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Slow then go: Checking in on Oregon’s new stop sign law

Posted by on February 13th, 2020 at 11:04 am

Should we call them slow signs? Bicycle riders no longer have to stop if they have the right-of-way.
(Photo and terrible Photoshopping by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I don’t want to jinx it, but we’re 44 days into being an “Idaho Stop” state and the sky hasn’t fallen. I haven’t heard of any crashes caused by confusion over Oregon’s new law, and there have been (remarkably) zero biased news stories or crazy op-eds about it.

If you’re new here, as of January 1st of this year people riding bicycles in Oregon are allowed to treat stop signs as yields in certain situations (thanks to a nail-biter final vote in the Oregon House back in June). Here’s how the law works: If a bicycle rider approaches an intersection controlled by a stop sign or a flashing red signal, they are allowed to proceed through “without stopping if the person slows the bicycle to a safe speed” as long as they yield to other road users who have the legal right-of-way. (See the text of the law here.)

To be clear: The law does not apply to standard, steady red signals — just the flashy kind you usually see at smaller, neighborhood intersections. And if other road users are present and have the legal right-of-way, you must come to a complete stop.

So how’s it going to far?

The police perspective

To check my hunches, I asked two Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Officers what they’ve noticed so far.

Sgt. Ty Engstrom.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sgt. Ty Engstrom (pictured) said he hasn’t noticed anything peculiar about the new law during his patrols; but things might change when summer starts. “I have not received any specific complaints since the beginning of the new year in regards to this new law,” he shared via email last week. “However, as the weather improves and more cyclists take to the streets, I suspect we will get some motorists calling in about cyclists not stopping.”

Officer McCageor “Cage” Byrd echoed his Sergeant. “For the most part I haven’t noticed any majorly different riding behavior.” Bug Ofcr. Byrd issued a stronger warning. He added that he and his co-workers have always been “extremely light” when it comes to enforcement of bicycle riders and stop signs before the law changed. “But what I have seen now,” he added, “is cyclists that are using Idaho Stop as a justification for proceeding through an intersection when it doesn’t legally apply or when it isn’t safe. Meaning an ‘I thought we didn’t have to stop anymore’ and ‘Don’t they have to stop for us now?’ justification.”

Not surprisingly, both Engstrom and Byrd really stressed that more people need to understand the law and use extreme caution while going through intersections. “While cyclists can now essentially roll signs,” Ofcr. Bryd added, “there’s still a lot of distracted and impaired driving happening.” And Sgt. Engstrom said, “My hope is that cyclists will be extremely vigilant out there and not put themselves in harm’s way.”

I also asked readers (via Twitter and Facebook) how they feel about the new law.

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The rider/driver perspective

Cait McCusker:

“My behavior hasn’t changed much, but I no longer fear a repeat incident of a policeman on a motorcycle speeding up next to me (because I rolled through, and didn’t stop in the middle of Broadway when he said “hey you, stop”) and yelling “GET OFF YOUR BIKE OR I’LL RIP YOU OFF YOUR BIKE!””

Paul Frazier:

“Haven’t noticed any difference driving. Biking it’s great, I’m not ‘maximizing’ the ability to grab right-of-way at 4 way stops but when there aren’t cars or I’m going to ‘beat’ a car to the line (since they legally have to come to a complete stop) I just sail past and smile!”

Paul Souders:

“I ride a lot with my kids and it has changed how we talk about stop signs. Sometimes we have a ‘slow and look’ and sometimes we have a ‘foot down stop'”.

Michelle Lin:

“Have to pay extra attention to other cyclists at 4 way stops.”

Chris Rall:

“Everything is about the same with the new Oregon stop-sign law, except no one harasses me for slow-rolling a stop-sign anymore, which is nice!”

Matthew Rogers:

“It’s been pretty nice–I feel like I can pay attention to traffic and other hazards more, instead of focusing on coming to a complete stop (and/or looking for cops).”

Kelly Lynne:

“I have been loving the new law! I ride slow and upright on a 3 speed cruiser, so the new law just makes legal what I was already doing. I haven’t had any problems, it’s a safe way to ride. What I do like is that the new law legalizes normal safe biking activity, and helps legitimize the inherent differences between bikes and cars in safely navigating stop signs.”

