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Senate committee passes ‘Idaho Stop’ bill allowing bicycle riders to yield at stop signs

Posted by on April 10th, 2019 at 11:07 am

Some intersections in Oregon already allow bicycle riders to “slow-and-go”.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after it was last debated in the Oregon Legislature, a concept known as “Idaho Stop” has once again found its way into a bill. And it passed its first committee vote yesterday, just hours before a key legislative deadline.

Senate Bill 998 wasn’t on anyone’s radar before last week. Up until then it was just a vague placeholder bill without any detailed language and with no amendments. That changed when Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) drafted an amendment and brought it to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a public hearing for the bill on Monday.

The bill would allow a bicycle user to treat intersections with stop signs or red flashing signals as yields. In other words, as a bicycle user, you’d be able to roll through these intersections without stopping — but only when/if it was safe to do so.

Excerpt from -1 amendment to SB 998.

At Monday’s hearing, Committee Vice-Chair Sen. Prozanski said it’s merely a “re-do” of a bill he sponsored and passed as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 2003.

“This bill would follow a law out of Idaho that has been in place for over 35 years,” Prozanski said at the hearing.

“This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.”
— Senator Kim Thatcher, Judiciary Committee vice-chair

Only one person testified. A man who said he’s a work zone flagger told lawmakers he’s opposed because, “A lot of bicyclists go right on through” his work zones and he believes it’s a “safety risk”. “It’s bad enough we got boxes in Portland for bicyclists before the cars and they disrespect us,” the man said.

When the bill was brought back to committee for a vote yesterday, Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) added an amendment clarifying that bicycle users must stop for flaggers.

Committee Vice-Chair Thatcher is in favor of the law. “Just like a few years ago when we told ODOT we wanted to raise speed limits in some areas,” she explained, before logging her “yes” vote, “People were already going those speeds. This is one of those situations where I believe, that’s what a lot of people do already with their bikes.” Sen. Thatcher pointed out that — unlike a car — human-powered vehicles are “really difficult to stop completely and then get going again.”

(Video below by Portlander Spencer Boomhower explains how Idaho Stop works)

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Senator Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) also voted in favor of the bill. Sen. Fagan shared that she understands the benefits of the bill because she used to commute to law school by bike. “Things that are in motion tend to stay in motion, things that are at rest tend to stay at rest,” she said. “Anything we can do to encourage people to get out of their cars and ride a bike is a good thing.”

Senator Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) was the sole “no” vote. After admitting he’s rolled through stop signs on his own bike, Bentz said he opposes the law because of concerns expressed by sheriffs in his district.

The bill passed committee 6-1. It will now move to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski in 2011.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Reached on the phone this morning, Sen. Prozanski said he introduced the bill after a constituent contacted him late last month (Idaho Stop was also one of the bills I mentioned in an op-ed on March 15th). Since he had a placeholder bill to study violations, he was able to draft the language and move it to a vote very quickly. “At this point, I think it has a very good chance of passing the full Senate,” Prozanski said. Once it goes to the House Judiciary Committee, he plans to meet with members and find a sponsor.

Asked why he is such a fan of Idaho Stop, Prozanski recalled his 2003 discussions with the captain of the Boise Police Department. “He said it’s just much more seamless and it makes traffic flow more easily… It’s not as much of a hazard as coming to a complete stop and trying to start when you have other vehicles moving around you and you’re trying to get started and through an intersection with enough time,” he added.

Sen. Prozanski added that, “It seems to me we have enough safeguards in place to allow continual motion when right-of-way is clear.”

As for why the bill failed in 2003, Prozanski said it would have passed were it not for one senator (former Senator John Minnis) who simply didn’t like the bill and wouldn’t give it a vote.

When it was proposed again in 2009 by former House Rep. Jules Bailey — with the full backing of The Street Trust (then Bicycle Transportation Alliance) — the bill failed for several reasons: Irresponsible and biased coverage from The Oregonian and other outlets made it controversial; a high-profile firing of The Street Trust lobbyist in charge of the bill scared off some lawmakers; and some advocates blamed legislators who sought revenge against bicycle bills after being strongly criticized for their support of a mandatory bicycle registration bill.

The Street Trust isn’t working SB 998, but as OPB reported yesterday, they are supportive of it.

Idaho was the first state to adopt a statute like this. Arkansas just passed a version of the law last week.

For more background, peruse the 25 stories in our Idaho Stop Law archives.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

80 Comments
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    Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

    This is great to see, especially with bipartisan support. This year we saw Arkansas join Idaho and Delaware in passing Idaho Style stop as yield laws. This is a common sense solution that just makes good sense and I hope that it will pass the Senate and find a warm reception in the House. Many thanks to Floyd for listening to the people he represents and taking action.

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    dwk April 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

    About time…

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    Keviniano April 10, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Wow, I feel like hell just froze over (in a good way).

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    SuWonda April 10, 2019 at 11:36 am
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      Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 11:48 am

      If you contact your representatives, regardless of if you are for or against this idea I urge you to do so in a positive and polite manner. The negative energy that has a tendency to accompany debates about bicycle specific legislation in Oregon ends up pulling down other efforts and in my humble opinion things will go a lot better for all cyclists if we can keep out of the mud when talking to our leaders about these issues.

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        9watts April 10, 2019 at 12:17 pm

        Negative energy?
        You mean, like this:
        “It’s bad enough we got boxes in Portland for bicyclists before the cars and they disrespect us,”

        Who will respect the auto?! Damnit!

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          Mike Quigley April 10, 2019 at 1:16 pm

          So, he wants boxes for cars too? And, being from Boise, there’s nothing to fear from the Idaho Stop. Guaranteed. But it will piss off local drivers because they’re not used to it.

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          Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 1:34 pm

          Was considering specifically the angry curse laden emails and phone calls targeting a state senator after she killed the fixed gear legalization bill in committee, and the difficulty I had in getting her to even meet with me about Idaho Style after that because she just didn’t feel like spending energy on bicycle bills due to the vitriol that had come her way. I didn’t agree with her decision to spike the bill but the reaction that she got made it more difficult to move bills after that including Idaho Style.

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          Middle of the Road Guy April 10, 2019 at 4:30 pm

          Watch that negative energy there, 9.

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      John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      I’m not sure the right bill is being linked to and referenced in the article. What Jonathan links to does not match the text shown at all.

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        John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm

        Also, this bill just got passed a Senate Committee. Don’t contact your state rep. Contatct your state senator — that’s who will be voting on the bill next.

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          setha April 10, 2019 at 12:47 pm

          I contacted both my state senator Mark Haas and my state representative Sheri Schouten.

          In case someone needs a a hint as to what to write, here’s the letter that I just sent. Yes, in the letter I speak of different weights and speeds for motor vehicles versus bicyclists. Yes, I know that violates the “same road same rules” mantra that a lot of people like to quote. Optimally, our friends at the Street Trust would have a sample letter ready to go that had the right verbiage that would appeal most to the average legislator.

          But I figured that a letter that maybe doesn’t quite make the argument exactly as it should is better than no letter at all, or a letter with properly balanced verbiage that arrives after the Senate votes against. So I went ahead and sent mine and I’m posting it here to.

          Feel free to edit and use this. If you do, remove or change the reference to the helmet cam videos so that you aren’t claiming ownership for them. So, say instead of “I posted”, say “I came across the following videos on bikeportland.”

          Letter text follows:

          I want you to vote for SB 998.

          SB 998 would legalize what most people riding bicycles do anyway: treat stop signs as yields. Idaho has had this law for 35 years. Delaware recently passed it. So did Arkansas.

          The change would allow a person riding a bicycle to proceed through the stop, at a slow speed, if it is safe to do so, or to make a turn onto a 2 way street.

          In my opinion, this is a safe thing to allow because: bicyclists are moving slowly anyway; bicyclists have easier ability to see cross traffic because they are not inside a motor vehicle so there are no pillars to hold up the roof, and block the bicyclists’ vision; it allows bicyclists to retain the speed that they do have, and gets them through intersections more quickly.

          Yes, I know all too well that ignoring stop signs presents a danger to other road users. See, for example, these 2 videos which I posted. This one shows an SUV driver completely ignore a stop sign in the Royal Woodlands neighborhood:

          https://youtu.be/6DCxEuSQvr4

          This video shows motor vehicle drivers mostly ignoring a stop sign in the Murrayhill neighborhood:

          https://youtu.be/mF1UjVvtI7w

          So why not keep the law uniform and require all vehicles to stop? Because of the difference in weight and speed. Motor vehicles weigh more, and therefore carry more energy and momentum that a bicycle ridden at the same speed. And motor vehicles generally are driven faster than bicycles. Motor vehicles potentially can impart more energy or momentum to other road users, which justifies a greater restriction for their drivers. Again, allowing bicyclists to retain the speed that they have gets them through intersections faster, which gets bicyclists out of harm’s way from drivers of motor vehicles, sooner.

          Thanks,

          –Seth Alford

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        John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

        Ah-ha. That language is in an amendment to SB998 in SB998-1: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/ProposedAmendment/15625

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    John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Jonathan, your lede photo had me worried this was bill to change all stop signs for rolling right turns by autos. Whew! Glad it turned out to be good news.

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    El Biciclero April 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    What!? Passed a committee? This would be fantastic, even if it doesn’t go as far as Idaho with traffic signals (at least we have a “dead red” provision now). I find the one bit of testimony rather intriguing:

    “A lot of bicyclists go right on through” his work zones and he believes it’s a “safety risk”.

    If this gentleman is speaking about people (regardless of vehicle choice) disobeying a flagger’s STOP sign and proceeding through a work zone, then this is a completely legitimate concern. I’m a little shocked that anyone would do this, and I’m glad the amendment was added to clarify that road crew flaggers’ signs aren’t the same as “an intersection controlled by” signs. It should be clarified that the quotes around “safety risk” are quote quotes, not air quotes, as this is actually a real safety risk.

    “It’s bad enough we got boxes in Portland for bicyclists before the cars and they disrespect us,”

    Now, this unfortunate addendum to his previous comment is both disappointing and interesting. I wonder whether he is stating an opinion that using bike boxes in the way they were intended constitutes “disrespect” of drivers, or whether he is talking about two different things, i.e., “I don’t like bike boxes, and I also don’t like how bicyclists disrespect us in other ways outside of bike boxes”.

    If the former, then it’s just disappointing that anyone would equate using infrastructure for its intended purpose with being “disrespectful”. If the latter, then I’m curious what forms said “disrespect” takes. This interests me in general, since many of the complaints I hear about from people I know are complaints about bicyclists acting in the most safe and legal way they know how, but that the person nevertheless sees as disrespectful. Often, such complaints are wrapped in faux “concern” that the bicyclist they saw was doing something dangerous and might get hurt, when in reality, the bicyclist was merely doing something that either a) “got in the way” of their driving, or b) they would “never” do on a bike.

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      Dan A April 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      I have a friend who lives in Beaverton and is a landlord in Portland, and he thinks it’s disrespectful for cyclists and pedestrians to exercise their right of way by continuing through an intersection when he has his turn signal on and wants to turn right. He specifically called out an intersection on Hawthorne where he feels he has to wait “forever” to turn, and thinks people should let him through and stop clogging up the intersection, because he has work to do.

      I’ve tried to explain that they actually do have the right of way, but he can’t understand why.
      And I’ve suggested that perhaps he consider how much time he spends waiting for people in cars vs how much time he spends waiting for people on bikes or on foot (personally, I spend WAYYYYYY more time waiting for people in cars), but I think he really just wants to complain about people who aren’t in a truck like him.

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        Chris I April 10, 2019 at 1:01 pm

        Yes. This. This guy has a problem with “uppity cyclists”. He doesn’t like Portland because we don’t get treated as gutter trash, like in most cities.

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          Dan A April 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm

          Yep. Hard to explain, really. He’s actually a pretty nice guy and extremely charitable, frequently travelling to 3rd world countries to build homes and schools on his own dime, but he just can’t get over his dislike of human transportation.

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            9watts April 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm

            “a pretty nice guy and extremely charitable, frequently travelling to 3rd world countries to build homes and schools”

            Classic.
            Charitable to the exotic tribe, but intolerant of the local minority.
            #paternalism

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              Bryan April 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm

              Sounds like the mormons we have in our state legislature in Idaho. They’re fantastic and altruistic to 3rd world countries, but when it comes to politics and governance at home – screw everyone’s ideas not affiliated with the “Church”.

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                Chris I April 11, 2019 at 8:08 am

                It isn’t altruism when you are actively converting people to your hateful, outdated belief system.

