The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

False alarm on Idaho stop law

Posted by on February 2nd, 2011 at 5:07 pm

This morning I posted a story stating that Senator Ginny Burdick was introducing a bill (SB 604) that would allow bicycle operators to roll through stop signs and flashing red lights – a.k.a. the Idaho stop law.

Now I have confirmed that Burdick never intended to push for the bill as it was introduced yesterday. It turns out that SB 604 in its current form is just a placeholder for another idea that Burdick’s office is working on. It’s not that uncommon for a legislator to copy/paste old bill language into a bill like this and then “gut and stuff” it later with different language through the amendment process.

Below is a statement I received a few minutes ago from Burdick’s office:

We are in the preliminary stages of creating a bill that would allow cyclists to move through sensor triggered red lights that are incapable of detecting bicycles. Cyclists would be able to move through the red lights after waiting for a designated time period (one example would be 120 seconds).  

This issue was brought to our attention by a constituent that has come across this problem repeatedly. The senator thought that the constituent brought up some legitimate concerns, and wanted to explore this issue in more detail.

Our office was hoping to do some more exploration and ground work on this issue before creating any publicity. As of right now, the details and specifics of our concept are pretty undefined.

So, it seems like Burdick has something vaguely resembling the Idaho stop law in mind, but it’s far from what’s in the current text of SB 604. We’ll keep you posted if anything else develops with this bill and I regret the confusion our initial story may have caused.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • John Lascurettes February 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Still, it sounds like the seeds that even if passed without a resemblance to the full Idaho Stop Law, would allow for the ORS to slowly evolve and be amended to allow for it it in the future.

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  • Jack February 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    “move through the red lights after waiting for a designated time period (one example would be 120 seconds).”

    What a silly notion. Let me get out my stop watch and wait here for two minutes while nothing about my situation changes. Only then will it be safe for me to check if I can cross the street.

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  • wsbob February 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Maus…thanks for promptly posting notice of the false alarm about Sen. Burdick (sorry, I’ve been mistakenly referring to her as Rep. Burdick) supposedly sponsoring a bill allowing cyclists to roll through certain traffic control stop signs and signals.

    About an idea expressed in Burdick’s statement, posted above:

    “… We are in the preliminary stages of creating a bill that would allow cyclists to move through sensor triggered red lights that are incapable of detecting bicycles. …” Senator Ginny Burdick

    Before spending legislative time on creating a law allowing bike traffic to ride through traffic signals that don’t work, it might be smarter to city departments of transportation, county and state highway departments and signal control device manufacturers get the signals fixed.

    This is a technology issue that should be able to be resolved with better sensor designs, installation procedures and maintenance.

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  • dwainedibbly February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    How about a law that says that every traffic signal sensor in the state must detect bicycles? That would help a lot more than a law that says I can run a red after 2 minutes. I have seen intersections that took more than 2 minutes to cycle all the way through. Would this proposal let bicyclists ignore those traffic lights?

    And give us a real Idaho Stop law.

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    • matt picio February 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      How about getting rid of so-called “smart” lights and going back to timed lights? Sensors don’t always work, they discriminate against pedestrians (the light changes whether or not a car is present, but the same is not true for walk/don’t walk signage), and there is no consistency in implementation.

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      • Alex Reed February 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

        Matt, I agree. Those signals make it more annoying and less convenient to walk, and walking is exactly what we want people to do!

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  • Bjorn February 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Why not just go with the language of the Idaho Stop Light Law? This law was proposed and championed by a republican lawmaker in conjunction with the state police. It basically says that after coming to a stop at any red light if there is no other traffic in the intersection the cyclist can proceed through with caution. The difference in idaho between a stop sign and a stop light is that the cyclist must come to a full stop before proceeding at the stop light.

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    • Kimberlee February 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

      I agree. I grew up in Idaho, and my understanding is that the Idaho stop law was passed because the state did not want to spend the money to retrofit signals so people on bikes would trigger them.

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      • Carter February 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

        I thought the law was initiated by judges who thought it wasteful to clog their courts with bikers ticketed for running stop signs.

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      • Opus the Poet February 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

        The update to the law that was added recently (well a few years ago) was specifically because it would cost about $10 million to have technicians go adjust all the sensored lights in Idaho to be able to detect bicycles.

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  • Brad February 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Hmmmm…we can pass a law that allows bike riders to pass through lights for virtually nothing or we can pass a law requiring the state to spend tens of millions it doesn’t have to rip up intersections statewide to put in new sensors.

    Care to venture which one has a better chance of passing in this economic climate?

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    • Jack February 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      C. Ban headphones.

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    • J_R February 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Most of the time, it simply requires that the signal technicians are alerted to the problem (bikes not being detected) and adjusting the sensors. Sometimes, newer more-sensitive sensors can be installed in the traffic controller cabinet. Sometimes all that is required is that the bicyclist place the bike on the most sensitive part of the loop in the pavement.

      The City of Portland does a really good job of responding when you call to inform them that you and your bike are not being detected. They’ve also done a good job of marking the most sensitive part of the loop with a bike stencil. I have explained the stencil on the pavement to many riders and have found most to be suprised by them.

      Very rarely, it may require that new loops be installed in the pavement. Even then, it’s not a job that costs “tens of millions of dollars.” A new pavement loop is generally a couple thousand dollars.

      Try the phone call to Portland Operations, first. 503-823-1700

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      • wsbob February 3, 2011 at 12:14 am

        “… They’ve also done a good job of marking the most sensitive part of the loop with a bike stencil. …” J_R

        In Beaverton on Millikan Way eastbound, on the west side of the streets’ intersection with Murray Rd., I believe there is such a stencil. It’s not very big; maybe a foot across.

        If this particular stencil is intended to indicate the bike specific sensor’s location at the head of a main travel lane on this street intersection, I’m doubtful that many cyclists are aware of the meaning it’s attempting to convey. If this is so, it could be because the stencil small…about a foot across, and looks to be nothing more than a bike lane stencil for some reason stuck out in the middle of nowhere. If this type stencil is supposed to indicate a bike specific traffic sensor, maybe in addition to the bike graphic, beneath the graphic, the word ‘SENSOR’, should also be stenciled in. Or…a simple as possible graphic of a traffic light flashing.

        About a year ago, as I was at this very intersection on the bike in a main travel lane, some city workers over at the signal pole next to the sidewalk a couple lanes away from where I was located, called out to me and gestured with their hands that I needed to reposition my bike slightly from where it was to activate the signal. The street was busy and noisy; hard to hear clearly what they were saying. As a result, I’m not sure I even saw the stencil that day, or if I did, that I made the connection that it was specifically there to indicate the sensor location.

        If cities are going to rely on some kind of street marking to tell cyclists where the signal sensors are located, it seems very important to have the word of what these particular stencils or street markings mean, become widely understood by cyclists.

        The earlier parts of you comment addressing things that need be done to have traffic signal sensors recognize a cyclists presence at intersections makes lots of sense.

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  • JR-eh February 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    The way these bills and resolutions are written and organized, it is not surprising that confusion arises.

    My eyes glaze over at paragraph 1 and there are hundreds of lengthy bills there.
    I’d be interested to hear about the process of posting them publicly. Are these posted while in draft format still containing placeholder content? Was this more an issue of misreading or misinterpreting the language and format?

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    • Evan Manvel February 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      There’s a back-forth with legislative counsel (the legislature’s lawyers). Sometimes, given the rush at the start of the session, legislators will accept a draft bill that’s different from what they wanted, instead of getting back in line with the other 3,000 bills that are being drafted.

      Once the bill is introduced (at the site you see), the bill’s sponsor can talk to the committee chair about what they actually want in the bill, and try to get a hearing on their bill. If it gets scheduled for a hearing (most bills don’t), the legislator can go back to legislative counsel. Then at the hearing an amended bill can be introduced and discussed (or a theoretical amendment can be discussed if leg. counsel hasn’t gotten to the drafting yet).

      So, yes, it’s not friendly to the public in figuring out exactly what legislators wanted – as they’re playing a game of telephone with overworked legislative counsel. Your best bet is to contact the legislator.

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  • Bjorn February 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    @J_R I think that your post really highlights 2 problems that we face when trying to improve the climate for cycling in the state of Oregon.

    1. While things may get fixed quickly in Portland there are a lot of roads outside our city limits, and things are not the same statewide and activism groups tend to not be as developed around the state.

    2. People in Portland have a tendency to forget point number 1.

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  • John Mulvey February 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Sen. Burdick’s concept is worth pursuing and should be supported by bikers. Is it the be-all and end-all of progressive bicycling legislation? No. But it’s a sensible solution to a real problem.

