MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Monday, December 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Overcast
Collapse Photo Bar

The Idaho Stop

Badgers, Packers, Mallards. Paddling, running, golfing. And bikes!

The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Sun May 11, 2014 5:21 am

A good article on common-sense regulations for bicyclists.

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights

...research and common sense say that slowly rolling through a stop sign on a bike shouldn't be illegal in the first place.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun May 11, 2014 10:37 am

Not that I disagree with the idea, but the writer shows some basic failure to understand physics and automobiles.

Unlike a car, getting a bike started from a standstill requires a lot of energy from the rider. Once it's going, the bike's own momentum carries it forward, so it requires much less energy.


This is true for car's as well, more energy is always needed to put an object in motion from a stopped position. Inertia is a bitch.

The author seems to think a car can't slow down to a slow roll and do the same thing, which while meaningless in this discussion, is also false.

I don't think most drivers have a major issue with cyclists who roll through stop lights and stop signs. It's the cyclists who go to the next level and act like they always have right of way who cause the most grief. Creating a standard of the Idaho rule would be a good general rule, but it wouldn't address jackasses who don't yield when they don't have right of way.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Detritus » Sun May 11, 2014 10:56 am

In general, it seems to me that basing traffic laws on common sense guarantees disaster.
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby gargantua » Sun May 11, 2014 11:39 am

Detritus wrote:In general, it seems to me that basing traffic laws on common sense guarantees disaster.

If not disaster, certainly conflict.There are plenty of differences of opinion about what is meant by common sense. For proof, please refer to any climate change thread.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4403
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Sun May 11, 2014 2:54 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:This is true for car's as well, more energy is always needed to put an object in motion from a stopped position. Inertia is a bitch.
I think the author was approaching the issue of inertia and efficiency as a way to encourage folks to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. One doesn't tend to physically notice the same effect when driving a car.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Igor » Sun May 11, 2014 3:59 pm

Part of the problem is that most of the people that might actually have problems getting going again (recreational bikers, middle aged folks, kids) usually stop. It is the serious (or seriously dressed) bikists that blast through the intersections. Since they are presumably riding partly for training purposes, you would think they would appreciate the opportunity to get a better workout by stopping and starting again.
Igor
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1632
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:48 pm

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Sun May 11, 2014 7:20 pm

Detritus wrote:In general, it seems to me that basing traffic laws on common sense guarantees disaster.
I don't understand. (Or are you being all ironical, and such?)
It seems that if prudent common-sense practice jibes with the law, it's all for the better. (Think of self-regulated speed limits. Cops seem to like them.) There's less translation involved, as it were, between what seems good, safe practice and what the law technically requires.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun May 11, 2014 7:54 pm

I think Detritus is pointing out that laws need to account for the lowest common denominator, which is not sense.

i.e. People are idiots, if you give them an rule that they will need to interpret based on conditionals, they will get it wrong more often than not.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Sun May 11, 2014 8:26 pm

Because ... what? The notion of whether a vehicle is a bicycle versus a 60-foot semi is a condition that befuddles some? Even the dullest spoon in the drawer probably has some understanding of whether his mode of travel is via a two-wheeled self-propelled vehicle and not an automobile.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Detritus » Sun May 11, 2014 10:34 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I think Detritus is pointing out that laws need to account for the lowest common denominator, which is not sense.

i.e. People are idiots, if you give them an rule that they will need to interpret based on conditionals, they will get it wrong more often than not.

Exactly. For example, pretty much everyone I know who commutes through the isthmus on a bike has been hit at least once by some doofus who understands "red turn on right" to me "I have the right of way at a red light if I'm turning right." I think something very similar would happen to the Idaho Stop--what is presented as common sense (slow down, do not stop but roll carefully through a stop sign) would very quickly be interpreted as "I don't have to stop at stop signs or red lights."

This is a case where common sense is best left out of of legal code. Decriminalize rolling stops for bicycles, sure--only ticket when someone does a rolling stop on a bike in a dangerous situation, for example. But don't give them the blessing of the law. As the saying goes, "the problem with common sense is that it isn't that common."
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby fennel » Sun May 11, 2014 11:20 pm

It sounds as if you're arguing that Wisconsin drivers are congenitally unequipped to understand and conform to traffic regulations that have worked well elsewhere. If someone really doesn't understand the need to let traffic clear before a right-turn-on red, that person loses driving privileges.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon May 12, 2014 9:34 am

fennel wrote:It sounds as if you're arguing that Wisconsin drivers are congenitally unequipped to understand and conform to traffic regulations that have worked well elsewhere. If someone really doesn't understand the need to let traffic clear before a right-turn-on red, that person loses driving privileges.


I don't think anyone is singling out wisconsin drivers. People are idiots everywhere. Idaho's traffic density kind of makes any comparison in terms of feasibility useless.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Detritus » Mon May 12, 2014 9:36 am

fennel wrote:It sounds as if you're arguing that Wisconsin drivers are congenitally unequipped to understand and conform to traffic regulations that have worked well elsewhere.

It sounds as if you're arguing that Wisconsin readers are congenitally unequipped to understand words, sentences, and paragraphs that are perfectly clear elsewhere. And I admit you provide compelling evidence to support your argument.
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby snoqueen » Mon May 12, 2014 10:12 am

I think in traffic, having to stop (along with everyone else) from time to time also has a psychological effect. You get out of the "pedal pedal pedal speed speed speed" mode and into a differently a paced mental state.

This speed mentality is part of the condition people get into when they do right on red in a car without really stopping, as well. It's treating a city street more like a freeway where the vehicles get to keep rolling and have the right of way over anything else around. City driving is just not like that.

The person who crashed his bike last week (apparently with serious injury) in the 700 black of E. Johnson had just run a stop sign according to witnesses. While the news reports also suggested he might have had a mechanical failure, it's hard not to wonder if speed had something to do with his wreck, especially on a piece of street as torn up as that one is right now.

Of course bikes will run stop signs anyway, but that doesn't mean we can't have a law that states a standard and can be invoked if something goes wrong and a case goes to court.

I can see where Idaho might be different.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11856
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: The Idaho Stop

Postby Ducatista » Mon May 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Idaho's traffic density kind of makes any comparison in terms of feasibility useless.

Did you read the article? It wasn't that sloppy:

Public health researcher Jason Meggs found that after Idaho started allowing bikers to do this in 1982, injuries resulting from bicycle accidents dropped. When he compared recent census data from Boise to Bakersfield and Sacramento, California — relatively similar-sized cities with comparable percentages of bikers, topographies, precipitation patterns, and street layouts — he found that Sacramento had 30.5 percent more accidents per bike commuter and Bakersfield had 150 percent more.


That still may not be rigorous enough for you, but calling any comparison useless is off base, IMO.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4356
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Next

Return to Sports, Recreation & Biking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

cron
Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar