Rolling stops and scofflaw…. motorists?

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.

9 Comments

  • GhostRider
    April 10, 2009 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    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?!?

  • GhostRider
    April 10, 2009 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    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?!?

  • Yokota Fritz
    April 10, 2009 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    It was a poor attempt at a joke; sorry.

  • Yokota Fritz
    April 10, 2009 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

    It was a poor attempt at a joke; sorry.

  • GhostRider
    April 10, 2009 - 1:47 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • GhostRider
    April 10, 2009 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • jon
    April 11, 2009 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    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

  • jon
    April 11, 2009 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

    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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