Greater Greater Washington

DDOT tries to fill gap in 11th Street bike lanes

ANC1B asked DDOT to explore ways to fill a gap in the 11th Street NW bike lane between Florida and Vermont avenues and held a meeting Thursday to talk about it. Many neighbors along 11th Street are strongly opposed to the bike lanes, primarily because it would require removing about 30 parking spaces.


Alternative 1. Image from DDOT.

DDOT also provided information about crashes along the section of 11th Street. Officials reported that there were more crashes on that section of 11th than on similar sections of 10th and 12th streets. When asked who was to blame, DDOT representatives noted that some of the crashes were due to cyclists running stop signs, but many more were from right hooks or doorings.

DDOT presented 4 alternatives. In Alternative 1, parking would be taken out on the east side and replaced with a one-way buffered bike lane going north. Alternative 3 was much the same, except the parking was replaced with larger lanes in each direction, each with sharrows down the middle.

Alternative 2 did not remove parking, but it did change 11th to a one-way, one-lane street with bike lanes in each direction. This would require rerouting buses and much more analysis. Alternative 4 replaced the east side parking with a two-way cycletrack down the center. This would require cyclists to move to the left to get into the cycletrack on one end and to the right to get out of it at the other.


Alternative 4. Image from DDOT.

Opposition mostly centered around removing the parking. "I am opposed to removing any parking at all. Period," said one woman. "11th Street is too narrow for two-way traffic and bikes" another added. Many of these same critics sought other, less intrusive, options.

One suggestion was to reroute cyclists instead of buses. "You could remove the bike lanes from where they are now and move them to another street," said a speaker. "There's room on 13th."

DDOT transportation planner Jim Sebastian replied that bikes have a right to the street. "There's bikes on every street and, where ever we can, we put bike lanes in," he said. "It would be almost impossible to reroute bikes because they're legal on every street and they use every street. They're going to go where they're going to go. There isn't room on 13th and if there were, we would put bike lanes there also because we have bikes on every street in this area."

Audience suggestions included signs, enforcement, education, rumble strips, bicycle priority lights, and lower speed limits. Some audience members suggested a two-way cycletrack like on 15th Street, and center bike lanes like on Pennsylvania Ave NW. Others suggested continuous green shared lanes, which are shown to have limited effectiveness, though a study in California finds they reduce bicycle crashes.

Sebastian agreed that there were many options, but pointed out that the best success is found when engineering, education and enforcement were all used. DDOT did shoot down one suggestion for reversible, rush-hour traffic lanes because, as a matter of policy, the agency is moving away from that kind of design.

In addition to complaining about the loss of parking, many complained about scofflaw cycling behavior. One person criticized DC for allowing sidewalk cycling, which is legal on this stretch, and told stories about the one time they saw a tourist on a bike cut off a bus. Sebastian noted that adding bike lanes has been found to discourage sidewalk cycling. The committee chair tried to direct the conversation away from this issue, since DDOT was the wrong agency to deal with it.

The committee chair wanted to have a vote on a preference among one of the existing proposals, but ANC 1B02 representative Jeremy Leffler argued that any vote on the issue needed to be postponed. "We have too many issues with parking, so taking 30-40 spaces away is just a non-starter," said Leffler. "Any option is going to have to not effect parking."

Leffler complained that cyclists coming down 11th Street don't stop at the stop signs, but motorists do and so this committee needs to talk with the Public Safety Committee and the MPD before proceeding.

When asked to give a show of hands, 13 out of 25 people opposed removing parking. Leffler suggested that only people who live on 11th Street should vote. Had that actually happened, it might have showed that the only people who wanted to retain their parking were those who live on 11th.

In the end, the ANC decided to send DDOT back to the drawing board and to discuss it again at the end of September. Leffler also wanted to invite abutting ANCs and more ANC 1B representatives to the next meeting.

"The problem is not ANC 1B people, it's the people coming out of Columbia Heights, going 40mph, joyriding into our community and not stopping," he said.

A version of this post appeared at The WashCycle.

David Cranor is an operations engineer. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and former Texan (where he wrote for the Daily Texan), he's lived in the DC area since 1997. David is a cycling advocate who serves on the Bicycle Advisory Committee for DC.  

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Good article. I think that the focus on the "scofflaw" cyclist behavior shows how important perception can be to shaping an issue in front of a somewhat skeptical community.

I think if more cyclists were observed obeying the traffic signs and signals, one might find less neighborhood opposition to bike lane proposals because people might feel more strongly that cyclists are upholding their end of the social bargain and so deserve more protections in return.

People say that cyclists should not be responsible for being so-called good stewards of the cyclist community, but I think this here issue shows that we should be.

by Scoot on Sep 11, 2013 2:45 pm • linkreport

1) I find it really sad that the personal storage of the most inefficient means of urban transportation on the public right-of-way is more important than using that right-of-way to actually move people and goods in a safe manner.

2) I understand that this is the current reality, so if you want to keep parking AND keep it a two way street, then make it a bike boulevard and actually design it for 20mph or less, through narrowed intersections, mini-roundabouts, pinch points, etc. If you want to really lower the volume of cars on the street, you can also use diverters that only allow bikes and buses go continue straight on 11th at certain locations, like at Florida and Vermont. This way, local residents get less traffic, buses experience fewer delays and bikes have a nicer, more comfortable place to ride. And little to no parking is removed.

by Bike Boulevard! on Sep 11, 2013 2:51 pm • linkreport

A: I think cyclists have done there job actually and convinced the right people. It's clear that DDOT was emphasizing that the solution isn't move the bikes or hold the lanes hostage until we see better behavior, rather its build what is best and then make sure people are using it.

B: I don't want to get this off track this early but things like this show is why handwringing over programs like RPP and parking in general miss the point. It's DC's property and they can ultimately decide wether space is best reserved for parking or for bike lanes (or streetcar tracks or whatever).

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 2:52 pm • linkreport

@Scoot
Right. Cause, I'm sure if all bicyclists behaved like angels, local residents would just be lining up to give up free urban parking so we can build more bike lanes.

by Bike Boulevard! on Sep 11, 2013 2:53 pm • linkreport

Scoot

I was in my car the other day, traveling at 47MPH in a 45MPH zone. Some bozo scooted around, at about 60MPH.

I suppose I could oppose parking, road widening, and any other measure to make driving easier or safer until drivers stop being scofflaws.

If I did so, I do not think I would be taken seriously.