Nick Gallo:

“Been great not worrying about getting a ticket but I kind of have to force myself to not be complacent as it is more dangerous.”

Steve Hash:

“As a former stop completely, then go rider, I now realize what I was missing by not being a cycling scofflaw.”

Have anything to add? What about people who walk or roll on something other than a bike on our streets/sidewalks? Has the law changed anything for you yet?

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

What Paul Frazier is doing is clearly against the law. Cyclists must stop at a four-way stop if there is also other traffic at the same intersection. Further, “sailing past” unequivocally does not mesh with the law when it says that the bicyclists must “slow the bicycle to a safe speed.” Sailing is not slowing.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Bikeround, They don’t have to stop if they have the right of way, do they?

Jason
Guest
Jason

Not to mention that a car at an intersection is an unknown potential. They very well could turn right. Have you ever followed a car that indicated a left turn to then turn right? But hey, at least he gets to smile.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

I think you may be reading into their statement a bit more than you should. Sailing doesn’t mean they didn’t slow enough to see the car approaching and realize they would be the first to the line and have the right of way.

Also the law doesn’t say you have to stop just cause a car is approaching the intersection. It specifically says “so close as to constitute an immediate hazard”. So if you see a car approaching notice they’re slowing and that you’ll clearly be the first to the stop sign it’s not illegal to proceed without stopping. I’ve done it a number of times already and have had no difficulty determining if it would be safe to proceed. It’s no different than noticing a car is approaching a stop sign or light too quickly and yielding in case they violate my right of way.

Carl
Guest
Carl

You’re actually incorrect. Right of way does not go to the first person to the stop sign in Oregon, but rather goes to the first person within the intersection. Since the “stop” sign is actually a yield sign for bikes, cars who are stopped at the sign but who see an oncoming bike approaching the intersection must wait until the bike has cleared the intersection. And cyclists should assert their right of way by not stopping unless a car has actually entered the intersection. To do otherwise would be incorrect, and would be no better than when a driver incorrectly and frustratingly attempts to wave a cyclist through when the driver is the one with the right of way.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

If right of way doesn’t exist until you enter the intersection then cyclists approaching the intersection do not have the right of way and cars already stopped at the intersection do not have to wait for cyclists approaching the intersection.

Also with how this law is written asserting your non existent right of way but not allowing the already stopped car to proceed through the intersection you would create an immediate hazard and violate the law. It’s expected that a car stopped at a stop sign will enter the intersection momentarily and if you don’t yield to it you’re the liable one.

Finally it’s generally accepted that the proper thing to do is allow the vehicle that reached the intersection first to go first. I mean you may technically be able to beat them to it and have the right of way but I’d say most people would think that’s kind of selfish and inconsiderate.

Carl
Guest
Carl

“If right of way doesn’t exist until you enter the intersection then cyclists approaching the intersection do not have the right of way and cars already stopped at the intersection do not have to wait for cyclists approaching the intersection.”

Wrong again. Since the cyclist has only a yield sign, a car stopped at the stop sign needs to assess whether the cyclist is “so close as to constitute an immediate hazard” before deciding whether to enter the intersection. Again, given that the bike has only a yield sign, the driver must assume that they will not be stopping.

If you’re still having trouble understanding the law, just consider the same situation if all of the vehicles were cars. So imagine that you’re sitting at a stop sign waiting to cross a major roadway and imagine that the cars traveling in the roadway that you’re crossing have a flashing yellow (yield). You clearly don’t believe that the cars with the flashing yellow should stop to let you cross, do you? And you clearly don’t think that you should proceed into the intersection if a car is about to enter it or is so close so as to constitute an immediate hazard. But if you don’t believe that, then you should believe the same thing with regard to the bike scenario, since the bike scenario is identical in every respect (the law is clear that stop signs are to be treated as yield signs for bikes).

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

You need to read the law again. You seem to be the one having trouble. Your scenario is completely wrong this does not make a stop sign magically a flashing yellow or a yield sign. For that matter a flashing yellow does not mean yield it means caution, so, it has no bearing whatsoever in how the driver at the stop sign should behave.

Stop signs are still a stop sign for cyclists it just says cyclists don’t have to stop at it and can proceed through at a safe speed under certain circumstances. Since stop signs just mean slow down for cyclists now they created a new offense which outlines additional right of way rules for cyclists. This is the part you’re missing. You commit an offense of improper entry into an intersection if you do not yield to a vehicle in the intersection OR one approaching the intersection such as to create an immediate hazard OR you don’t exercise care to avoid an accident.

So a cyclist does not have a yield sign they still have a stop sign which now means something else for cyclists and includes additional right of way rules. Which you would violate if you didn’t yield to the driver already stopped at the stop sign since it’s reasonable to expect the driver to enter the intersection soon and by proceeding you are failing to exercise care.

But by all means proceed with your interpretation of the law who knows you might convince a judge you’re right since some of them believe bicycle lanes don’t exist in intersections.

Carl
Guest
Carl

You seem to be the one who hasn’t read the law. Here it is (https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB998/Enrolled):

(1) A person operating a bicycle who is approaching an intersection where
traffic is controlled by a stop sign may, without violating ORS 811.265, do any of the following
without stopping if the person slows the bicycle to a safe speed:
(a) Proceed through the intersection.
(b) Make a right or left turn into a two-way street.
(c) Make a right or left turn into a one-way street in the direction of traffic upon the
one-way street.

(2) A person commits the offense of improper entry into an intersection where traffic is
controlled by a stop sign if the person does any of the following while proceeding as described
in subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Fails to yield the right of way to traffic lawfully within the intersection or approaching so close as to constitute an immediate hazard;
(b) Disobeys the directions of a police officer or flagger, as defined in ORS 811.230;
(c) Fails to exercise care to avoid an accident; or
(d) Fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in an intersection or crosswalk under
ORS 811.028.

So, I can proceed through the intersection at a safe speed without stopping as long as I don’t violate any of the items in (2). The item in (2) that’s relevant to our discussion is (a). Cars stopped at stop signs at a four way stop are not “within the intersection”, nor are stopped cars “approaching” so close as to constitute an immediate hazard—they are stopped.

You are therefore clearly incorrect. Cyclists who stop and wait for cars to proceed into the intersection, as I stated in my original comment, are just like cars who wave cyclists across the road when they shouldn’t. Such cyclists are not following the rules of right of way and are therefore engaging in unpredictable behavior.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

Yup but none of this changes how a driver has to behave at a 4 way stop. They have come to a stop and if no one is in the intersection so they can enter it. Now you have to yield to them. If you’re trying beat them into the intersection you’re failing to exercise care. This law doesn’t change a stop sign into a yield sign and it doesn’t change a drivers duties at 4 way stops. They don’t have to wait for people approaching a 4 way stop. Pedestrians don’t have to stop drivers don’t have to wait for them how is a cyclist approaching a 4 way stop any different?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

You may be technically correct here, but this is the kind of case that would have to be decided in court after a driver who was stopped entered the intersection a fraction of a second before a bicyclist “sailed” through. The trouble is that we essentially have Shroedinger’s YIELD sign. It is not a YIELD sign, it is a STOP sign that may be treated as a YIELD sign only under certain circumstances. Those circumstances are sometimes fluid, and the requirement to stop could emerge rather suddenly. I would be willing to bet that a car/driver already stopped at an intersection would be deemed “an immediate hazard” regardless of how one defines “approaching”; one cannot be any “closer” than “already stopped and ready to proceed because I got there first”. Of course, “getting there first” confers no real legal status, but neither does it require anyone to wait for someone else who hasn’t reached the intersection yet.

It would seem that a stopped driver, and an approaching bicyclist are BOTH very well within the law to enter the intersection, and it then becomes a game of “chicken” to see who will enter first. One thing to think about is that there is no “improper entry into an intersection” violation that applies to drivers…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

If a driver makes a full and complete stop and then passes the stop sign even a partial second before you “sail” through the stop sign, and then you T-bone them with your bike, you should be cited for failure to yield. If you don’t slow down to a near stop in this situation, you are asking for trouble. We don’t have an instant replay cam like they do in professional sports, so you would be subject to the biases of the responding police officer.

