View Poll Results: Stop signs.... what do you do?

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  • Come to a complete stop

    16 20.25%
  • Slow down and roll through

    32 40.51%
  • Check for traffic and if the coast is clear, blow through

    31 39.24%
  • Organ Donor Option: Blow through without looking

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Stop Sign Question

    So I've been commuting for about 3 months now and I ride mostly neighborhood streets with lots of 2 and 4-way stops. I was wondering what all of you do when you come to a stop sign. I know some people are super strict and think that we should obey all traffic laws and then there are some who like to roll through if the coast is clear. What do you do?

    Didn't see this in the first couple pages, so if its been beaten to death, please forgive me and post a link if you have it.

    I'll post my personal preference once the discussion gets going.

  2. #2
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
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    I only come to a complete stop when there is traffic/peds, when its just me, I slow down and roll thru, not legal but with no traffic its wasted time to come to a complete stop...

  3. #3
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    If *any* sign of traffic/peds, come to a complete stop/trackstand. If totally deserted, come to a virtual stop (less than 2 mph) and then roll cautiously through.

  4. #4
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    Totally depends on what is going on at that intersection at that time.

    If I have to stop usually I track stand......and kinda dribble forward...till I can go...

    Often drivers slow down and wave me by in front of them.

  5. #5
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    After having lived in many areas, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of this is affected by local driving culture/enforecement. Where I learned to drive, if an officer saw you not stop it would be a ticket. They may be less strict there now, I don't know.

    Here, the police don't stop. In fact rolling through not stopping by cars is the norm.. I had one today where I was there first, had stopped then launched and the two drivers on the cross street who had not got to their stop lines when I was entering the intersection s;lowly rolled into the intersection wiht me there. The one on my left going straight and just clearing my left rear bumper, and the one on my riight turning left and just clearing my right rear! If I had slowed or stopped they might have been slow enough not to hit me, I am not sure. Not a rural 4-way but right on the town square!

    So when I stopped at stop signs on the bike here, I discovered that I confused motorists unless they were there well ahead of me. I still have to nod/wave cars through who are ahead of me. I have some intersections with good sight lines I can coast ready to brake, then power through as cross traffic is extremely rare, others where it is busy and hard to see, requiring the 2 mph on slow thing to a stop when warranted. I have a balance issue, so don't track stand. The penalty is severe for messsing up and not yielding when you should, so that is the rule I remember. YMMV.

  6. #6
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    I voted for a complete stop, even if I don't always follow that rule.

    I hate it when cyclists blow through signs completely, especially when traffic is around. I used to encounter a guy on my old commute who would not even look before going out into an intersection. He'd turn right on to a somewhat busy road without looking. I saw him pull out in front of cars several times.

  7. #7
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Thanks for the feedback. The reason I am asking about it is because I got yelled at by some guy in a van this morning because I slowed but did not stop and went on through as there was nobody in the intersection (he was following behind me). "Hey, that was a 4 way stop back there!!" Yeah, I know there was buddy.

    The main thing for me is that I am riding a single speed and I am in light residential (little to no traffic), so I don't really want to stop. If there is nobody around, I blow through. If there are cars approaching the intersection from one of the other three sides, I pretend I am one of them even though I get waived through most times anyway.

    Just wanted to see what all of you do.

  8. #8
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    Typically, the only ones I am tempted to run are right turns at the bottom of a hill, where there is a good view of the traffic coming and some shoulder to help merge as well. Hate to lose all that momentum. But if there are cars waiting to take the same right then I don't run it, I stop & wait.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton
    Thanks for the feedback. The reason I am asking about it is because I got yelled at by some guy in a van this morning because I slowed but did not stop and went on through as there was nobody in the intersection (he was following behind me). "Hey, that was a 4 way stop back there!!" Yeah, I know there was buddy.

    The main thing for me is that I am riding a single speed and I am in light residential (little to no traffic), so I don't really want to stop. If there is nobody around, I blow through. If there are cars approaching the intersection from one of the other three sides, I pretend I am one of them even though I get waived through most times anyway.

    Just wanted to see what all of you do.
    I figured as much. Van guy just doesn't like bicycles. This is pretty normal. Really, if the same guy sees a car doing the same (with far more potential for damage to other vehicles) do you think he's yelling at them? Possible-but not likely.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    I figured as much. Van guy just doesn't like bicycles. This is pretty normal. Really, if the same guy sees a car doing the same (with far more potential for damage to other vehicles) do you think he's yelling at them? Possible-but not likely.

    Here, the guy'd go hoarse yelling at cars. Maybe he'd get beaten up. I have had SO many near rear enders in the car stopping for stop signs. They aren't even well prepared for you to come to a stop. Jeesh! So when in Rome....but with a great amount of care!

  11. #11
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    My commute is at 0530 so there is seldom traffic so I'll do a roll through but I always am careful about scanning for traffic. When I'm riding when there is traffic I always come to a stop if for no other reason than to present a good image for the folks in cars and trucks. We don't need to give another reason for motorists to get angry.
    I have to travel through a college campus and more than once I've almost rung up a future Phd in my door when I'm driving because some genius can't figure out bikes are supposed to follow the same rules as vehicles in this state. What really ticks me off is the driver Mr. Einstein has angered today is the same one I'm going to have to deal with tomorrow when I'm on my bike.

  12. #12
    NONDURO
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    The California Vehicle Code states that even bicycles must come to a full and complete stop, so that is what I do. Unfortunately, it confuses motorists, since they are used to encountering homeless meth users on stolen bikes and fixed gear hipster trash blowing through stop signs (and stop lights) as if they had the right of way.
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  13. #13
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    The Indiana Vehicle Code requires stops here, too. My estimate is 75% of cars don't and I get SO MANY close rear enders when I do in the car or truck.

    Cycling, I used to stop at all stop signs in Ontario, Canada, Ohio, and Illinois. I did stop for all of them early on cycling here, and in general it confuses everyone else at the intersection. If I can get into the intersection before any traffic reaches the stop lines and clearly is not imminent on entering the intersection, then I get the heck out of the way, it's just easier. I try to wave them through when they have the right of way, and taht works fairly well but often they will sit. I may or may not come to a foot down stop. If I had the Big Dummy I'd like to own, with a grandchild or two aboard, you bet I'd be stopping at them all. The stakes are TOO high, then.

    The Poll doesn't allow for mixed treatments so I did not vote. I stop for some stop signed intersections religiously because you simply can't see, or traffic frequently blows the stops at speed I come to an almost stop for others because you can see but only in the last 10 feet or so and cross traffic is sporadic, still others I have yet to see any cross traffic on or one car in the last three years and those have good sight distances. Those sorts of stops in residential areas are to keep vehicle speeds down, not for controlling turns/crossings, so I coast ready for an emergency stop, then if clear, blow through accellerating. So the poll needs 'it depends' or 'the first three depending' option.

    Yesterday, I had to stop for a van that I thought was coming straight because its signal did not go on until about 20 feet from the turn. I almost collected the guy behind (8" to my rear fender from his front bumper when I pulled a last minute stop). He was thinking of passing me with about 100 feet to the stop sign and blind to anyone turning in against him, so not the world's safest driver.

    I have one busy intersection (least of several bad options) where I have to watch turning left with the oncoming vehicle turning left if it is large enough to hide me, as the drivers behind that vehicle, if going straight, and with no vehicle to their left, won't stop at all, but will bunny tail the left turn only to discover me broadside completing my left turn. Having done it both ways, I like stopping for all stops better, as in more predicable when everyone follows the rules. That isn't how it is here, so I try to ride safe anyway. Getting an Airzound will help, too.

  14. #14
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    In this area it is the norm for bikes to not stop at signs. I always stop if any traffic or people are coming. Generally I look and, if clear, continue on my way.

    If I do stop for a car they always try to wave me on which I don't want since they can accelerate to the end of the block before I could even get through the intersection. I've gotten in the habit of backpedaling as i come to a stop to let the driver know I want them to go.

  15. #15
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    The OP was about stop signs but I guess we're considering traffic lights too.

    In both cases I try to ride considerate to all other traffic. So, for bigger intersections I'll follow all the rules. I think it's safer and less distracting for everyone.

    But in smaller, more suburban type intersections, as long as I can see clearly and I'm not going to affect any vehicular or pedestrian traffic, I'm quite happy to just roll on through.

  16. #16
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    I looked on Michigan State Police website for bike laws and right on top in bold letters it says a bicycle is not consider a vehicle in Michigan.

    So it is like walking on the side of the road. Of course you should not impede the flow of traffic but do you see people on walks stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around,

    My health comes first, darn if I am going to tried myself out stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around. My bike isn't a motorcycle and I am not going to pretend it is.

    I will also add that I do sometimes stop when I have the right of way. I am not going to risk an accident no matter who's fault it is. Same when driving a car.

    Sadly Michigan might be getting an R governor next year, hopefully he doesn't screw up Michigan cool traffic laws! (but I am afraid he will, the R's are worst in taking our freedom away!)
    Last edited by Skylor; 10-24-2010 at 09:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylor
    I looked on Michigan State Police website for bike laws and right on top in bold letters it says a bicycle is not consider a vehicle in Michigan.

    So it is like walking on the side of the road. Of course you should not impede the flow of traffic but do you see people on walks stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around,

    My health comes first, darn if I am going to tried myself out stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around. My bike isn't a motorcycle and I am not going to pretend it is.

    I will also add that I do sometimes stop when I have the right of way. I am not going to risk an accident no matter who's fault it is. Same when driving a car.

    Sadly Michigan might be getting an R governor next year, hopefully he doesn't screw up Michigan cool traffic laws! (but I am afraid he will, the R's are worst in taking our freedom away!)

    Hmmm, I'm not sure that's the case. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(342...me=mcl-257-657

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylor
    I looked on Michigan State Police website for bike laws and right on top in bold letters it says a bicycle is not consider a vehicle in Michigan.

    So it is like walking on the side of the road. Of course you should not impede the flow of traffic but do you see people on walks stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around,

    My health comes first, darn if I am going to tried myself out stopping at stop signs if no traffic is around. My bike isn't a motorcycle and I am not going to pretend it is.

    I will also add that I do sometimes stop when I have the right of way. I am not going to risk an accident no matter who's fault it is. Same when driving a car.

    Sadly Michigan might be getting an R governor next year, hopefully he doesn't screw up Michigan cool traffic laws! (but I am afraid he will, the R's are worst in taking our freedom away!)
    Ahh yes... Those same freedom taking R's who initiated the anti-slavery movement. I think you might have it mixed up. That *and* the traffic laws.

  19. #19
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    this is a partisan debate now? grow up folks.

    "i don't want to waste energy" does not fly with most motorists and people who don't like sharing the road. "if you don't want to expend more energy, why don't you just drive a car? isn't the whole point of riding a bike (or part of it) to burn calories? stopping at a stop sign means more energy spent, meaning more calories burned, which means you'll be more fit for doing it."

    as cyclists, we know that stopping and starting like that makes a ride less efficient, which means less fun. fun is why we are riding bikes on the street and not riding a stationary bike in a gym.

    i am a big fan of the so-called Idaho Stop. there is no reason to come to a dead stop at every intersection on a bicycle. 99% of the people who get mad when you glide past the red are just salty because they don't want to share the road with bicycles. encourage your local law-makers to pass a similar law.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    this is a partisan debate now? grow up folks.

    "i don't want to waste energy" does not fly with most motorists and people who don't like sharing the road. "if you don't want to expend more energy, why don't you just drive a car? isn't the whole point of riding a bike (or part of it) to burn calories? stopping at a stop sign means more energy spent, meaning more calories burned, which means you'll be more fit for doing it."

    as cyclists, we know that stopping and starting like that makes a ride less efficient, which means less fun. fun is why we are riding bikes on the street and not riding a stationary bike in a gym.

    i am a big fan of the so-called Idaho Stop. there is no reason to come to a dead stop at every intersection on a bicycle. 99% of the people who get mad when you glide past the red are just salty because they don't want to share the road with bicycles. encourage your local law-makers to pass a similar law.
    Excellent cartoon. Though I must question who needs to grow up!