There will always be people in every mode who violate the law. Some will do so despite the law and infr being designed mostly with their mode in mind. Some will do so because it is not.

One can change ones behavior for the purpose of optics. As a contribution to advocacy. Or one can contribute to advocacy by investing time or money in it. Either of those are choices some will make. and of course the majority of people will be uninterested in advocacy of any kind.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 11, 2013 2:56 pm • linkreport

Scoot, I don't think the 11th Street residents who are opposed to trading parking spots for bike lanes care one bit about "scofflaw" cyclists insofar as it affects their position on that issue. They simply don't want to lose their parking, especially for people who ride through their neighborhood.

I live two blocks away so the spillover effect of losing parking impacts me, too (I have a car and no off-street parking). I am also a cyclist, too, however, and there has to be a safer way to get people on bikes from eastern Columbia Heights and points north to downtown.

Bring on the bike lanes.

by Kevin on Sep 11, 2013 3:00 pm • linkreport

"Leffler suggested that only people who live on 11th Street should vote": since when can only those people who will be slighted have veto authority over all of those who could benefit?

@Scoot: no, because humans will always focus on unusual cases, e.g., "the one that got away." One bicyclist running a stop sign unexpectedly draws attention away from the 20 bicyclists waiting their turn.

by Payton on Sep 11, 2013 3:02 pm • linkreport

@ Bike Boulevard, @AWalker

I actually never said, suggested or even implied that if all bicyclists behaved like angels, local residents would be lining up to give free urban parking so we can build more bike lanes.

Nor did I say, suggest or even imply that no drivers are scofflaws, or anything of the sort. I actually did not mention drivers at all, so I'm not sure where that non sequitur came from.

I guess this is a case of not reading the post before forming a comment.

You say that one can change one's behavior for the purpose of optics, as a contribution to advocacy, "or" one can invest time and money. I don't see that as one or the other. To me it would seem possible, even easy, to do both. Some people have chosen to do one or the other, but many people have chosen to do neither.

by Scoot on Sep 11, 2013 3:08 pm • linkreport

1. the amount of stop sign running on 11th is awful. I'm sorry, it isn't defensible at all.

2. Parking is very tight there to begin with. there is a decent amount of bike traffic, but I don't think you need a bike lane there.

3. What would help is removing the traffic signs on 11th, and letting 11th st traffic move. Just have stop signs for V and W. Perhaps have flashers that turn it to stop signs durng rush hour.

by charlie on Sep 11, 2013 3:08 pm • linkreport

Huge +1 to Scoot. The amount of scofflaw cycling (BUT whaaat about the drivers breaking the laws-so what, not relevant at all) in general in this city always makes discussions about cyclists from the folks who would normally be in favor of such traffic-calming measures (read pedestrians) less enthusiastic about changes like these.

by Mony on Sep 11, 2013 3:12 pm • linkreport

Scoot,

I don't think there is a bike advocacy group that doesn't say that cyclists should follow the law. Individual cycliss have myriad reasons for riding and not all of them care about the cycling community.

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 3:14 pm • linkreport

But maybe advocates could do more. WABA has their pledge, they host classes on how to ride, etc. maybe billboards would help but those cost money. Money that could be better spent bribing DDOT officials (I'm kidding).

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 3:18 pm • linkreport

@ Scoot

Hoping this does not violate the comment policy, but you were clear in your message that cyclists as a whole were somehow to blame for the attitude of drivers. The fact is that even if every cyclist followed all the rules, drivers would dislike them because cyclist downtown is often faster than driving. Drivers also dislike other drivers who don't follow the rules.

Rule 1: Driving a car in a city is a high stress activity made worse when it becomes clear that you are a hostage to traffic.

As for those living on 11th Street, who can blame them for wanting free parking right in front of their house? As a car lite person, and one who bikes where-ever he can to avoid the effect of Rule 1, I'd still argue in favor of keeping my free parking. Now, it so happens I would also argue in favor of paying fair market value for the right to park there, but that is just me.

Ultimately though, my viewpoint as a resident of that street should be given the same weight as that of anyone else who might use the street.

by fongfong on Sep 11, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

Maybe the non-advocates could do more too?

by Scoot on Sep 11, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

"You say that one can change one's behavior for the purpose of optics, as a contribution to advocacy, "or" one can invest time and money. I don't see that as one or the other. To me it would seem possible, even easy, to do both. Some people have chosen to do one or the other, but many people have chosen to do neither."

some may devote time but not money. Some may devote money but not time. The vast majority (like the vast majority of drivers, homeowners, marriage equality supporters, etc will do NOTHING for the causes they support and free ride off the efforts of others).

My point is that if someone wants to change how they ride for the purposes of optics, for the sake of advocacy (DESPITE how unreasonable the expectation for that is, and how ineffective it may be) thats their personal choice. Yet some here continue to express their "concern" that cyclists could aide their cause by obeying traffic regulations (even traffic regs that do not add to their safety). I do not see the same people posting that cyclists could aide their cause by contributing to WABA, by showing up at community meetings, by getting more involved in local politics.

Let me ask you - have you in your comments on cycling ever posted that cyclists would be listened to more, if they showed up more at commuity meetings to make their case? If they supported WABA more? Because those are at least as supportable as the notion that putting your foot down at a stop sign would change minds.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 11, 2013 3:23 pm • linkreport

I'm not interested in creating more cycle advocates. I simply want to create more cyclists. I think the advocates are doing what they need to do because DDOT seems to be on their side. Build the bike lanes and people will adjust, much like they have been.

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 3:31 pm • linkreport

Thanks for the factual, neutral reporting. It sounds like there are some real issues and recognition of each others' problems. Community meetings are hard!

I travel that stretch of 11th Street a lot, as a cyclist and minivan driver. When I am cycling it is usually without conflict since I bike about as fast as the prevailing auto speed there. I would describe it as usually busy, but not congested. It is pretty narrow, mostly because of the parked cars on both sides.

If your expectation is to drive 25+ mph, you will usually be disappointed while accelerating/decelerating at one of the many stop signs, or traveling behind slower buses and bicycles when there is no space to go around. (Infallibly in this area, I bring my bike to a stop at a stop sign and the driver at the intersection won't take their turn because they expect me to blow through!)

by Monkey Daddy on Sep 11, 2013 3:46 pm • linkreport

My point is that if someone wants to change how they ride for the purposes of optics, for the sake of advocacy (DESPITE how unreasonable the expectation for that is, and how ineffective it may be) thats their personal choice.

Your point is that people's choices are their choices? Of course, isn't that blindingly obvious?

Let me ask you - have you in your comments on cycling ever posted that cyclists would be listened to more, if they showed up more at commuity meetings to make their case?

I actually do not recall. You can do a search through my comments to find out for yourself, if it matters to you. I don't think any of my comments have ever cast doubt about whether I agree with the statement that cyclists could aid their cause in other ways than following the law, such as contributing to WABA or contributing to community meetings and local politics.

by Scoot on Sep 11, 2013 3:52 pm • linkreport

I think they are underestimating the number of parking spaces to make the bike lanes sound less disruptive. I just counted 40 parking spaces between U street and Florida Ave. So there are probably 60 total spaces between Florida & Vermont.

While it is true that there are more bike accidents on this stretch of 11th St than 12th or 13th, it is also true that there are more bicycles traveling along 11th street. More traffic = more accidents.

All in all, these proposals seem to be an overreaction to something that is not actually a big problem.

by Allison on Sep 11, 2013 4:01 pm • linkreport

those few blocks are scary. Cars are very aggressive there b/c they are slowed to a reasonable speed for a few blocks.

If all the drivers followed the law we wouldn't need bike lanes, as it would be a safe place to bike.

But b/c we have so many scofflaw motorists, we need lanes to provide some protection

by guest1 on Sep 11, 2013 4:05 pm • linkreport

I live at Kenyon and 11th and don't know anything about further down 11th but I have to agree that the complete disregard of that stoplight by cyclists borders on the comically insane. I've made it into a drinking game at Wonderland while sitting outside with friends and it is a fast way to get hammered.

Also, I've found DDOT really soft peddling cyclist disregard of lights and stop signs since they measured the bike scofflaw rate of red light running on the PA ave bike lanes and publically admitted they were shocked by the results.

by Kenyon on Sep 11, 2013 4:13 pm • linkreport

"Your point is that people's choices are their choices? Of course, isn't that blindingly obvious?"

Im not sure. Some people continue to repeatedly suggest that cyclists should alter how they ride, not for their own safety, but for the sake of influencing the public discource. My personal belief is that were that actual concenrn, and not "concern trolling" they would call just as loudly for cyclists to me more active advocates in all other ways as well.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 11, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

I live at Kenyon and 11th and don't know anything about further down 11th but I have to agree that the complete disregard of that stoplight by cyclists borders on the comically insane. I've made it into a drinking game at Wonderland while sitting outside with friends and it is a fast way to get hammered.

Of course cyclists go through the lights there often - there's little to no cross traffic, especially at night!

by MLD on Sep 11, 2013 4:31 pm • linkreport

I think the scofflaw cycling issue was a red herring. The reason people opposed adding a bike lane was parking. It's right there in the article. If cyclists were and always had been strict adherents of the law, the same number of hands would have gone up, because those people are opposed to removing parking. And if they could add a bike lane without taking out parking, there would likely be no opposition.

by David C on Sep 11, 2013 4:32 pm • linkreport

Make laws more reasonable and accommodating of actual behavior, and then people won't break them as often: red-light compliance went from 31% to 81%* on
">one downtown Chicago street
when signals were retimed to give bikes a specific phase.

* measured by automated counters free from any human cognitive biases

by Payton on Sep 11, 2013 4:41 pm • linkreport

MLD,

You do realize how ridiculous of a justification that is right? By that logic, it would be just as permissible for all vehicles to do the same thing under similar situations, which I doubt you would be on board with.

Also, I'm too old to drink at midnight. The complete disregard for that light is in full force M-F during evening rush, and weekends during the middle of the day and having my house there I can tell you there is a ton of cross traffic.

by Kenyon on Sep 11, 2013 4:45 pm • linkreport

Somewhat related:

Has a determination already been made about the stretch of 11th St. NW just south of the one under discussion?

The blocks in between Q St and Vermont Ave all have diagonal parking and traffic lanes w/ sharrows. Seems like this would also be a candidate for adding bike lanes at the expense of street parking. (And since I think it would be as simple as switching from diagonal to parallel parking, this is lower-hanging fruit than the Vermont to Florida section).

by Hagiographer on Sep 11, 2013 4:57 pm • linkreport

I obey all the traffic laws on my bike. From empirical evidence, it has no noticeable effect on anyone but me.

by Crickey7 on Sep 11, 2013 5:09 pm • linkreport

@ Kenyon:

An equally fast way to get hammered? Count how many DRIVERS fail to stop at a stop sign. Yep, all the way stopped, without rolling through.

When they aren't forced to stop for a pesky obstacle, like a pedestrian, they will probably stop less than 10% of the time.

by Reza on Sep 11, 2013 5:23 pm • linkreport

Reza,

You sound a little irate. No need to be.

I am not the one here justifying ignoring the law by flippantly making up random excuses that if true, would have to apply to vehicles as well.

I don't even own a car so you can leave me out of this little car hate fight I see rolled out of GGW with some frequency.

And for the record, running a red light is a far more serious offense in terms of being a law abiding (predictable) road using citizen. I agree, cars do rolling stops, but if you want to bring stop signs into it, bikers don't bother stopping at those either so I am not sure it helps your point.

So in summary, cars inch through rolling stops at stop signs, and bikers run through their red lights and stop signs.

How is this line of logic helping your cause again?

by Kenyon on Sep 11, 2013 5:46 pm • linkreport

"I am not the one here justifying ignoring the law by flippantly making up random excuses that if true, would have to apply to vehicles as well."

1. cyclistr who ignore reds mostly endanger themselves. Not so motorists.

2. Cyclists arguably can see their surroundings, including cross traffic better.

3. Sometimes getting out in front of traffic, when the light is about to change, can actually be safer for cyclists, in the opinion of some.

Note, I do not ride through reds. But one can make a distinction between bikes and cars on that issue.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 11, 2013 5:50 pm • linkreport

kenyon you have entered a discussion of infrastructure and have said nothing about the infrastructure. I would say you sound like the irate one.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 11, 2013 5:53 pm • linkreport

It's interesting that so many people here are commenting on cyclists' behavior when that is NOT THE ISSUE. Even if 100% of cyclists stopped at every light and stop sign the matter of whether or not to eliminate parking spaces on 11th Street would be just as contentious.

