Study Supports 'Idaho Stop' for Cyclists

"The Idaho Stop,'"which describes bike riders treating stop signs as yield signs, got more support from a recent study by DePaul University.

December 21, 2016, 1:00 PM PST

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


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Richard Masoner / Flickr

The Chicago Tribune's Mary Wisniewski and Streetsblog Chicago's John Greenfield analyze a new study out of Depaul University that supports the Idaho Stop. According to Greenfield, a "[n]ew DePaul study that calls for relaxing laws requiring bike riders to come to a complete stop at stop signs and always wait for a green before proceeding through a stoplight."

The research suggests bikers could use the "Idaho Stop," meaning, "…cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs by decelerating and checking to make sure there’s no cross traffic before proceeding through the intersection, rather than putting a foot down," Greenfield writes. The idea is supported, not just for convenience, but also for safety reasons. "The study also noted that it can actually be safer for cyclists to proceed through intersections in advance of the green, because it eliminates the possibility of being struck by turning motorists after the light changes," Greenfield explained.

The new study adds a wrinkle to the ongoing debate over the Idaho Stop, which is a point of continuous controversy between bicycle advocates and motorists.

Monday, December 12, 2016 in Chi.Streetsblog

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