Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stopping Like Idaho

The Idaho Stop is an Idaho traffic law that effectively allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and not come to a complete stop at most signed intersections. This effectively allows for a rolling stop at signs.

BAC wants to know what you think of the Idaho Stop law and if it, or something like it, should be enacted in the District.

Create in 1982, the Idaho Stop does not give bicyclists carte blanche, they must yield to the right of way if there are other vehicles or pedestrians at intersections. UrbanVelo has a nice video (at the end of this page) explaining the Idaho Stop and its potential implementation in Oregon. BikePortland also provides a FAQ page explaining how it works.

Currently according to WABA's Pocket Guide, DC regulations state that bicyclists "have all the general rights and duties of drivers of vehicles" but bicyclists but must also follow "the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices applicable to vehicles". This means that if you come to a stop sign (or a traffic light), bicyclists must come to a complete stop.

Some argue that bicyclists want to avoid crashes with vehicles at stop signs, that they should be allowed to apply the Idaho standard. Also, as bicycle mode share and infrastructure increases, the current traffic laws become more antiquated and therefore need to change. In addition, a rolling stop allows for the conservation of energy for bicycle riders, enabling them to use less energy to move forward and further.

What do you think? Let us know by answering your short survey or look at the video below.