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    • matt picio February 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      The law already permits cyclists to ignore a signal that isn’t working properly. Why do we need another law? Has there been a rash of cyclists ticketed? Have there been injuries or complaints? There are already more laws on the books than most of us can remember – before we add another one, a hard look at the existing law should happen.

      It’s possible the existing law isn’t clear enough, and I’m interested in seeing what Sen. Burdick is proposing, but there should be a high bar for legislation that adds to the existing lawbase.

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      • John Lascurettes February 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        Matt, I’m not familiar. Is there a specific ORS number you can point to. I’d love to keep that in my arsenal of knowledge.

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        • matt picio February 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

          Actually, I’m going to take that back. I just looked through both ORS 811.260-265 and the 2010-2011 Oregon Driver’s Manual and I cannot find the references. I remember being told one had to wait through 2 cycles of the light, but I don’t remember if that was a BTA Legal Clinic (in which case perhaps Ray Thomas might weigh in here) or some other source. If it’s not in the statutes, then this would be a reasonable addition, because I see no provision for non-functioning or malfunctioning traffic control devices.

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        • toby February 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

          I remember seeing that too in the DMV handbook or something. I’m sure it applies to all vehicles that either after waiting a “reasonable amount of time” or one cross traffic cycle (silly because there would have to be cross traffic for them to cycle), or something like that, then you may proceed when it’s clear and safe to do so. And really, why would they not have something like that in the books? Otherwise you’d be at the mercy of a dead light and have to be there pretty much forever. I’ll see if I can find something, but I’m not very suave at finding legal stuff.

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  • peejay February 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I remember when I lived in Santa Barbara, they put an initiative on the ballot that would ban the selling and eating of horsemeat, in spite of their being no evidence that horses were being killed and eaten anywhere near Santa Barbara.

    This is a horsemeat bill. Good luck with that, Ginny.

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    • John Lascurettes February 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      I was just in Santa Barbara this last weekend. I ate tritip twice. Had that no-horse-meat bill passed, I could have eaten more confidently knowing it must be, must be cow.

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      • peejay February 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

        It did pass, by a wide margin, in spite of my No vote. (I vote no on every initiative by default — except when a law makes overwhelming sense.) The number of places serving horsemeat in the county went from zero to, well, zero.

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  • JK12 February 3, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Sometimes laws and initiatives are aiming at something beyond what is in the language. I imagine the horse meat initiative was to try to help shut down the horse slaughterhouses in the US, you know, where wild horses that are rounded up using our tax dollars in order to benefit private ranchers and race horses that are no longer working so their “owners” don’t have to end up.

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  • El Biciclero February 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

    This bill has the wrong focus. It hinges on “proving” a signal won’t detect a bike before you are allowed to proceed. As others have mentioned, if we are going to attempt to optimize “traffic” (i.e., “auto”) flow by having sensor-driven signals, and we want to encourage bike travel, there is only one real option: make the signals work for bikes. None of this “just go up to the sidewalk and push the button” garbage. Not any “just wait three times as long as anybody in a car would wait, then take your chances”, stuff. Make. The. Signals. Work. Or else just let me ignore them immediately, not after “two minutes”.

    This is the most annoying part of my commute on a daily basis. What happens most of the time? I will stop at a signal, over the sensor, and wait. Periodically I’ll rock my bike forward and backward over the loop, because sometimes that has seemed to work (unless the detector is a camera, like at Millikan and Cedar Hills Blvd. here in B’ton) and continue to wait. Just as my patience (and two minutes) are up, here comes a car–finally–up behind me and the signal will immediately change (unless I’m stopped over the only sensor [sometimes there are two to five sensors in a row], in which case I have to scoot up into the crosswalk to allow the driver to pull up to the sensor). There have been times, however, when I have waited beyond two minutes/three signal cycles and decided to go just as that car was rounding the bend and would have tripped the signal.

    Herein lies the fatal flaw of a law that requires “proving” the signal is insensitive before proceeding: Besides the discriminatory aspect of being made to wait longer than any other vehicle, you never know when a car is going to arrive and change the signal for you. Just as your two minutes are up, some driver will pull up behind you and be outraged if you choose that exact moment to go through the red. In order to avoid the bad publicity and the “scofflaw” label, you wait for the extra time it now takes for the signal to register the car and go through its change sequence. It’s like getting time added ON for good behavior.

