Thursday, February 12, 2009

IT'S NOT A SOUTH PHILLY SLIDE; IT'S A CALIFORNIA STOP: In the comments to Adam's post below about Dan Pohlig's plea that bikes should be allowed to blow red lights and stop signs if there is absolutely no traffic coming, I mentioned that I thought Minnesota already allowed this. Commenter Squid, who is absolutely my favorite commenter who is also a bicycling squid from Minnesota, said no, Minnesota is not so enlightened. Turns out I was confusing Minnesota with its similarly northern and noncoastal but bicycling-squid-deprived sister state Idaho.

Idaho, as it turns out, is the nation's only stop-as-yield state. As the article says, a bicyclist in Idaho must observe all yield rules at a stop sign or a red light, but if there's no traffic coming, may proceed through a stop sign without stopping and may proceed through a red light after stopping. The law has been on the books since 1982 without any noticeable increase in bicyclist injuries (no word on injuries to others). The Oregon legislature has a similar bill before it, so there's a chance that pretty soon you'll be able to ride the long way from the Pacific Ocean to Canada without ever putting your feet down.

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