Hi Bruce:

Am in general agreement with you--actually, we would be better off just to replace stop signs with yield signs as that matches behaviors of all users and likely improves intersection service with no change in safety.   The Burlington Walk Bike Council is looking at another bike preference, allowing bicyclists to move through intersections with walkers in an all-stop "walk" signal phase.  We have an intersection or two with this status. 

The overall key point remains we need along our busy streets to install cycle track and pathed roundabouts to provide safe and service to all walkers and bicyclists.  With that admittedly high investment we can begin to establish walkable and bikable nodes, corridors and areas in our downtowns and village centers.  My blog yesterday addresses, again, that to get major investmens in rail, walking and bicycling, we must support the funding from sources other than car related taxation.



             Tony


On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM, Bruce Lierman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I'm not sure it's really worth continuing this discussion, since I think few minds - including mine - are likely to be changed, but here goes anyway:

Rick Price, an LCI, makes the case for cyclists being given different treatment than motor vehicle operators in responding to stop signs.
Cyclists, he argues, because of their lower weight and the lesser danger they present to themselves, motorists, and pedestrians, should be allowed to roll through stop signs after visually checking for cross traffic at stop signs, effectively treating them as yield signs.  This of course is not the first time this has been suggested, and as he relates it is the law in some localities.
First of all, as an LCI myself and bicycle commuter, I'll be the first to admit that I do not stop completely at most stop signs.  I could also say the same thing about most motor vehicle operators I observe.  I generally find myself crossing the intersection or turning right after reducing to a much lower speed - less than a walk - and after much closer assessment of the situation, than most of my fellow roadway users.  I don't believe my approach to be scofflaw behavior, but a response to the particular situation.
The idea that I should have any privilege accorded to me as a particular type of roadway user (and about the only type capable of 20 mph - 30 mph speeds with no training or certification requirement) is abhorrent to me, as a cyclist, a motorist and a pedestrian.  We all respond to the traffic situations in a combination of self-serving actions; some to keep ourselves safe, some to obtain our transportation goals, within the existing traffic law framework.  Why should riding a bicycle entitle me to have a version of rules for my benefit, especially one that varies from state to state or community to community, and therefore is more likely to be unknown to visiting roadway users and contrary to the more general "first come, first served" rule of traffic, as well as the Golden Rule?
It seems to me even more dangerous for Rick to suggest such an entitlement would immediately create innumerable bicycle boulevards.  The image this creates is of cyclists not only finesse-ing stop signs, but ignoring them completely for blocks on end!  Tell that to the cross traffic, including the cyclists!
Frankly, I think we'd be better off with the shared space concepts of the Netherlands than this biased traffic fantasy.  Whatever challenges it presents, At least shared space is equitable.

Bruce Lierman
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--
Tony Redington
Burlington, VT
Blog:  TonyRVT.blogspot.com 

WALKABLE, BIKABLE BUSY STREETS FEATURE  SIDEWALKED AND CYCLE TRACKED SECTIONS WITH ROUNDABOUTS AT KEY INTERSECTIONS


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