Kate
Guest
Kate

This is a kind of terrifying interpretation of the rule.
Here’s what the Oregon Drivers Manual says — and I think is the common understanding of 4 way stops in Oregon.
“At any intersection with stop signs in all four directions, it is common courtesy to allow the driver who stops first to go first. If in doubt yield to the driver on your right. To avoid the risk of a crash, never insist on the right of way.”

As an occasional weekend driver. I have always understood the Idaho stop rule to mean that if a car has reached the intersection first, and a bike is approaching the intersection but has not yet arrived, normal operations occur meaning the car should proceed through the intersection. If the bike is approaching it at the same time as the car, and to the right of it, the bike should slow and then proceed through. If both arrived at exactly the same time, I would imagine that it would be whomever is the right, or, if across from eachother, whomever is proceeding straight while the turn yields. This all codifies what I’ve always done on a bike. I’ve never considered that right of way at a four way is whoever can race into the intersection first, or that a vehicle who has stopped should now wait until a bike on the approaching block makes it to the 4-way and proceeds past while the vehicle continues to wait. I wouldn’t expect other drivers or cyclists to interpret it that way either.

PS
Guest
PS

I had your same interpretation prior to this article today. Have to admit I never read anything about the law because I am a terrible scofflaw rider that finds the safest route to be “stop as yield, red as yield, etc.”. Anything to spend as little time as possible within close proximity to distracted drivers.

Some of the other responses here made me look it up though and this is a great summary, https://www.bikelaw.com/2019/09/faq-oregons-new-stop-as-yield-law/

So, the law for cyclists now is actually “stop as yield”, so it isn’t the same as a 4 way stop for vehicles. If a cyclist is approaching a 4 way stop and there is already a car/s stopped there, the cyclist is legally allowed to slow to a safe speed and proceed through the intersection. The cars are required to wait until the intersection has been cleared of another vehicle with right-of-way. Drivers of course will need to be educated on this, as most don’t stop regardless, but certainly are accustomed to cyclists stopping to cede right of way. In a perfect world, this would cause cars to have to avoid crossing greenways at the most busy times because there would be such minimal opportunities to cross with the right of way.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

The driver’s manual is not the law. There is no law on who goes first at a 4-way stop in Oregon. People picked up the right-hand-first rule of etiquette from the uncontrolled intersection law and the other state’s 4-way stop laws. This is why they call it an Oregon standoff, because everybody tries to be nice and let the other person go and then nobody is going.

When I get to a 4-way stop with other vehicles I just go after I’m done stopping unless somebody else has already gone and is entering the intersection.

Usually if you’re doing something on the road to “be nice” then you’re quite possibly breaking a law.

Carl
Guest
Carl

But we’re not talking about a four-way stop, though, so that’s irrelevant. When a bike is approaching such an intersection, the “stop” sign does not function as a stop sign for the cyclist.

Your uninformed “understanding” of what the law says is not what a judge would rely on in court. Here’s the text of the law: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB998/Enrolled

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

It is still a four way stop. What makes you think it’s not? Again the law does not say stop signs are to be treated as yield signs by cyclists. There’s no reference to yield sign laws so treating them as such is incorrect. Also do you see the portions about the additional right of way rules that now apply at stop signs for cyclists?

The law also in no way directs drivers to act any differently at stop signs. So just like before a driver at a four way stop that has come to a complete stop is allowed to proceed and enter the intersection even though there is another person approaching. An approaching driver is required to stop. An approaching pedestrian is required to yield and not enter the road creating a hazard. An a approaching cyclist is required to slow down and exercise care which may involve them stopping.

