Rolling stops and scofflaw.... motorists?

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Thursday, April 09, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


Welcome to Cyclelicious. Take the quiz and see how well you do. Answers immediately below.

1. Motorists in Portland, Oregon come to a legal, complete stop at stop signs how often?
  1. 92% of the time
  2. 62%
  3. 44%
  4. 22%


If you answered 92%, you're not even close. 62% and 44% aren't right either. The Portland (OR) Bureau of Transportation found that drivers come to a complete stop at stop signs only 22% of the time, according to this article in The Oregonia.

The same traffic survey showed cyclists stop only 7% of the time, so bike lawyer Bob "Uncle Tom" Mionske encourages cyclists to see stop signs not as obstructions but as "opportunities–to improve bike-handling skills, braking technique, trackstands and acceleration", but most people (including cyclists) generally don't let reality get in the way of their preconceived conceptions.
A minivan driver, for example, may only notice things that reinforce negative stereotypes about cyclists being reckless, while ignoring attentive, law-abiding riders.
It goes both ways, of course, since we as cyclists tend to only see the scofflaw motorists.

Hat tip to Eco Velo.


    IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
Comments:
So, Bob Mionske is "Uncle Tom" because he encourages cyclists to follow the laws in place for vehicles? That seems a bit -- no, REALLY -- harsh.

Regardless of what motorists do, we have both a duty and obligation to follow the laws as they are written. How else will cycling ever be seen in a positive light in this country if we're all considered a bunch of scofflaws?!?
 
It was a poor attempt at a joke; sorry.
 
Ok, Fritz, I can live with that...your humor usually hits me in all the right places, and I KNOW you're about being a good role model, so this one threw me. You're off the hook, though, after your explanation.
 
Well I don't know if we should keep paying good taxpayer money to replace dangerous overpasses and such for motorists until they learn to obey the law. Its a shame that all motorists are seen in a bad light because of the actions of a few. /snark
 
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