    I have no conclusive evidence. But it just seems safer to roll through most stops. Efficiency isn't the goal here - stability and safe (faster) passage are the benefits.

  21. #21
    Pedaler of dirt
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    Always stop as the cops are too keen on giving out tickets. I used to track stand until the way was clear, but I got an ear full from a cop one day who thought I should at least put one foot down.

    I used to hate stopping every time as it broke up the flow of the ride. Now I think of stops as a chance to practice sprint starts and mini intervals.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings
    Always stop as the cops are too keen on giving out tickets. I used to track stand until the way was clear, but I got an ear full from a cop one day who thought I should at least put one foot down.
    Yeah.... That's a discussion I'm waiting to have with a police officer. Just b/c they "think" it's the law doesn't make it so. Ask 'em where it says that in the traffic codes. Do car drivers have to put a foot down when they stop? If I'm not moving forward, I'm in compliance with the law. Just because the officer can't track stand his bike, doesn't mean I can't.

    Of course, I'm old and crotchety enough that I'll take the ticket (and court date) that I'll inevitably get just to prove my point...

  23. #23
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    With as much as I complain about traffic not following the rules I figure I need to follow them or stop complaining when others donít.

  24. #24
    weirdo
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    I usually go for the Idaho stop, too. The amount of slowdown I give each intersection varies a lot depending on the whole situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by onlycrimson
    If I do stop for a car they always try to wave me on which I don't want since they can accelerate to the end of the block before I could even get through the intersection. I've gotten in the habit of backpedaling as i come to a stop to let the driver know I want them to go.
    Backpedalling is a good idea that never occured to me. Thanks, Crimson. I`ll add that one to my bag `o tricks.

    I don`t like it either when somebody with the right of way stops and tries to wave me through- call me an ingrate if you want. The way I see it, when that happens it just f*s up the flow in the intersection and contributes to general confusion about what to expect from everybody around. If a driver with the right of way stops at an intersection where it isn`t required or expected, there`s no way I want to ride in front of him. In case I misunderstood the wave or he`s just plain psycho, I`d likely end up with a good view of oil pan and exhuast system. When other traffic moves and acts predictably, I can usually slow down and hit the intersection at a clear moment, then roll it with only a little acceleration instead of having to restart- not if somebdoy else stops in the middle of the road waiting. When I do have to stop completely, I normally trackstand. If a driver is waiting or waiving at me, I try to give the "I ain`t riding in front of you" message by putting a foot down and staring back. If that doesn`t work, I keep my foot down and look the other way or inspect my front tire until the road clears. Backpedaling is going to be my interim step now between slowing down and touching a foot.
    Recalculating....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I usually go for the Idaho stop, too. The amount of slowdown I give each intersection varies a lot depending on the whole situation.
    +1, because thats how they drive here, too. I used to stop at all stop signs when I lived where almost all drivers came to complete stops.

    [QUOTE=rodar y rodarBackpedalling is a good idea that never occured to me. Thanks, Crimson. I`ll add that one to my bag `o tricks. I don`t like it either when somebody with the right of way stops and tries to wave me through- call me an ingrate if you want. [/QUOTE]

    OK, Ingrate y ingrate, I, M, 1, 2! Yes, when the best you can hope for from most drivers is a Cadillac stop, and a significant number roll them like a fast Yield sign, it just messes everything up if one stops and waits as I approach the intersection.. They could have launched and been gone, but no. Maybe my lights mesmerize them? So I have added the nodding helmet lamp and hand wave to let them know I am conceding, and a foot down it need be. What I REALLY HATE then, is for the vehicle behind NOT to stop or grant me clear right of way when I am to their right, was at the intesection before them by definition, having yielded right of way to the car ahead of them. Fortuately, there is a whole lane for them to get the car slowed and for me to be at least hafway across the intersection. If they are opposite and I am turning left in front of them, it gets much less easy to stay safe, and my brakes work very well.

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