Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 19th, 2006 at 10:28 am
In my post last week about changing existing stop sign and yield laws for cyclists, I referred to City of Portland Transportation Planner Stuart Gwin. I'd heard that Stuart had some previous involvement with the Idaho statute that allows bicycles to roll stop signs.
Stuart was formerly the chair of the Citizen Advisory Committe for the Ada County Highway District, which governs several cities in Idaho (including Boise).
He recently shared some information with me about the statute and his involvement as its first test case.
*Please note that Stuart is not speaking in any official capacity and he is not endorsing or advocating for a change in existing Portland traffic laws.
Here's what he had to say:
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"One of the Committee's first actions was to write a local ordinance that permitted what we called a standing stop at stop signs. This essentially permitted a cyclist to, in Greg Raisman's (City Traffic Safety guru) words "slow and go". I don't recall any community opposition to adoption of the ordinance. On the contrary it was well accepted.
Shortly after it was adopted, I had the opportunity to test it out. I was given a ticket by a Boise policeman, who had not got the word the ordinance defining how a cyclist should treat a stop sign had been revised. I advised him that the law had been changed and he asked me how I knew and I told him - "because I wrote it." That failed to change his mind and he gave me ticket anyway. I told him I would see him in court and when we met in court the judge threw out the whole thing.
So I can tell you from personal experience it works. The ordinance was subsequently adopted by the state legislature to make it statewide because the experience in Boise had been so positive."