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Video Demonstrates Rolling Stop For Cyclists


Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

Everyone who gets on a bike and rides any amount of distance is going to eventually find themselves at a stop sign. The topic of what’s required by the cyclist at said stop sign is one that is frequently discussed, both by the cyclist as well as the non-cyclist. Here in Oregon, the current law states that the cyclist must come to a complete stop, but does NOT include any language requiring a foot to be placed on the ground, as some often incorrectly believe.

Now, I’m willing to bet body parts that everyone who’s ridden their bike more than just a couple of times has one through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. At the same time, I’m pretty sure most of us who’ve driven cars have spent less time at a stop sign than is legally required as well…but I’ll stick to the topic at hand here. In Idaho, the laws are different, giving the cyclist the opportunity to make a judgement call:

A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.

I’ve always said that when you’re on a bike, either be a vehicle, or a pedestrian…but don’t pick and choose as it’s convenient for you. I’m not a fan of taking a lane of traffic, and then hitting the sidewalk to blow through a red light in town. (I may change my mind, but I’m also not a fan of club rides blowing through red lights for momentum’s sake, as I’ve seen in town here…but come back in a few years and maybe I’ll change my mind.) That being said, when I’m out on a solo ride, or with a few other riders, and we’re out of town or traffic, we tend to ride like Idaho cyclists…just saying.

Whatever your take, I think this video does a good job of explaining the legistation that Oregon is currently considering. I love the graphics, and think that Portland resident Spencer Boomhower does a great job. I think when I’m out on my bike though, that the words floating around me would be more like “hmmm, is someone grilling? I could use a cheeseburger.” Or, “dang, my knees are still bumping my gut on the upstroke….need to lay off the cheeseburgers.” Or perhaps even, “If I crank out another 15 miles, I so deserve a cheeseburger.” Anyway, you get the drift. Feel free to post your thoughts.

3 replies on “Video Demonstrates Rolling Stop For Cyclists”

My stopping style would probably fall under the rolling stop, and would therefore be illeagal, that being said I usually come to a complete stop, then enter a slow roll (less then 1mph probably) until it’s safe to proceed. I almost never put a foot down unless I’ll be waiting for more then 15-20 seconds. Although I haven’t timed it exactly. I’m not a fan of cyclists rolling through, even if they slow to 7 or 8 mph. We have a responsibility to represent cycling to motorists and if that means coming to a stop, dropping your heart rate, and loosing momentum, then I’m fine with that. If we meet motorists in the middle then they are less irrate and more likely to show respect to us.

i personally think this law is a waste of time and money. first of all is the local government really going to hire new people to patrol this law? or are the current officers really going to go through all of the paper work during their shift? no, that’s why i haven’t been pulled over for running slightly red lights near the police station because they don’t want to deal with the paper work. are officers going to target cyclists with “high end” bicycles because they think they have the extra income to pay the ticket rather than those with cheap department bicycles?
what this law will do is cause even more bicycle and car conflict. i don’t see cyclists really thinking about all of these rules as they ride just like motorists thinking about all of the rules they should be abiding by as they drive.
what we should be doing is pushing for more bike only paths that take the cyclist off the main roads where they can ride in a more safe environment.

that’s my opinion…

Am I the only one that finds it interesting the Congressman Smith led with I do not have all of the data yet he is cearitn that passing measure 66 & 67 is good for the state. Is Jefferson Smith in training for Washington DC where they don’t read the bills either?Passing a tax (tiny as it may be) on gross sales is bad for our economy. Forcing companies, like Gresham Ford (a long time member of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce) to pay a $30,000 minimum tax in a year when they lost money seems like adding insult to injury. If business is forced to pay higher taxes on money they don’t even make, then job losses will be the result.Having been in the audience at this debate and hearing Mr Smith complain that he only makes $22,000 a year as a state congressman when asked can the state look to labor costs as a way to balance the state budget , I for one am disgusted. I feel we must vote NO on Measures 66 & 67 and force our elected officials to follow the will of the people.

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