Do cyclists need to stop at a stop sign?
The rolling stop – or, in some cycling circles, the Idaho Stop – is as popular as it is illegal, and there are those who will tell you it's also perfectly safe. Bambrick, among other cycling supporters and bloggers, is advocating its legalization, citing common sense and a compelling precedent.
Cyclists in Idaho have been legally permitted to treat stop signs as yield signs since 1982. And though the Idaho law was brought in by legislators to help relieve the pressure on a crowded traffic-court system, cycling-savvy proponents of its further spread argue it would make cycling more efficient, more appealing and ultimately more popular. In places bent on curbing car usage, it's a compelling argument.
Writing new traffic laws for a community of cyclists notorious for shirking the ones already on the books, of course, is also an inflammatory argument. Before fed-up motorists clog the rant-radio phone lines in opposition, Bambrick begs a moment to explain.
"(The Idaho Stop) is not just blowing a stop sign," said Bambrick. "It's slowing down enough so that you could come to a stop if you needed to. You slow down, you look right, you look left, you look right again, you look ahead ... I really think it's something worth pursuing. It's been proven effective in Idaho for some 20 years. If they can do it down there, why can't we give it a try in Toronto?"