PS
Guest
PS

Jesus, read the law, maybe try to get past the first page, before so confidently telling someone else they are wrong. Not sure why you think there needs to be the word yield, the whole “slow to a safe speed, proceed through the intersection or turn” is literally what it means to yield. Then if you get to the second page there is this little blurb:

(15) Stop signs. A driver approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but
if none, before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no
marked crosswalk, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view
of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall
yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching so [closely] close as to
constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the
intersection. This subsection does not apply to a person operating a bicycle.

“AFTER STOPPING THE DRIVER SHALL YIELD TO THE RIGHT OF WAY TO ANY VEHICLE IN THE INTERSECTION OR APPROACHING SO CLOSE AS TO CONSTITUTE AN IMMEDIATE HAZARD DURING THE TIME WHEN THE DRIVER IS MOVING ACROSS OR WITHIN THE INTERSECTION”

So, yes, it does tell drivers how they must behave, and since the law specifically notes that a cyclist may proceed through an intersection controlled by a stop sign without stopping, means that a cyclist has the right-of-way when approaching an intersection controlled by a stop sign.

jonno
Guest
jonno

Yield does not literally mean “slow to a safe speed, proceed through the intersection or turn”. Yielding is ceding safe passage to another roadway user if you do not have the legal right of way at that moment. Yes, you must slow to a safe speed if you cannot otherwise rule out that another roadway user has the right of way, but yielding does not imply any requirement to alter your speed (especially at average city bicycle speeds) if you have the right of way and you are not creating a hazard. If you are approaching a 4-way stop and there is another roadway user who is already at the stop line or in the intersection, you do.not.have.the.right.of.way and must cede safe passage to the other roadway user. That is what yielding literally means.

I’m baffled about how much confusion there is around this simple rule. You can’t safely yield if you don’t know who has the right of way in any given situation. Learn it, know it, never insist on it is what I was taught.

X
Guest
X

Can you depend on a randomly selected motor vehicle operator to both know this law and also share your understanding of it? Even if you’re 100% correct this could get sticky if a person driving a car is in the mood to be quick off the line or if they fail to see you.

Bike riders also have a duty to pedestrians. It’s common for vehicle operators to only account for other, perhaps bigger, vehicles and not notice pedestrians who have a foot out there in the intersection which gives them actual right of way over everybody else. I have to admit that I’ve made this mistake. Have you?

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

Carl, you are completely wrong about this. The law says that a cyclist does not have to come to a complete stop, but otherwise cyclists have to behave like any other vehicle on the road. Could we PLEASE get a lawyer on this site before you get people killed with this nonsense?

Hotrodder
Guest
Hotrodder

Carl, you’re gonna end up as a hood ornament on an SUV with your stubborn doggedness to your version of what is right and wrong. Fact is, every single approach to an intersection no matter how many times you’ve ridden through it is a different set of circumstances and needs to be addressed as as such. Idaho stop allows us to keep our momentum, but you absolutely cannot depend on this new law to keep you safe.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

And now people are going through the mental gymnastics of justifying why they don’t have to obey stops signs at all.

Allan Rudwick
Subscriber

its nice to not break any laws on the way to work

encephalopath
Guest
encephalopath

“My hope is that cyclists will be extremely vigilant out there and not put themselves in harm’s way.”

Preaching to the choir. So just like every ride, making sure other people don’t run me down through negligence or malice.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Put themselves in harms way. Ignored the warnings. Knew the risk. The victim blaming mentality is so pervasive, it comes out of the PPB even when there is no victim.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You’d think that a motorcycle cop would understand, since they are often victims of the “I didn’t see them” defense as well.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

People riding full sized motorcycles are not immune to thinking that everybody using a smaller mode a transportation is using a toy.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

There are also a lot of folks who put drivers/traffic on the same level as wild animals. If I get mauled by a bear, is it my fault, or the bear’s? The only trouble with that is that it implies drivers have no more responsibility than wild animals, and may do whatever they want. We need to start holding drivers to people standards, not animal standards.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

They probably see a whole lot of ass-hat behavior from all road users and therefore do not automatically assume one group is better than the other.