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            9watts April 10, 2019 at 3:18 pm

            The Germans have similarly celebrated, fetishized Native Americans for more than a century, all the while behaving reprehensibly toward minorities within their borders.

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          B. Carfree April 10, 2019 at 11:00 pm

          I almost spurted my drink. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but people on bikes are treated slightly worse than gutter trash in Portland. Such overly narrow bike lanes, most in door zones, silly flex posts to pin you to the right of right turn lanes and other such things aren’t really signs of respect for this clean, green, healthy modal choice.

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            Chris I April 11, 2019 at 8:09 am

            You should try visiting Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, or any other major city in the south and/or midwest.

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        El Biciclero April 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm

        “[P]eople should let him through and stop clogging up the intersection, because he has work to do.”

        This is what I would be really interested in studying, if I were a researcher and had time to pursue such things…

        Similar to how many (not all) drivers consider bicyclists to be “subhuman” to some extent, I think there is also a perception that people in cars have important places to be (on time), and people on bikes are either luxuriating in their copious free time or are simply unemployed or otherwise have nowhere to be and nothing to do—after all, riding one’s bike is “something to do”, more than it is “a way to get places”, at least in many minds. This is no great epiphany, but I wonder how many categories of fundamental beliefs there might be, that if we can counteract them might help the use of bicycles as transportation become less of a “thing”.

        I always find it interesting to apply advice that bicyclists often hear to driving. In this case, what a bicyclist would be told is that “if there is too much traffic, use another street”. This is another area in which it would be interesting to find fundamental beliefs that make advice given to bicyclists unacceptable for drivers to follow.

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          9watts April 10, 2019 at 3:04 pm

          Yes, great stuff.
          Reminds me of Lakoff and Johnson’s 1980 book, Metaphors We Live By. Their approach is much like yours.

          Relatedly, as I have often pointed out here, our collective failure to distinguish recreational from transportational cycling plays into this misconception. To (eventually) be taken seriously we need to find ways to get underneath, around, behind these deeply held hierarchical, entitled beliefs, interrogate them, show them to be out of touch, obsolete.

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        mh April 10, 2019 at 3:41 pm

        Tell him to read the drivers’ manual.

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    Dirk April 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    So… in other words… nothing will change for the way I treat stop signs as a cyclist?

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      John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Doesn’t change how you treat them, it codifies it. But it also removes the “justifiable” gripe people have when they say “all cyclists blow stops” or “don’t follow the law”.

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      Que April 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Correct but automobile users will somehow manage to complain about it even more than they did before.

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        Chris I April 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm

        If this does actually pass, the backlash will be fast and fierce. Lars Larson is going to burst a neck vein.

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    mark April 10, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Would this also allow red lights to be treated as stop signs, like in Idaho? I’m very much in favor of this long overdue legislation. Idaho has been doing this since when, 1982?

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      John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      There is no language in the bill’s amendment regarding traffic signals; that is, it’s not adding that. It does clarify that flashing red lights could be treated the same for bikes (but that’s because they are the equivalent of stop signs).

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        Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm

        Idaho got the stop sign and stop light signs at separate points in time. If we get stop signs fixed this year stoplights will come soon enough.

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      soren April 10, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      Oregon already passed a bill that comes very clost to an “idaho stop” law for red lights. The law requires “waiting one full cycle” but since it’s impossible to determine this without sitting through two cycles, the bill is written in a way that *essentially* allows someone cycling to cautiously proceed through a red light after waiting some arbitrary amount of time.

      https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2015/03/bicycles_oregon_law_run_red_li.html

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        Al April 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm

        Sorry, I only saw your post appear after I posted mine.

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      Al April 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Oregon already allows bicycles and motorcycles to cross intersections at red lights provided that they stop first, in effect treating them like stop signs. This is because those road users often don’t trigger traffic light sensors.
      https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2015/03/bicycles_oregon_law_run_red_li.html

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    pdx2wheeler April 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Great way to decriminalize riding a bike. I’m sure there are an elusive few people that ride bikes that completely stop at every stop sign, every time. I’m sure Bigfoot exists too…

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      setha April 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      I almost always stop, but that’s because I am running the helmet cam. Why does a helmet cam make a difference? In this video:

      https://youtu.be/6DCxEuSQvr4

      you see me stop, then you see the SUV driver run their stop sign. If I hadn’t stopped, the video would show me and the SUV driver both ignoring the stop sign. That would, in the eyes of people like Dan A’s landlord friend (see above,) excuse the SUV driver’s action. It would have also put me in danger of getting hit by the driver’s SUV as they rolled the stop.

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        John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm

        I have so many videos like that. And also ones where drivers run the red light AFTER I’ve entered the intersection on a green.

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          Que April 10, 2019 at 3:16 pm

          I’ve never actually witnessed someone driving a motor vehicle come to a full, legal stop for the requisite amount of time behind the stop sign as required. Yet consistently motorists of all types will admonish people on bicycles for doing this exact thing, despite it being hypocritical and disproportionate in possible outcomes. It’s like a cigarette addict telling people not to eat smoked salmon because cancer.

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            John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 4:02 pm

            There is no “requisite amount of time” to be stopped. That is, it’s not like it’s defined as “3 Misississippis” or something like that. The law simply states that you must come to a stop (which is why it’s not a requirement to get a foot down on a full bike stop since stopping can happen without that). After that the law states:

            After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.

            So, literally, you can proceed immediately if you’ve already assessed that the intersection in safe and clear to enter.

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              Que April 10, 2019 at 4:35 pm

              Way to completely fail to address the point. I guess there wasn’t a spelling error for you to point out.

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                John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 6:55 pm

                Just correcting the logical inaccuracy of your statement because I’ve heard many people refer to this mythical minimum time limit that doesn’t exist. I agree with everything else you said. But there is no required length of time to stop, simply that one must stop before proceeding and only when it’s safe to do so. And no, most people don’t come to a complete stop (in any vehicle) if they don’t think they have to yield.

                PS: If I spent any time pointing out other people’s grammatical and spelling errors, I’d be in big hypocritical trouble. Not sure why you’ve got your undergarments all tangled in that regard.

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                Que April 11, 2019 at 2:53 pm

                Keep up the bickering and attempts at insults, you sad hostile little person. I’m sure it makes you feel better.

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                John Lascurettes April 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm

                Oh, hi kettle.

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            setha April 11, 2019 at 4:29 pm

            Que, I too don’t know what the “requisite amount of time” is, either.

            And that raises (what to me) is an interesting point about why some drivers (such as Dan A’s landlord friend) perceive bicyclists as scofflaws that disobey stop signs.

            Look at that other video I linked, https://youtu.be/mF1UjVvtI7w , where I tried to keep score of which driver stopped, and which driver did not, at a 4 way stop in Beaverton. Even I can’t agree with myself what constitutes a stop. When I was there watching the action live, I scored some drivers differently then when I was at home watching the same drivers on video on my computer. The criteria I used was whether the cars’ wheels stopped rolling. I found it difficult to consistently say whether the wheels were rolling very slowly, or not at all.

            Here’s the interesting point. As I mention in the captions in the video, a driver who drives their car rolling slowly through a stop sign presents more or less the same silhouette as the driver who fully stops (however we define “stop”.) Rolled or stopped, the car looks like a car.

            On the other hand, the bicyclist who stops has to do one of: put a foot down, or do a track stand, or (rarely) fall over. The stopping bicyclist’s silhouette changes. On the other hand, a bicyclist who rolls the stop, generally, keeps their feet on the pedals. The silhouette doesn’t change.

            I’m not a neuroscientist, but I wonder if that’s why people pick up on bicyclists not stopping. People know that a stopped bicyclist’s silhouette changes, so when the silhouette stays the same, they know the bicyclist didn’t stop. Cars’ silhouettes don’t change, so people (particularly, non-cyclists) don’t notice that drivers roll stop signs.

            Here’s an interesting experiment someone could do (and probably someone has done this already.) Recruit a bunch of observers, some of whom bicycle and some of whom do not. Have them watch videos of people driving cars and people riding bicycles come to a stop sign. In the videos, some of the drivers fully stop, some don’t. Some of the bicyclists fully stop with a foot down, some roll through the stop sign, and some bicyclists appear to put their foot down but really keep rolling. Include some people riding trikes, too, where the silhouette doesn’t change. See how the observers score the different road users. Also see if the scoring changes based on how many miles each observer rode or drove in the past year.

            Perception affects how people think about things, including whether they are for or against passing an Idaho stop law (or other bicycle friendly programs, like road diets.) As bicyclists, it might therefore be helpful to understand how those perceptions are formed.

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              9watts April 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm

              Great observations. Thanks for taking the time to think that through and write it all out.

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    Todd Boulanger April 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    What?!, Is this a tardy “April Fools” news item that got stuck in the BP outbox before vaycay? 😉

    I am surprised the bill’s author did not reach out to tST to get their backing if not awareness…unless he/she/them still addressed the letter to the ‘BTA’. [Or does tST not have a dedicated staffer focused on the State Legislature anymore?]

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      Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Senator Prozanski’s office was aware that the Street Trust supported the concept of the bill before he moved forward. This wasn’t a priority for them this year, but they are on board with Idaho Style.

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    Mike April 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Does that mean a cyclist can blow through a 4 way stop instead of waiting his or her turn?

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      Mike Quigley April 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Sure, if you have your affairs in order. The common sense thing to do is slow to a stop, look both ways, make eye contact with nearby drivers, and if the coast is clear, pedal on through.

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      John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      Without waiting his or her turn? Specifically no, because that would violate ORS 811.265 per section 2 of the amendment.

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      Jason H April 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      “Blow through” is a loaded term and I get the insinuation. But what it does is in effect turn a stop into a yield, with all the responsibilities for slowing and even stopping for other traffic that has the right of way (IE arriving at the intersection before you or to your right at the same time).

      Just like a yield, if there are no trees or obstructions and I can tell there is no approaching traffic for a quarter mile, yes I will in fact probably roll through without slowing down. Anything that decreases the distance I can see in each direction the more I’ll slow to be sure I can safely yield as necessary. This is in fact the behavior I mostly observe now other than the busiest stop signs, where I generally always have to perform a track stand to take my turn. It will just be nice to have the law on my side as well as common sense.

      The observation I love is when it’s clear in every other direction than the car you can hear behind you and when you slowly roll through you get a honk or a yell “that’s a stop” even when stopping, putting your foot down, clipping back in and slowly picking up speed again will piss them off 10x as much.

      Along with the law change I’d like to see new bike signage added below the stop sign. Maybe a small yield sign with bike symbol inside it and text under “bikes may yield and proceed”.

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        John Lascurettes April 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

        There is no “to your right” rule in Oregon. I’ve looked and looked. It’s not codified in any ORS. I have no idea what is taught in driver’s ed in Oregon (I guess I’ll find out soon enough with a kid in high school). California definitely has an “on the right” rule if two to three people arrive at the same time at a 4-way stop.

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          Bjorn April 10, 2019 at 11:28 pm

          Page 33 of the Oregon drivers manual notes that people often let whoever arrives at the intersection first to go first but that you should yield to the right, while not counting on others to yield properly. https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Forms/DMV/37.pdf

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            John Lascurettes April 11, 2019 at 9:55 am

            “common courtesy” not codified by law in Oregon.

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              Bjorn April 11, 2019 at 11:40 am

              Yielding to the right is codified in at least one place. For uncontrolled intersections you can find it in ORS 811.275. https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.275

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                John Lascurettes April 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

                Ah, thanks. That at least is close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. And as a rule certainly makes most sense for an uncontrolled intersection, but why not go ahead and extend that to the ORS for stop signs?

                Aside: I remember in driving class the gotcha for a 4-way stop was “who has right of way when four people arrive at the same time?” And the answer was: “whoever takes the initiative first after stopping.”

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      9watts April 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      Mike
      Does that mean a cyclist can blow through a 4 way stop instead of waiting his or her turn?Recommended 0

      The wording suggests confusion about what the Idaho Stop, or what a yield sign for that matter, means.

      Waiting your turn only comes into play if someone else has pulled up to the intersection perpendicular to you just before you arrived. Under those circumstances the idea that one would ‘blow through,’ refusing to grant the other person their right of way would be absurd.

      If no one else is present/perpendicular, then there would be no reason to stick around: that is the whole point of a yield sign. Do folks really not understand how a yield sign works?

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        JAT in Seattle April 11, 2019 at 7:46 am

        I do wonder (and not meant as a strawman – I think this is an improvement and hope it spreads – but my kid is moving to Oregon this week and I want to be able to give him solid advice about cycling behavior (which he will then ignore…)):

        Will cyclists feel entitled to pass other road users on the left as they approach an intersection and then do their Idaho Stop thing? This will certainly be interpreted as not waiting their turn.

        This won’t happen to me as I tend to cycle more (gasp!) vehicularly and line up behind the motorist who got there before me, but in WA I have the luxury of not having to use a bike lane when provided (at least for now)…

        Maybe the distinction is the presence of a bike lane, but that’s a nuance that may be lost on people.

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          9watts April 11, 2019 at 7:51 am

          Some tortured logic being brought to bear on this thing. Makes one wonder.

          It has been the law in Idaho for decades!
          Enough with the parsing and peevish speculation.

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          Dan A April 11, 2019 at 7:53 am

          If it’s a regular 4-way stop, I typically take the lane to reduce confusion among drivers at the other stop signs. and I will continue to do do. But there are some 4-way stops around town where you might have to line up behind 10-50 cars, in which case you’d have to be crazy to do so. Much better to ride by on the right and proceed when it’s your turn at the intersection.

          Passing on the left? I don’t know why you’d want to do that.

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            9watts April 11, 2019 at 7:59 am

            What Dan A said.
            “…line up behind the motorist who got there before me…”

            Um, as often as not, in my experience these motorists you’re thinking of only just passed me seconds before.

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              Dan A April 11, 2019 at 10:49 am

              And? If a few cars pass me, am I supposed to keep track of which ones and then insert myself in front of them in the column? I’m not sure what you’re hinting at.

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                9watts April 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

                I was agreeing with you.
                Comment didn’t nest properly.
                It was JAT who I was tying to respond to.

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            soren April 11, 2019 at 9:16 am

            Why is passing on the left sometimes safer than passing on the right?

            * it avoids dooring (most dooring in traffic occurs from the passenger side — uber/lyft).
            * it avoids right hooks and especially so on multi-lane roads with wider lanes

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              Dan A April 11, 2019 at 10:51 am

              How do you avoid a left hook if you are positioned to the left of a car at an intersection?

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                soren April 11, 2019 at 11:57 am

                i’m not sure what you mean by a “left hook”.

                a “left cross” would impact people cycling on the right or left-side of a lane.

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                Dan A April 13, 2019 at 6:15 pm

                You’re on the left of a car at an intersection and the driver turns left.

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                soren April 14, 2019 at 12:35 pm

                “especially so on multi-lane roads”

                and even on one roads with two two way lanes, left turns are almost always less *immediate* and less risky than right turns when there is sufficient traffic to in any way warrant filtering.

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      El Biciclero April 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      Oh, dearie me. If there is anyone else already stopped at an intersection, this rule essentially does NOT apply. If the intersection is empty, or others are approaching at a distance from which they are unlikely to arrive at the intersection before you have time to clear it, or you have ascertained by some non-verbal communication that another person at the intersection is planning a non-conflicting move, that is when this law comes into play.

      Think about how you would treat a 4-way stop now….then continue to do that. Really, the passage of a law like this should not affect anyone’s actual behavior in any noticeable way—it only makes most peoples’ existing behavior less likely to net them a citation.

      If this law passes, it does NOT change the rules of right-of-way, it only addresses what one must (or need not) do just prior to applying the existing rules of right-of-way.

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    Merlin April 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    “ And no, most people don’t come to a complete stop”

    What’s an incomplete stop?

    It’s like when people say “a little pregnant”. Either you are or you are not.

    Either you STOP, or you don’t. Most driver’s don’t except at the busiest intersections with 4 way stops.

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      Q April 11, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      You don’t spend a lot of time outside do you.

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    mark smith April 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    I idaho stop whatever I want. But, I am white and generally ride in bike gear so the cops leave me alone for the most part.

    See why we need the Idaho stop law?

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      soren April 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      It’s bizarre to see the “idaho stop” associated with “bike bros” on bike portland. from a strictly personal perspective i could not care less about “idaho stop”, bike infrastructure, or legal rights for cycling. after all, i pay ZERO attention to traffic laws when i cycle and have ZERO need for bike infrastructure. in fact, bike infrastructure is almost entirely an inconvenience to me

      if i were to base my transportation politics only on my own self-interest i would be categorically opposed to any new bike infrastructure and hostile to anything that increases cycling mode share.

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    Mark smith April 13, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Portland, the same town that has stop signs at roundabouts.

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