    To me, the only reasonable options are to pass a law that says one of two things: municipalities/counties/regional road authorities MUST use signals that will detect bikes. OR, cyclists must be allowed to assume that NO signal will detect them, regardless of how long they wait, and be given the legal latitude to act accordingly, i.e., red-light-as-stop-sign.

    Sorry for the long comment, but the other facet of the pickle we are in is that currently, SOME signals work and some don’t. If we were to pass a law that allowed cyclists to treat red as stop sign, there would be no incentive for traffic engineers to make the signals work, ever. Add to that the perception of cyclists who proceed through a red 5 seconds before it turns green–I know it would theoretically be legal, but motorists would glom onto that stuff like crack to feed their addiction to bike-hate.

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    • wsbob February 3, 2011 at 10:58 am

      El Biciclero…the details you’re sharing about the signal sensor situation; their arrangement on the street, when they work, when they don’t, and some possible reasons why seems about right.

      I hope Sen. Burdick continues discussing with her constituents and professionals in the field, the issue of how traffic signal sensors can be simply and economically made adequate to the task of recognizing bicycle traffic. Also as part of that effort to understand the issue, that she might somehow happen to read the stories and comments about this subject here at bikeportland.

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  • Allan February 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Biking out to Hillsboro this morning I had an interesting compromise idea that I wanted to run by y’all. Basically- alot of times folks want to turn right on red but can’t because there is a bike there, or a bike heading towards the light. They can either illegally block the bike lane to get the bike to wait behind them and get the right turn, or they can wait in the main lane and then have to wait for the light to turn green and the bike to go. Perhaps in exchange for legalizing the Idaho stop, we could allow cars to camp in the bike lane if they get there first (taking their right-on-red potential back). Thoughts?

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  • Ken February 3, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Very disappointing. I was soooo excited that this law would be reconsidered. To me, it is the single most important issue facing cyclists.

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  • GlowBoy February 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I’m with matt picio in having the sense that (1) I’ve been told that a signal that fails to detect bikes can be considered to be malfunctioning and may be ignored after waiting for a full cycle and (2) I’m pretty darned sure I got this information from a credible source but can’t find it written down anywhere, which also leads me to think I also heard it in a Ray Thomas legal clinic. From what I recall this rule is NOT enshrined in Oregon Statute but is recognized in case law.

    Wsbob, are you saying that the eastbound sensor at Murray/Millikan is working now? I ride through this intersection almost daily, although there are almost always cars there when I go through it so I rarely get to test the sensor. But last time I did arrive there alone and tried to trip it, probably late last fall, it still wasn’t working.

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    • wsbob February 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Glowbloy…I’m not saying whether or not that particular sensor is working, because I don’t really know for sure. I am saying that cyclists looking closely at the pavement at the end of the lane nearest the intersection will see one of those little bike graphic symbols. And also, that this symbol may be intended to indicate to cyclists, the precise location of the sensor. But…I’m not absolutely positive about this.

      Millikan Way is probably a Beaverton street. So, calling Public Works, might eventually lead to a contact that would be able to say for sure.

      Millikan Way at Murray being the huge, busy intersection it is, if my bike is the only vehicle in the through lanes, I won’t sit there. I’ll look carefully, leave the lane and go over to use the crosswalk. At this particular intersection, that’s partly because eastbound Millikan Way is on the cusp of a weird little hill, sometimes making my start slower than usual.

      Also though, it’s because I don’t trust the sensor to trip the light. I’ve been through that waiting and waiting and waiting bit at this intersection. At this intersection, it’s a little hard to figure if the sensors actually are working. Again….it’s a huge, very busy intersection, so the signal phases are normally long. Because they’re so long, regardless of the vehicle, nobody wants to sit through more than one of them. That’s why it’s very important for the sensors to work. Pointlessly sit through about three of those signal cycles and you might start to thinking you should have brought a tent.

      Another thing associated with this particular intersection with Murray that relates to the idea some people have raised about proceeding through intersections after having stopped at the red; Murray is very wide. I’m not saying there aren’t hours and times of the day when cars are few to none, and cyclists could get through the intersection on a red, o.k. . Especially with intersections like this one though, I think it’s a bad practice to encourage.

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      • El Biciclero February 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        “I’ll look carefully, leave the lane and go over to use the crosswalk.”

        …And THIS! Don’t get me started. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with a cyclist traipsing over to the sidewalk to push the pedestrian signal (i.e., nothing against cyclists who do this), here are my problems with it:

        1) I know, I know–we’re talking reality and pragmatism, but on principle this is wrong. As soon as I see a driver stop, get out of his car and go over to push a button to get a signal to change, I’ll be happy to bounce up onto the sidewalk and turn into a pedestrian. As it is, spending time waiting for a signal only to eventually have to drag my bike over to the sidewalk to trip the ped signal just “proves” that I and my bike “belong” on the sidewalk. Like waiting in line for a carnival ride only to be told when you get to the front that you’re not big enough to ride it.
        2) Moving over to the sidewalk is not always as easy as people make it out to be. There are not always curb cuts to allow me to wheel my bike onto the sidewalk. Even if there are curb cuts, they are arranged so that getting onto the sidewalk to push the button and then orienting myself to cross the street pretty much requires a dismount or some awkward back-and-forth. What’s that? You’ve got a heavy load or a trailer/longtail? Fuhggedaboudit.
        3) It turns every left turn into a pedestrian left turn, requiring me to wait for at least two signal cycles even if I’ve been able to trip the signals (by pushing buttons).
        4) It forces me into behavior that is frowned upon by all the “safety” literature: essentially swerving into the crosswalk, and then having to merge back over from the crosswalk into traffic. Otherwise, what’s the correct procedure? Walking all the way across, then mounting up and waiting for a break in traffic to essentially make a right turn from the street I just crossed onto the street I was already on? Just stay on the sidewalk, where I apparently am expected to be anyway?

        I’ll stop here, but you can tell signal sensing is one of my biggest pet peeves about getting around on a bike. It really pushes my buttons…

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        • wsbob February 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm

          El…I’m not saying I like having to do that, or that it’s an acceptable adaptation to sensors that don’t detect cyclist’s presence; just saying that this is what I’ve been doing at that particular intersection, rather sit there forever trying to figure out if the sensor’s working or not.

          Traffic signal sensors should be adjusted or redesigned so they detect cyclists. I believe technology or ideas to accomplish this must exist or be possible. After all…companies make for cities, camera/sensor systems that are smart enough to see a car blow a red light. A different application but similar concept: almost every modern garage door opener has some kind of safety device that can detect a person walking under the door as it’s going down, to shut it off.

          I’m encouraged hearing that Sen. Ginny Burdick is listening to bike transportation improvement ideas brought to her desk by her constituents. Still, I’d like to be reading reports that before considering the creation of a law for cyclists to get around malfunctioning traffic signals, she and other elected officials would first look into steps necessary to getting the equipment fixed.

          In the same vein, it would be good if Rep. Mitch Greenlick (sponsor of the ‘prohibit transportation of children 6 yrs and under by bike and bike trailer, because the survey he discovered reports people have been injured traveling this way), could also think about taking this approach to improving the viability and safety of biking as transportation.

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  • DerosaBill February 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I live in unincorporated Clackamas County and commute to downtown Portland every day. I have called ClackDOT about sensors not picking up my bike and they fixed them. I have called PBOT on the same issue within the city limits and they fixed them. I called ODOT repeatedly on the sensors at Milwaukie and McLaughlin and they’ve ignored me. I even caught the ODOT signal techs there and talked to them. They said to call in, they couldn’t do it without a work order!

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  • Arem February 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Grew up in Boise with this law always in effect. Now whenever I visit friends/family I always seem to have that realization moment: “Oh yeah! It’s not civil disobedience here!”
    No issues for 28 years can’t be wholly wrong, right?

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  • GlowBoy February 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    wsbob, when I’m headed eastbound into that intersection I ride the stripe between the through lane and the right-turn lane. There’s enough space there, and feels pretty natural to do since there is a bike lane on the opposite side.

    Although the eastbound sensor does not work, even if you stop right over the bike stencil (I should finally get around to contacting Beaverton about it), the westbound one definitely DOES. In that direction I’m often the first (or only) one at the light, and the signal always gives me the green.

    DerosaBill, although I haven’t bothered contacting ODOT, I have noticed that most of the (few) intersections that fail to detect bikes happen to be ODOT facilities. There are several intersections along Scholls Ferry, for example, that fail to detect bikes.

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    • wsbob February 4, 2011 at 1:42 am

      Glowboy…I’m not a daily commuter on Milikan, or I would probably have been more inclined to get the word to the city about the east bound sensor. When those maintenance guys called out to me, I had it in mind to leave the street and ask for their card. Didn’t because I was in kind of a rush, but wish I would of.

      They were actually very decent about getting my attention and conveying instructions to me about the sensor. I picked up a positive tone reflecting an interest in seeing the equipment work, rather than animosity or resentment about having to fuss around with signals for bikes.

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    • DerosaBill February 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

      I have noticed that ODOT is definitely behind the curve on the whole bike issue. Heading eastbound across Mclaughlin on Milwaukie, they put a dedicated bike lane and signal trigger up against the curb on what has to be one of the highest volume right turn only lanes in the area. Presumably, the cyclist is supposed to feel comfortable going straight across the intersection when a line of thirty cars is all poised to make a relatively high speed right turn. I quit using it very quickly after being squeezed against the curb by a trailer towed behind a car. The car didn’t even stop even though it nocked me over. Insult to injury, the light trigger doesn’t work!

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  • pdxpaul February 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Disappointing on a few levels.

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  • Opus the Poet February 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I have a question: How do you enforce a law that requires a jurisdiction to adjust the sensors to detect a bicycle? All they have to do is claim that they did, there has to be something to take away from the jurisdiction if signals are not maintained in such a way as to detect bicycles if you pass such a law. Idaho stop laws would be much better, less enforcement costs, fewer useless tickets for cyclists, no constant fiddling with old equipment or costly upgrades,

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  • Seth D. Alford March 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    For the benefit of the non-bicyclist, I got some helmet-cam video showing a traffic light not changing for me on my bicycle. I was looking through my list of youtube videos and I realized that I had forgotten to actually posted the link, here. So, here it is, better late than never:

    Several people asked, above, for official references to the rule that says you don’t have to sit at a traffic light that isn’t detecting you forever. The best reference I could find is at Washington County, Oregon’s web page at , which says, “If you cannot trigger the light, and you have waited an appropriate amount of time, treat the traffic light as an uncontrolled intersection and proceed when it is safe to do so.” Note: I do not know what constitutes “appropriate amount of time” or “safe” when running a red light. Nor do I know what a traffic patrol officer or traffic court judge in Washington County would say constitutes “appropriate amount of time” or “safe”. And I doubt a Washington County traffic engineer’s opinion would carry any weight outside of Washington County, Oregon, USA. SO I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS OPTION.

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    • wsbob March 11, 2011 at 11:23 am

      I wonder how hard it would be to get someone from the department that issued that recommendation to provide confirmation and their opinion of the legality of the recommendation.

      By the way, in February and early March, Utah was considering the Idaho Stop. In the forums, I posted a link so people could track progress of the bill. Kind of forgot about it until I read your post. Just checked, and it looks like Utah’s Senate failed the bill on the 3rd.

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    • Seth Alford March 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

      And Washington County has changed the web page. Now, it says, “If you cannot trigger the light, either move forward to leave room for a car to place itself over the loop, or go to the sidewalk and press the pedestrian push-button (unless you are turning left). You can also lean your bicycle over to the loop so more metal is closer to the wires.” See Jonathan’s article on this topic at

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  • Bjorn March 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    There was a committee vote in the Utah Senate, it was split 11-11 which means it did not advance, but was very close to passing.

    In Idaho they wanted to reduce confusion and at the request of law enforcement added a provision to the original Idaho Stop Sign law that allows cyclists to proceed through any red light after coming to a complete stop when there is not cross traffic with the right of way. The main driver was lights that did not change, and it has like the stop sign law worked well there with no increase in injury rates.

    The Utah bill originally had the stop light provision but it was removed because some thought it would increase the chances of passing.

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    • wsbob March 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

      “… a committee vote in the Utah Senate…” Bjorn

      Just a committee vote and not the full senate? Because I thought the full house of reps had voted and approved the bill, which, now that I look again at the ‘ Bill Status/Votes’ page, may not be so. The bill’s just been going through the committees. So it has a ways to go before the legislature votes on the bill to decide whether it will become an actual Utah law.

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  • Bjorn March 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    The full house voted on it and it passed by a healthy margin, I had assumed it was a committee vote on the senate side because it was only 22 votes, but I think may be you are right and it was just 11-11 with 7 not voting… Further reading indicates that if it had passed that vote it would have gone to the governor for a signature.

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  • Bjorn March 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Looks like it was approved in senate committee 4-2 and then did fail 11-11 with 7 no votes:

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