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View Full Version : Doing ourselves a disservice?


towseyfrench
06-23-2006, 02:03 PM
I'm looking for input from folks on this board as to how they feel about an age-old topic: roll-through stops.

On my daily commute a couple of days back I went home a bit later than normal and encountered a wider mix of riders on Ankeny (from Sandy to 28th) than I normally do. You know, your standard mix of boy-racer wannabes, daily commuters, first-time commuters, couriers, punks, meth-heads without licenses, etc. Your basic daily mix.

I was troubled by the loose interpretation of stops by people in nearly every category of rider I mentioned above. I make a point to come to a complete stop each time I'm in commute auto traffic or crossing auto traffic that's come to a stop. True, I don't have the best balance, so when I'm riding on empty streets through the neighborhood, I will sometimes come to a 'nearly' complete stop (before I have to pop out of my pedals) and then press ahead after I have completed my signal (stop, turn, scream, whatever).

What I witnessed the other day were people not even attempting to come to a 'near' complete stop. Some courier-girl rolled through numerous stops without a care in the world and with little change in her road speed. Nope, these folks were pressing ahead like the signs meant nothing.

I'm concerned that we can't possibly expect motorists (those who actually pay attention) to respect our rights if we don't respect the law. I'm talking about garnering empathy from those most likely to kill us on the streets.

I'm trying to decide if I should say something to these cyclists or just shut-up because it doesn't really matter anyway.

Thoughts?

RobCat
06-25-2006, 10:20 AM
I never blow red lights.

When approaching intersections with stop signs, I don't put a foot down unless there is traffic approaching from the side, but I always unclip, slow to a crawl, and look in all directions. To any observer I have practiced due diligence.

When arriving at the same time as a motorist, I always indicate that I will wait as they proceed, and at least half the time they in turn insist that I proceed instead. This courtesy is almost never offered by other cyclists; on many occasions I have had to brake in order to avoid colliding with some eejit who blew a stop sign. I am actually thankful that these twits aren't driving, as I wouldn't expect them to pilot a motor-vehicle with any more attention to safety and courtesy than they demonstrate on their bikes.

In a way, I prefer sharing the road with motor-vehicles. Yes, their relative size and speed make contact with them potentially lethal, but motorists on the whole usually don't behave as if they believe they can go anywhere they want in any fashion their whimsy chooses.

fixymalone
06-25-2006, 03:24 PM
My daily commute takes me down NE 7th past Broadway and Weidler and past the State buildings and all the various 4 way stops. And every morning there is this particular rider who blows through every stop sign with out any attempt at slowing down. This includes the STOPLIGHT at the MAX station.

Now, Iam no saint, and I cannot claim to have never rolled through a 4 way stop, however, I do slow down and I DO STOP if a car is anywhere near. And like the last poster, I do wonder if a few words to the lady who blows all signs would help, and if it really does matter.

All cyclists want to be taken seriously when we are on our bikes. We want respect from other riders and most importantly, from vehicles. How can we demand respect when we refuse to cooperate with basic rules of the road? So speak up. It only takes a few to ruin it for everybody.

nborders
06-25-2006, 10:55 PM
I never blow through red lights. . .I take that back, there is one light that I do treat as a stop sign. It is on Moody, and nobody drives that road in the morning so I coudl sit a a red light for hours before it turns green.

That being said, i do think it is important to treat the stoplights as do other cars. Stopsigns, i do think there needs to be a rolling stop law like in Idaho (of all places. . .).

~n