with some cyclists they encounter. “I too share the frustrations we have when people don’t follow the law,” he said. “I also want to urge a level of tolerance for people, and to resist the temptation to stereotype cyclists.”
Stereotyping creates ill will, Peri said, which on the road creates dangers for cyclists and a “much more unpleasant experience” for all. “Cyclists are our children, our brothers, our parents … they are actually us."
SOME PATCH COMMENTERS SHOW SIMILAR SENTIMENTS
Here’s what Patch commenter had to say on the article :
“Rather than continue to rant, lets work together to share the road between cars and bikes (and scooters and walkers and horses). Part of that process is educating everyone about the laws, enforcing the laws, and supporting the law enforcement.”
And here’s a comment from :
"As a cyclist I am aggrieved when I see other cyclists blowing through stop signs. At best it confuses motorists about how to handle cyclists at intersections; at worst it makes motorists angry at cyclists... and an angry driver is an aggressive driver. If EVERYBODY, motorists and cyclists alike, would follow the traffic laws, stop at stop signs, and yield to the person with the right of way, things would be fine."
Patch commenter suggested that instead of "share the road" signs there should be "share the rules" signs. Do you agree?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, but please avoid the generic cyclist bashing. It’s getting kinda old, K?
Here's what else is happening on San Rafael Patch: