April 28, 2009

Why Bicycles shouldn’t have to obey Stop Signs.

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights.

Why don’t cards have to obey pedestrian and bicycle rules, rather than the other way around?

The Idaho Stop: safer for cyclists, quicker for autos.

Imagine a world without huge wide paved cement everywhere. Imagine a world with human to human contact, smiles, walking, bicycling on gently curving walkways that follow, rather than overrun, the contours of Mother Nature.

Instead, we’ve got a nation here designed around the automobile. Just the other week, I hopped in a staffer’s car and we drove up to Telluride, from Boulder. I gave up my own car a few years back, so this long (8 hour) road trip brought a lot of memories back. Most of them bad. Cars make us speedy, aggressive. I remember my staff members Lindsey and Merete, when we first drove into lovely Telluride, gritting teeth and wanting to holler or honk at a tourist lady taking a photo, while standing in the middle of the main street, of the great waterfalling mountains beyond the town. I said, “are you kidding? We’re in no rush. She’s appreciating the mountains, what’s wrong with that! Look at them! Chill!”

And on that trip up the mountains, we drove through on a six lane highway through gorgeous towns ruined by the very highway we were using. Glenwood Springs’ famous hot springs and vapor caves, literally fifty feet away from the rushing fumes of thousands of cars. Idaho Springs, have paved by our speedy highway. What about high-speed trains? Why not a four lane highway?

In keeping with rethinking our world, here’s a video re: the Idaho Stop, or Rolling Stop, which has been legal in Idaho since 1982. Interestingly, if you trust cyclists not to watch their own safety, there’s less accidents, less petty offenses, car drivers don’t have to wait as long, and the bicycle’s unparalleled efficiency is allowed to rock and roll. Make laws for cyclists, they share the road, too!

More info here, at Bike Smut (don’t ask).

Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

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