Here's a silly notion: Try debating the issue at hand.

by Kevin on Sep 11, 2013 6:06 pm • linkreport

@Kenyon

Huh? I'm totally calm, but it seems like I touched a nerve. Your anecdote was an example of confirmation bias; you only see or notice what fits with your attitudes about cyclists in general. Many, or most, of us do follow the rules of the road, including stopping at all red lights and waiting my turn at 4-way stops. But yes if I approach a 4-way stop with no cars approaching from any other direction, I will slow down but will not needlessly kill my forward momentum.

And yes, like AWalkerInTheCity notes, drivers blowing stop signs is so much more a danger to society than cyclists blowing stop signs, who are mostly putting themselves in danger.

by Reza on Sep 11, 2013 6:10 pm • linkreport

Awalker,

Excuse me for saying that someone who is so rapidly posting in a manner that prohibits him/her from considering their post before they hit "submit", and needing to post multiple answers to the same person 3 minutes apart, is the epitome of "online irate".

Furthermore, your first post on this thread was about traffic scofflaws. So your point was?

1. No, anyone who ignores traffic devices endangers EVERYONE on the street. How? Because that cyclist may not have a care in the world, but no one wants to hit him. Hence, the all other vehicles on the street have to react unpredictably to avoid said biker (swerving, slamming on brakes etc) which DO affect everyone else on the road. Case in point, the full metro bus I watched on Monday on 14th Northbound have to slam on its brakes to avoid cyclists who completely ignored his red. Then the 3 cars behind the bus have to react similarly to avoid hitting them bus and the cars in front of them. With the three personal vehicles and full bus, that red light allergic cyclist forced the reaction of about 60 people. So no, bikers who ignore traffic devices aren't just endangering themselves.

2. This is so oft posted and so heinously subjective to be funny. A regular ol car has just as much field of view as does a cyclist, and considering how often I see them biking down the street with their ear buds in, additional hearing capacity it out too. Furthermore, there is no allowance in the law for "people who can see better". Otherwise there would be allowances for people to speed as fast as they like as long as they fit in the category of "people who were better drivers".

3. You assume that the biker stopped in the first place, or simply filtered up to the front. If that were the case, we wouldn't be having this conversation. No, this is..."pedaling at a full cadence through the signalized intersection" while everyone else on the cross street (and who has the ROW) has to react to avoid hitting you.

by Kenyon on Sep 11, 2013 6:15 pm • linkreport

But what does that have to do with whether 11th street should have a bike lane or not?

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 6:22 pm • linkreport

Reza,

Confirmation bias?

So referencing a DDOT study that cataloged a full 50% of all PA Ave cyclists ignoring their red lights is "seeing what I want because it fits in with my attitude of cyclists?"

Yeah, ok then.

Let me guess...DDOT is also simply guilty of confirmation bias?

by Kenyon on Sep 11, 2013 6:23 pm • linkreport

So DDOT should or shouldn't build the lanes?

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 6:28 pm • linkreport

Bringing up old and demonstrably distorted tropes about cyclist lawbreaking in a discussion of bike infrastructure is a disingenuous effort to minimize cyclists' right to any infrastructure, even the shared kind.

by Crickey7 on Sep 11, 2013 7:17 pm • linkreport

I ride 11th often. Never stop for signs, and for lights only when cross street cars would hit me.

Not gonna change my ways even if cops have out tickets daily - just change streets. I bike for speed. If I have to stop, better to drive and have A/C.

I don't see an issue w/ 11th as it is now either. From Park to Mass, I beat any car by 5+ minutes and its beautiful!

by Faster! on Sep 11, 2013 7:59 pm • linkreport

Hello irony.

by Chris S. on Sep 11, 2013 8:16 pm • linkreport

Yeah, I kind of read it like this: "I want to keep my parking because it's very convenient. I realize that there may be a safety issue here, so to keep from realizing that I'm being selfish, I will comfort myself with the trope that the cyclists who are being injured had it coming to them because they probably run stop signs (even though I do too. And also, they were doored)."

by David C on Sep 11, 2013 8:17 pm • linkreport

Aside,
My favorite is "blowing through" a 4 way intersection where I spend more time in the intersection that the cars that stop (I.e. you can feel a bump from the brakes being applied).

Requiring a foot down is idiotic. Might as well shift into park at every stop sign when you're in a car.

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 8:24 pm • linkreport

@Kenyon "Furthermore, there is no allowance in the law for "people who can see better". Otherwise there would be allowances for people to speed as fast as they like as long as they fit in the category of "people who were better drivers"."

What?! The law definitely accounts for the fact that all people, under certain conditions, can become visually impaired! But this article isn't about the law, it's about whether we should build safer infrastructure for cyclists.

You don't drive--so I'm not sure how you are negatively affected by a new bike lane on 11th--but you're arguing that all cyclists should be condemned to use dangerous infrastructure because some cyclists run red lights. I would rather cyclists follow the law than not (and would really prefer to have more nuanced laws), but I just don't know how your argument is supposed to play out without angering all of the people you're essentially condemning by proxy.

by Steven H on Sep 11, 2013 8:24 pm • linkreport

A swarm of bicyclists just whooped and hollered their way down 11th Street. (No, they did not stop at the lights or stop signs - as if!)

Was that supposed to make me want a bike lane on my street? Because it pretty much cemented my resolve to fight one. Seriously.

by Allison on Sep 11, 2013 10:05 pm • linkreport

So they're going to ride down 11th street one way or the other but at least with the bike lanes they'll be safer?

Doesn't really seems like it matters what people do, they still deserve infrastructure that reduces their chance of being hit by a car.

by drumz on Sep 11, 2013 10:33 pm • linkreport

@Allison

A large group of cyclists, just now? I believe that group would have been the DC Bike Party, riding with a police escort and police clearance to proceed through the lights and stop signs. The posted route went up 11th St.

by David R. on Sep 11, 2013 11:17 pm • linkreport

In most cases the "NIMBY's" opposing dedicated purpose lanes will be businesses on commercial streets (or churches for crying out loud).

by Tom Coumaris on Sep 11, 2013 11:28 pm • linkreport

My personal belief is that were that actual concenrn, and not "concern trolling" they would call just as loudly for cyclists to me more active advocates in all other ways as well.

Well, the perception of "scofflaw" cyclists became an issue at the ANC meeting. According to the author it generated "many complain[ts]". If there were many complaints that cyclists were not more active community advocates then I'm sure there would be more discussion on that matter. But that issue was not raised.

I actually did not intend to have yet another discussion about scofflaw cyclists. If they want to risk getting a citation or hurting themselves, that's their choice. If they want to place an outsize amount of trust in motorists' driving skills, that's their choice as well. However it does affect me and others.

I thought it might be possible to have a discussion about the perception of scofflaw cyclists in the community, which to me is a different matter. I think David C may have a point that the issue was a red herring but we'll never really know for sure. I think it could have been part red herring, part legitimate gripe.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 7:40 am • linkreport

Steven,

No, the law requiring everyone to actually stop and wait at their redlight does not take into consideration that cyclists might ignore it, and the visually impaired are just as required to wait for their green as the non-visually impaired.

As far as the infrastructure goes, with the overwhelming opinion on blogs like GGW and washcycle that bike lanes are more dangerous (dooring and right hook), and the sheer number of people that publically admit via said blogs that they don't or won't use them, and simply take the lane, what is the point of adding this infrastructure?

Unless cyclists have to use the bike lane (instead of the regular travel lane), I don't see a point in wasting money, or the ~50-60 parking spots by installing it.

As cyclists love to point out, they have just as much claim to the traffic lanes as vehicles do, and from anecdotal evidence of seeing countless cyclists in DC bike down a street next to perfectly good bike lanes, they prefer to use the travel lane anyway. So again I ask, if cyclists don't feel safe, or won't use the bike lane, then what is the point of putting it in?

by Redlight on Sep 12, 2013 7:52 am • linkreport

@Redlight
As far as the infrastructure goes, with the overwhelming opinion on blogs like GGW and washcycle that bike lanes are more dangerous (dooring and right hook),

Untrue, the vast majority of cyclists welcome bike lanes. Perhaps you are mistaking loud vehicular cycling proponents for an "overwhelming opinion."

and the sheer number of people that publically admit via said blogs that they don't or won't use them, and simply take the lane,

Again, this is wrong. Actual research shows that bike lanes increase biking, most cyclists use bike lanes, and they make things safer.

So again I ask, if cyclists don't feel safe, or won't use the bike lane, then what is the point of putting it in?

But great job setting up that strawman so you could knock it down! Excellent work!

by MLD on Sep 12, 2013 8:12 am • linkreport

Redlight, I'm pretty confident that the majority of readers on my blog support bike lanes, even many people who don't use them or fear they're in the door zone. And it's not just cyclists. Most people in the DC area support them as do people in New York City.

This is a classic NIMBY situation. People support bike lanes, even the people who spoke against them at the meeting, just not in front of their house (or church) if it means giving up parking. People would oppose curing cancer if it meant giving up parking.

by David C on Sep 12, 2013 8:30 am • linkreport

yawn. good job avoiding the issues by falling into the same lame cyclist scofflaw handwringing.

how many people have scofflaw cyclists killed in dc this year? how many people have scofflaw motorists killed in dc this year?

focus on an actual problem, or focus on the issue at hand.

by Mike on Sep 12, 2013 8:36 am • linkreport

I suspect people would be more amennable to bike lanes if the people who lived on that strech of 11th would see some benefits.

As it is, you're taking away local parking -- it is permit only -- in order to make it easier for people in Columbia Heights/Petworth to blow through.

Not to mention you've got a clinic there and they are going to need some sort of drop off in front.

What happened to the bike share station on 11th and Flordia?

by charlie on Sep 12, 2013 8:46 am • linkreport

I suspect people would be more amennable to bike lanes if the people who lived on that strech of 11th would see some benefits.

Well yeah, it's pretty normal that government decisions result in losers. Ideally, in those situations the total losses are exceeded by the total benefits. I think this is one of those cases. If we're saying we can't do something if there are losers then that's total paralysis (and doing nothing is a choice too).

I guess we need to ask people "How many dead or injured people are you willing to live with in order to get parking in front of your house?"

by David C on Sep 12, 2013 8:52 am • linkreport

"Well, the perception of "scofflaw" cyclists became an issue at the ANC meeting. According to the author it generated "many complain[ts]". If there were many complaints that cyclists were not more active community advocates then I'm sure there would be more discussion on that matter. But that issue was not raised."

I'm not sure why you would expect anyone other than a cycling proponent to be concerned about cycling advocacy, or why you would think a forum like that would be a logical place to raise such concern. The folks who spoke up about red light running - did they say their concern was that this would weaken bike advocacy?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 8:57 am • linkreport

"Was that supposed to make me want a bike lane on my street? Because it pretty much cemented my resolve to fight one. Seriously."

The other day on a street I cross, some doofus has his truck stopped across the entire sidewalk. Every day I see drivers speeding, often far above the limit, weaving, running reds, running stop signs, crossing multiple lanes of traffic dangerously, passing cyclists too closely, driving dangerously near pedestrians. Last week a driver in Prince William killed a cylist riding on a side path.

This has cemented my resolve to push for more bike and ped infra, and to disregard concerns about driver convenience and parking, and to disregard the red herring that the opposition is about cyclist behavior.

by LifeInNoVa on Sep 12, 2013 9:05 am • linkreport

"I thought it might be possible to have a discussion about the perception of scofflaw cyclists in the community, which to me is a different matter."

I think we've had that discussion a million times, and I see nothing new here. Other than that someone brought it up in a meeting. Why is it surprising that someone brought up a meme thats been widely repeated in the press and on blogs (IE that somehow the misbehavior of some cyclists is relevant to the question of bike infra)? If you didn't think that would get the discussion off track, and back to the usual discussion, I think you were naive.

I mean, someone there complained about folks biking on sidewalks. Why is that relevant to striping a bike lane, which will likely mean LESS biking on sidewalks? How is it logical?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 9:10 am • linkreport

I mean, someone there complained about folks biking on sidewalks. Why is that relevant to striping a bike lane, which will likely mean LESS biking on sidewalks? How is it logical?

It's not, but that's the perception nonetheless. And perception matters, as we saw at the ANC meeting.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 9:17 am • linkreport

Perception matters, but so do facts. By focusing on the facts cycling advocates seem to have done well. They've convinced DDOT at least. I say this from the fact that no matter what was brought up it kept being steered back to the actual design of the lanes that will eventually be built. I don't think public pressure was great enough to swing it back to no build.

Aside, I think if someone brings up scofflaw cyclists in a meeting about bike lane construction it will always be a red herring.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 9:23 am • linkreport

MPD out on 11th between Euclid and Fairmont giving tickets to bicyclists for not stopping at stop signs (I presume).

I look forward to tomorrow's followup when they target and ticket cars for various infractions.

by Rom on Sep 12, 2013 9:24 am • linkreport

And perception matters, as we saw at the ANC meeting.

Actually, it didn't matter. What mattered was parking. Like I said, if they could have put in bike lanes without removing parking, no one would have protested, even if cyclists were running mobile meth labs and white slavery operations from their bikes.

The only thing that matters to most people when it comes to bike lanes is their own parking.

by David C on Sep 12, 2013 9:42 am • linkreport

Actually, it didn't matter. What mattered was parking.

Using the logic that the perception of cyclist behavior did not matter because it is unlikely to affect the outcome of the bike lane, then by extension, the discussion of parking does not matter either. Maybe the entire ANC meeting doesn't really matter because regardless of what the public comments are, DDOT is likely to install whatever it thinks is most appropriate from a "engineering, education and enforcement" standpoint.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 10:07 am • linkreport

I once saw a pedestrian cross with a don't walk sign. I once saw a biker do an Idaho stop at a stop sign. Once, I saw a car go 30 mph in a 25 zone. I saw someone stand on the edge of a platform too close to the train. Someone on an airplane went to the bathroom with the seatbelt sign still illuminated. A guy on the Potomac was paddling without his life jacket. People break the rules sometimes. But what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

by CBGB on Sep 12, 2013 10:14 am • linkreport

Fine, you don't want the bike lane? Have fun sitting behind me while I take the lane and pedal at 10 mph.

by Myron on Sep 12, 2013 10:20 am • linkreport

then by extension, the discussion of parking does not matter either.

Only if you think that DDOT will install a bike lane that isn't really in their plans (remember, this started with an ANC trans committee request) without an ANC request or over the protest of the ANC. Or that the ANC will vote to request this over the protests of their constituents.

I find that very unlikely.

by David C on Sep 12, 2013 10:31 am • linkreport

"It's not, but that's the perception nonetheless. And perception matters, as we saw at the ANC meeting."

when someone is so illogical that they oppose a bike lane they dislike sidewalk cycling one of two things is going on

A. They are disingenous, and are using cycling behavior as an excuse

or

B. they are so confused, that the relationship between cyclist behavior and their position is effectively random, and therefore not worth considering in determining ones own behavior

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 10:36 am • linkreport

@redlight "No, the law requiring everyone to actually stop and wait at their redlight does not take into consideration that cyclists might ignore it, and the visually impaired are just as required to wait for their green as the non-visually impaired."

It's my understanding that Kenyon was responding to earlier observations that implied that we only have traffic signals (and associated laws) because car operators have decreased visual and auditory capabilities (as well as decreased coordination) even as they are operating high speed, high mass vehicles. When operating such a vehicle, the law does, in fact, place even higher restrictions on operators that are suffering from additional visual impairments: I can't drive without glasses, we all have to slow down in poor weather, I'm pretty sure the blind aren't allowed to drive at all, ect... perhaps the law should be similarly nuanced when it comes to able-bodied pedestrians and cyclists standing at red lights in empty intersections; since they can see and hear opposing traffic (or the lack thereof) significantly better than someone sitting in a car can, perhaps they shouldn't be delayed any longer than they have to be.

Blind pedestrians only have to stop and wait at traffic signals because cars can't stop and give them the ROW. That's nothing to be proud of or happy about.

As for bike lanes, the plans for 11th street don't place bike lanes in the door zones of parked cars, so I guess your concerns have been addressed.

by Steven H on Sep 12, 2013 10:39 am • linkreport

Personally, I don't think that much community input is needed for bike lane installation, they're fairly common and we need more of tem to achieve a network affect. Plus they should always be considered as a part of complete streets.

But, parking is at least a technical consideration. There are ways to work around it somewhat. Eventually a decision needs to be made but at least it relies in data and not people's guy feeling about what good and bad cyclists deserve.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 10:54 am • linkreport

Don't people know that churches own the roads in front of their houses of worship? Well, that is what it seems like in this town. Apparently the policy must read "Churches have the right, in perpetuity, to decide what happens on all streets abutting the building." If it doesn't say that, then why are our city leaders acting like it does?

I guess It's one of the benefits of being given a building on land you don't have to pay taxes and that we still protect with police, fire and ambulance service. Not only should the opinions of these exclusionists/non-participants in the system not be considered, their comments should not be welcomed into the record.

by AMMike on Sep 12, 2013 11:05 am • linkreport

Perception does not have to be logical. In fact it often isn't. And both sides often have a problem of how they perceive the other side relative to what is factual or logical. Not to mention that both sides can, and often are, disingenuous.

Unfortunately there is no way to quantify to what degree perception affects conversation and progress; but I can't imagine that it has a positive effect. Could you?

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 11:06 am • linkreport

"Perception does not have to be logical. In fact it often isn't."

that seems like an argument against weighing perception.

"Unfortunately there is no way to quantify to what degree perception affects conversation and progress; but I can't imagine that it has a positive effect. Could you?"

1. I could well imagine someone angry at cyclists who delay drivers by stopping at every stop sign, or by not getting out ahead at red lights. I don't imagine thats common, but Im sure the number of folks who feel that way is not zero,

2. Even discounting 1 - I could well imagine that the negative effect would be so small as to be trivial, and not worth a cyclist altering a way of cycling that they consider safe, healthy, and convenient for them.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 11:13 am • linkreport

If one has a perception that is illogical then I find it best to ignore it and focus on the facts. In this case, if you think that there shouldn't be a bike lane because sometimes cyclists don't stop log enough at stop signs then I'll point out why that is irrelevant and move on. Eventually people making that argument will realize that it has no traction and they'll move on to the next irrational argument against bike lanes.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 11:14 am • linkreport

that seems like an argument against weighing perception.

It seems that way to you because you have already said you only weigh that which is logical. That is certainly a laudable goal, but as humans much of what we hold to be "true" is driven not just by logic but also by perception -- sometimes, as you note, only by perception.

Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree about the importance of perception in shaping the debate.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 11:32 am • linkreport

It's important in a debate, but when it comes down to making a decision then you have to stick with the facts.

Moreover, you said that the changing the perception is something that cyclists need to do. I disagree because I think cycling advocates have instead relied on the fact to convince decision makers what needs to be done.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

"It seems that way to you because you have already said you only weigh that which is logical. That is certainly a laudable goal, but as humans much of what we hold to be "true" is driven not just by logic but also by perception -- sometimes, as you note, only by perception."

you misunderstand me.

If my goal is to get a bike lane built, and I know that making an Idaho stop will lead to one less vote for the bike lane, thats something to consider. IE the cause has an effect.

If the audience for my stop is irrational - IE they might vote against the lane because I do something illegal like an Idaho stop, they might vote against it because I do something perfectly legal like riding the sidewalk or taking the lane on a street with a bike lane - or they might even vote against the lane BECAUSE i stop at stop signs - then I cannot tell what action I take will influence their vote in what direction. Its not a matter of them being logical in some scientific sense as them being predictable. And its my personal beleif that those who are not logical in a scientific sense are likely to be unpredictable. If I cant predict (at least to some degree) the effect of my action on their opinion, than there is no reason take the the impact on their opinion into account in determining my action.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 11:41 am • linkreport

Moreover, you said that the changing the perception is something that cyclists need to do. I disagree because I think cycling advocates have instead relied on the fact to convince decision makers what needs to be done.

At best I said it's something that we should do, because I see a certain amount of value in it, and conversely, I don't see much value in doing nothing.

The best outcome would be, in my opinion, to convince decision makers what needs to be done, and change perception. That way we can see not just enhanced protections, but also a cultural shift.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 11:45 am • linkreport

I think the best way to get more cyclists is to build more and better bike lanes, then perceptions themselves will change as it becomes more and more normal.

It always helps to change perceptions and challenge falsehoods, I just don't see any evidence that its nt already happening.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 11:57 am • linkreport

@ CBGB
you is be funny

@ David C
you is be repeatedly hitting the nail on the head with your comments, albeit in different and subtle ways. i guess thats what you have to do when certain commenters seem to totally miss the point of the article.

by Flimflam on Sep 12, 2013 12:29 pm • linkreport

@ Drumz - I completely agree, I think more bike lanes is the best way to get more cyclists.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 12:34 pm • linkreport

What if cyclists were to do a "bike to rule" strike http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work-to-rule ??

IE we really did all stop at every stop sign, while taking the lane (on the many streets where that is appropriate) and then proceed to accelerate from the stop at a safe, unhurried pace.

The cycling community isnt interested in such radical tactics now, with things generally on the upswing. But its interesting to think about.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 2:15 pm • linkreport

I'm not sure what exactly we would be striking against, but I've never encountered an driver or pedestrian mad at me for observing the law (if that is what you are implying would happen).

I've been honked at before (while doing nothing wrong), but those times have been very few and far between.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 5:07 pm • linkreport

As I said, theres no reason for it now, with things on the upswing. But some have suggested that due to "cyclist misbehavior" there might be growing opposition to thing like bike lanes, and other improvements to cycling in the region. Enough so that various forms of advocacy, including changing how one rides for the sake of optics, is important. One potential response would be a bike to rule strike.

It may be that biking to rule, not by one, or a few, but by all cyclists, would not have a any noticeable impact on the flow of auto traffic. I doubt anyone has run simulations on that. I do know that there are many cases where a cyclist biking strictly to rules, including a foot down stop at each and every stop sign, could significantly slow traffic behind them, and I surmise that if this were done en masse, the effects would be more than additive. Though naturally it would depend on the total number of cyclists.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 5:19 pm • linkreport

The only times I've ever been yelled at actually are when I was doing something perfectly legal. When I lived in Fairfax I was often told to get on the sidewalk. Even when there wasn't one.

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 5:25 pm • linkreport

"When asked who was to blame, DDOT representatives noted that some of the crashes were due to cyclists running stop signs, but many more were from right hooks or doorings. "

I mean, this. DDOT, which has the data, says its mostly right hooks and doorings. Yet we have a long thread in which the talk is not of infra, or of the doorings and right hooks, but of cyclist behavior. How to avoid giving offense.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Sep 12, 2013 5:25 pm • linkreport

@scoot... happens all the time to me. I've been honked at, yelled at, engine revved behind me, tailgated, sped by, passed too closely, and worse.... all for doing things that are perfectly legal. (and I'm an experienced cyclist)

Same thing when on foot. In fact, a driver once yelled at for being a pedestrian on a sidewalk as someone sped out of an alley.

If all drivers followed the rules, we wouldn't need bike lanes. But because of all the scofflaw motorists, we need bike lanes.

by guest1 on Sep 12, 2013 5:30 pm • linkreport

The only times I've ever been yelled at actually are when I was doing something perfectly legal.

Same for me. But I try to ride legally when I can and hardly ever get yelled at. If I got yelled at every time I rode legally, that might provide evidence that riding legally is annoying to others.

I think the few times I've gotten honked at have been when I was riding very slow on the road. Those few times when I am driving a car, I don't like being stuck behind a slow cyclist, so I kind of understand the frustration. Especially because most of the time I'm in the car because I need to get somewhere quickly.

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 5:34 pm • linkreport

Oh believe me, I've also been tailgated, sped by, passed too closely, etc. Happens on a daily basis. Very annoying!

by Scoot on Sep 12, 2013 5:35 pm • linkreport

At least all this could be evidence that people worried about the behavior of cyclists maybe don't even know the laws they so jealously enforce?

(I know most police departments don't).

by drumz on Sep 12, 2013 5:43 pm • linkreport

It might be an interesting experience to take a block at random in one of the densely parked up neighborhoods and observe just how often cars actually are moved.

I did something like this on R St NW last year. I took note of a car parked at the start of the block, another in the middle and a third at the end. Rode the route all week long. None of the cars ever appeared to have moved.

Which left me wondering that if the city really charged a market rate for street parking many people might dispense with their cars altogether.

by JeffB on Sep 12, 2013 6:28 pm • linkreport

Screw these people and their free parking. Bikes get the lanes! End of story.

by NE John on Sep 13, 2013 5:14 am • linkreport

Mr. Cranor is flawed in his reporting.

I did not say that only 11th street voters should vote. What he fails to elucidate in his article is that the constituents I represent who live on 11th whom spoke up that night were in the majority opinion that taking away parking was not going to work. Furthermore, the ANC has not looked favorably at developments that have taken parking away in our community and its a question multiple Commissioners ask on the Commission when these matters come before us.

I am in favor of a balanced approach. It was highlighted that these 4 examples, 3 of which take parking away, certainly do not exhaust the alternatives we have.

The article also fails to report that there were at least 8 people from WMATA and DDOT who don't live in our community and should not be counted in the 25 total. So it was really 13 out of 17 people raising their hands. None of the government officials present raised their hands because they were there to present to the community not vote.

Lets keep things in perspective, report facts and communicate before jumping to conclusions. More information is needed.

And finally as a citizen of 11th street I am concerned at the bikers who break the law everyday and was encouraged to see a local biking organization out in red shirts warning bikers the very next week.

by Jeremy Leffler on Sep 17, 2013 5:22 pm • linkreport

Mr. Leffler,

The exact circumstance was that one woman asked if there could be "a show of hands for how many people do not want parking taken away." And the chair said "maybe it's worth a show of hands." You then called out - and I quote - "of people who live on 11th Street."

Those are facts. I reported them. I don't see where I jumped to any conclusions. Perhaps you'd like to elucidate me as to where I did.

And by my count there were only 3 people from DDOT and 1 from WMATA. I don't recall if they were counted as part of the 25 or not, but it's kind of a moot point. The crowd there was not a representative crowd of anything except "people who have the time and inclination to go to an ANC transportation committee meeting." It's the reason we don't vote by show of hands at meetings.

That your constituents along 11th Street were in the majority and that the majority were in "were in the majority opinion that taking away parking was not going to work." I think I made that quite clear. People who are at risk of losing their parking oppose taking parking away. Everyone else supported it.

Furthermore, the ANC has not looked favorably at developments that have taken parking away in our community

This isn't a development. It's a change in our transportation network.

I am in favor of a balanced approach.

I'm sorry, but that isn't what I heard. What I heard you say was that taking away parking was a "non-starter". So where's the balance in that? What if adding the bike lane will make the road safer? What if it will save lives? Would you still oppose it? Because calling it a "non-starter" makes it sound like you would oppose taking away parking even if it would save lives.

What would a balanced approach look like to you?

by David C on Sep 17, 2013 8:57 pm • linkreport

Framing this as parking spaces vs. dead people is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

There have not been any fatalities on this stretch of road, and from the statistics that were shared with me, there are actually not a lot of accidents here considering the heavy bicycle traffic.

Removing 60 parking spaces from a very dense area of the city to try to prevent a few bicycle accidents does not seem to strike a balance to me.

Signage, speed bumps, perhaps another traffic light or two in this stretch. Those would probably slow down both the vehicles and the bicycles using this stretch to make it safer for everyone, including pedestrians.

Surely a bike lane cannot be the ONLY option to help keep cyclists safe?

by Allison on Sep 17, 2013 9:24 pm • linkreport

Well, most collisions are because of doorings so taking away the parking seems intrinsically beneficial. (I'm being facetious).

Anyway, two things:

1: resident input is great. But that doesn't mean resident veto. No one owns the street in front of their house nor the parking. Moreover, bike lanes need to connect and have a network to be effective. It's not beneficial ibhave lanes being piecemeal and discontinuous.

2: bike lanes are the best option because they induce people into cycling. The safest thing for cyclists is to have more cyclists. Bike lanes are the means, not the end.

by drumz on Sep 17, 2013 9:32 pm • linkreport

Also, some when is it 60 spaces not 30?

by drumz on Sep 17, 2013 9:33 pm • linkreport

I counted 40 parking spaces between U Street and Florida Ave. I haven't counted the spaces south of U Street yet, but I am guessing the total must actually be closer to 60. I don't know where they came up with 30 spaces - that would be only 6 cars parked on each block!

by Allison on Sep 17, 2013 9:47 pm • linkreport

Framing this as parking spaces vs. dead people is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

Only if no one would choose parking. But when people call giving up parking a "non-starter" or say that they will "not give up parking, period" or say that giving up 60 spaces "to prevent a few bicycle accidents" is unreasonable, I'm not sure they wouldn't choose parking.

What is the injury to parking space ratio that make sense to you? If taking out the parking would save one life every 100 years, would you oppose it?

[It's easy to see it as just a bicycle accident until you've spent the 3 months in physical therapy.]

by David C on Sep 17, 2013 9:52 pm • linkreport

Well, I dot think there is any indication that they want to remove all parking. Just what would be required to have the bike lanes work.

by drumz on Sep 17, 2013 9:58 pm • linkreport

Has anyone proposed to enact a law similar to the Idaho Stop in DC or any other state? I think it would solve most of the problems with bikes at intersections:

'An “Idaho stop” law allows a bicyclist to treat a stop sign as a yield sign. Therefore, rather than being required to come to a stop, the bicyclist is required to slow down, stop if required for safety, and yield the right of way to any approaching vehicle or pedestrian before proceeding through an intersection controlled by a stop sign. This is an “Idaho stop” because it has been the law in Idaho since 1982, but may more functionally be referred to as a “stop as yield” or “yield-stop” law. Since this is a legal maneuver, it is not to be confused with the practice of motorist rolling stops, known colloquially as the “California stop.”'

http://www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-law-university-idaho-stop

Most traffic lights are not timed for bicycles and do not sense bicycles the way many of them do for motor vehicles. In addition, it is far easier for a stopped motor vehicle to start moving again than it is for a bicycle.

Yes, most road rules do, and should, apply to bicycles, but bikes should be treated differently at intersections because bikes ARE different than motor vehicles, particularly at these locations.

by DaveG on Sep 18, 2013 9:29 pm • linkreport

@Kenyon - "A regular ol car has just as much field of view as does a cyclist, and considering how often I see them biking down the street with their ear buds in, additional hearing capacity [is] out too."

So, you have a problem with people who are hearing impaired, by choice or not? It sounds like you want them to hear as well as everyone else. Guess what ... perfect hearing is NOT required for safe bicycling or driving. Talk or maybe sign with anyone at Gallaudet University about this ...

by DaveG on Sep 18, 2013 9:58 pm • linkreport

Cars need to have mirrors to pass inspection.

by drumz on Sep 18, 2013 10:07 pm • linkreport

Please, NO MORE SUICIDE BIKE LANES. Give us safe bike lanes that we can use, where cyclists are completely protected from those reckless drivers (not implying that all drivers are reckless here).

We want more 15th street style cycle tracks that completely shield cyclists from moving traffic and allow children, elderly, and novice cycles to use them. If you don't provide these kind of bike lanes, you are alienating a huge portion of the population and people will continue to use the side walk.

Plus, then others can use the bike lanes like skate boards and roller blades.

by no more suicide bike lanes on Sep 19, 2013 8:44 am • linkreport

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