Jason
Guest
Jason

True, it’s bias and perception. “Red cars speed, yellow cars are safe”.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

This is more or less what I would expect from a law that just legalizes existing, commonsense behavior from cyclists.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

It’s been working fine for me I have not had one close call with a driver or accidentally violated their right of way. I have had to do the usual tricks to get some drivers and pedestrians to go though like waving, looking away from them and stopping about 10 feet back from the line when I realize they’re not going to go. I have had a few cyclists violate my right of way but that’s not much different than before and I chalk it up to simple mistakes plenty of drivers do that too 🙂

Champs
Guest
Champs

The main difference is that I also do it in front of the cops now.

It’s also got me reconsidering my opposition to Idaho Stop on red. Sometimes the light just doesn’t change: how are you supposed to prove that you waited a full cycle for Dead Red? Other times, like last night on Sandy, the street is literally empty as far as the eye can see. The shortcomings are more obvious now.

I don’t know if we need “full Idaho” but there is definite room to improve what’s on the books. People need to comply with the law, but the law needs to comply with common sense.

9watts
Subscriber

“Have to pay extra attention to other cyclists at 4 way stops.”

I have always thought that entering an intersection controlled by stop signs it is more important for me to know whether cross traffic has stop signs than whether I do.

Paraphrasing Sergeant Engstrom: Roll but don’t Blow

Bike Guy
Guest
Bike Guy

Speaking of distracted driving, has anyone seen the 11.6″ touchscreen center console display in the new, 2020 Subaru Outback? The thing is huge! Why do we allow devices that promote distraction in cars at all?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You should see what they have in the new full-size pickups/SUVs and the Teslas.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

We should not victim blame these people for having these screens forced upon them.

X
Guest
X

Forced? Spending $35,000.00 on a thing is definitely a choice. There are lots of good used motor vehicles of every condition and description that do not have big touch screens. Go to the Tesla dealer, look at the cars, drive one, find out the price, and tell them “I’d buy this but that big screen is just wrong.” Walk and get yourself a nice ride for half the money.

JONAS
Guest
JONAS

Just my observation here in inner PDX: an increase of cyclists running solid red lights, with or without traffic at intersections. Particularly ones in spandex and carbon bikes.

I wonder if cyclists now assume any red light does not apply to us anymore?

Another Engineer
Subscriber
Another Engineer

I don’t roll them unless it is a Leading Pedestrian Interval, or the all pedestrian phase, Barnes Dance, (while yielding to all pedestrians) in front of Powell’s. Both of those need common sense law changes to be allowed. Hopefully those laws won’t require ridiculous enforcement, stubborn activism, and many years.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Behavior at 26th & Clinton during the morning commute has not changed, which is not amazing.

Few of the many schussboomers coming down Clinton pay any attention to cross traffic on 26th.

And it is a 4-way stop with blinking reds.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Jonathan…perhaps a better lead graphic would have been “yield” vs. “Slow”?

I hope PBoT puts up an informational sign / notice for pedestrians at the infamous Ladd Circle crosswalks…just so they understand the change in the law…versus generating too many calls to the PPB and council once spring hits.

Moleskin
Guest
Moleskin

Only article I’ve noticed is this gem: https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2020/01/readers-respond-stop-pandering-to-cyclists.html

In practice it’s been absolutely fine, feels good not to feel bad for not coming to an absolute stop at every stop sign and as long as everyone takes care and takes turns nicely all is great. And, honestly, almost all the time almost no-one comes to a complete stop at stop signs regardless of their mode of transport, so it really shouldn’t be a big deal…

axoplasm
Subscriber

The most remarkable thing about the new stop law is how quietly it happened. I genuinely doubt most Oregonians even know about it.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

No regrets thus far.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

As evident in the comments regarding how the new law actually works, especially at four-way stops, this is one of the weaker Bike Portland articles in a long time. It does nothing to answer all the obvious questions surrounding the new law (thank you Carl for trying to help), and here we are six weeks in. Maybe it’s a lead-in to another article?

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Maybe only after all of the certified transportation planners have offered their opinions.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

FWIW got a ticket from Engstrom several years ago for blowing a stop sign. He was actually fairly cool.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

Let me share my personal experience. I now feel guilty when I exert my Idaho Stop rights. I have spent years teaching myself to make eye contact, come to a full track stop, and yield to dirvers, that it is going to take me awhile to undo my mental training. I know, I am being irrational. Also, I drive about 1/3 the number of miles that I ride. So, now when I drive, I have to force myself to not do an Idaho Stop, because I roll most of my stops now (on my bike). It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

btw I decided to test the law, right in front of a cop. I have been busted multiple times for not coming to a full stop (you have to put your foot down, blah blah), never a ticket, just warnings, but my feelings for local LE are not good. So, after about three chances, I finally did an Idaho stop right in front of a cop, who was still approaching as I exercised my rights. No reaction from him, which would have resulted in being pulled over last year. Whew!

9watts
Subscriber

That is some great ground truthing. Thanks for the report!

rick
Guest
rick

Less worn brake pads. Rim brakes forever.

BikingPaul
Subscriber
BikingPaul

Chris I
If a driver makes a full and complete stop and then passes the stop sign even a partial second before you “sail” through the stop sign, and then you T-bone them with your bike, you should be cited for failure to yield. If you don’t slow down to a near stop in this situation, you are asking for trouble. We don’t have an instant replay cam like they do in professional sports, so you would be subject to the biases of the responding police officer.Recommended 1

This captures how I wanted to start my reply. 🙂

@idlebytes is right that ” Sailing doesn’t mean they didn’t slow enough to see the car approaching and realize they would be the first to the line and have the right of way.”

My number one rule is to get home safely. My wife and child are counting on that.

Now that I am not required in all cases to come to a complete stop, IFF the car is far enough away that they haven’t even started to come their complete stop and the is ZERO doubt that I am going to clearly enter the intersection before them, I proceed. Before this was ALOT harder because legally I had to come to a complete stop too, now momentum is my friend.

So yes the longer than 280 character tweet reply would be that I, “slow the bicycle to a safe speed, make sure there are no cars or pedestrians with or about to have right of way”, and THEN and only then, sail though with a smile! Because slowing to safe speed and thoroughly checking out the situation around me sure beats having to come to a complete stop.

For a deeper dive I really liked https://www.bikelaw.com/2019/09/faq-oregons-new-stop-as-yield-law/

pdx2wheeler
Subscriber

Eliminates the nagging fear of punishment for operating a bicycle in the most efficient manner possible. Hasn’t changed my ride one single bit though. I ride through every stop sign just like I had before, as fast as safely possible for me and those around me.

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

Ive moved forward to ignoring red lights at vacant intersections, cmon partners lets gitter done !

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

Felt textreme FR btw. ..

Jay T.
Guest

The law has changed my route finding through my town, Corvallis. I no longer choose a collector or arterial, even though it will have a bike lane. I skip those because they have stop lights. If there’s a nearby local street alternative, I’ll take it even though it has stop signs. When crossing the streets where the nearby collector has a traffic light, my local street will have a stop sign, at which I can often slow then proceed past. That’s less delay than I would expect at a traffic signal.

I also tend to use some higher gears in town as I no longer feel the need to slow as far as I did last year.

X
Guest
X

I’ve found that by taking a safe roll through stop sign controlled intersections with clear sight lines I can make greens on light sequences that were pretty difficult (not worth it) before. Yes!

Maria
Guest
Maria

A note for rider Kelly Lynne, who was quoted, please come join a Society of Three Speeds ride! More info https://urbanadventureleague.wordpress.com/

alex
Guest
alex

the only issue i have had basically existed even before the law change. on my route is a two-way stop that other cyclists often blow at full speed. do those cyclists that broke the law instantly have right of way in the intersection because they entered it first or do i have right of way that has been violated (even if i enter the intersection after them)?

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

Tested this at a 4-way stop on the MUP at Powell MAX station with a TriMet bus. It didn’t work. Not sure if it applies on a MUP.

https://youtu.be/fDFTYtSG7Bg

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

In your video the bus had come to a complete stop and there is no one in the intersection. They have the right to proceed into the intersection and whoever gets there first is the one that has the right of way. It looks like you did what was required too slowing down and not entering the intersection exercising care to avoid an accident.