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Breakfast links: Federal damage


Photo by Yukon White Light on Flickr.
The racist feds: From 1934 to 1968 the Federal Housing Administration explicitly refused to lend money to black people or people in areas that were facing "infiltration of a lower-grade population" and were "lacking homogeneity." (CityLab)

The feds won't build: With the major federal office construction project at St. Elizabeths dead, our region can't depend on federal spending. But economic growth outside the government has been slow thus far. (Post)

Transit still suffers: The Senate will probably keep underfunding transit; agency heads from around the nation say that under a proposed transportation bill, their maintenance backlog will just grow and grow. (Streetsblog)

Flintbrook?: Pike Corridor? Slate District? NoBeSoRo? BethRock? What should we call the area along Rockville Pike from White Flint to Twinbrook, which is undergoing a transformation? Or is White Flint or North Bethesda fine? (Post)

Stop the Idaho Stop?: Would the Idaho Stop (letting cyclists go through a red light after stopping) be bad for pedestrians? Or not, because pedestrians still have the right of way even with an Idaho Stop law? (Grist, TheWashCycle)

See the kid behind you: By 2018, new motor vehicles will have to have technology helping the driver see the area right behind the vehicle, to cut down on people backing over children. Official statistics likely undercount this danger. (NHTSA, TheWashCycle)

Reckless bus drivers: DC school bus drivers sped and ran red lights 16 times as often as Metrobus drivers, according to traffic camera records. The District does not appear to be taking any steps to stop bad bus drivers. (Post)

The chameleonic condo: A proposed condo for the Key Bridge Exxon has another set of new designs. This time, the building has stone in front and a green roof on top to blend in to the background from any direction. (UrbanTurf)

Stops will get screens: Metro will install real-time arrival screens at 93 bus stops, and eventually hopes to bring the screens to 800 stops. They are at least a year overdue, partly because it's hard to get power to the bus shelters. (Post)

And...: Nobody has died on a bicycle in the region in over a year. (TheWashCycle) ... Will H Street lose economic development money? (Frozen Tropics) ... The French bought trains that are too big for their stations. (Post) ... A deer jumped over a group of people at a bus stop and hit a woman getting off the bus. (WJLA)

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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Rear-facing cameras may help to prevent people backing over children that are stationary and directly behind them, but what happens when a moving child/cyclist/pedestrian is not yet in the field of view of the camera, such as coming across the driveway? Don't these cameras just discourage the driver from actually looking around and behind them, as they believe that they can just rely on looking down at the little screen?

by engrish_major on May 27, 2014 9:34 am • linkreport

I'd be curious to know what percentage of home owners actually had a mortage back then.

I'm sure in 50 years we'll look at denying home mortages to people 5 days late on the credit card payments in much the same way.

by charlie on May 27, 2014 9:41 am • linkreport

Count at least one cyclist as being against the Idaho Stop, not that we are in any danger of it being enacted.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 9:47 am • linkreport

NoBeSoRo sounds a lot like "you'll be sorry" LOL

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 9:48 am • linkreport

Rear-facing cameras may help to prevent people backing over children that are stationary and directly behind them, but what happens when a moving child/cyclist/pedestrian is not yet in the field of view of the camera, such as coming across the driveway? Don't these cameras just discourage the driver from actually looking around and behind them, as they believe that they can just rely on looking down at the little screen?

I find them to be an expensive add on of questionable use. So many cars are rarely if ever parked in a situation where they will need this functionality.

What about adaptive cruise control, why isn't this being mandated on all cars?

by Richard on May 27, 2014 9:49 am • linkreport

The Pike probably will always be "the Pike". Twinbrook as a place name belongs to the other side of the Metro. North bethesda is just people who don't want to admit theat they're close to Rockville, much like the vast swaths of places with Potomac post office addresses (some of which are in Rockville proper).

FHAs history has been known, mentioned and discussed for decades. It contributed to white flight. GI/VA loans made it difficult to buy in existing areas which was another issue. FHA and the banks also had very strict criteria--Cleveland Park was considered too high risk for conventional mortgages in the late 50s, but the area began its comeback around then, anyway.

It should be no surprise that the federal govt drives econ development of all sorts here and that the sequester will have an effect on development, although it was never reasonable to assume it would be immediate. the current bubble is unlikely to last long. The high cost of housing is likely to be a barrier to other drivers of population growth. I've known quite a few people (relatives, grad school friends) from earlier era who wanted to come home to DC and vicinity but couldn't afford the area--it's a long-term problem that's gone unaddressed.

by Rich on May 27, 2014 9:51 am • linkreport

@engrish_major: In my experience, the rear-facing camera is not enough of an aid to keep me from looking around. It only shows a small area of the ground up to about 3 feet behind me. I'm far more concerned about blind-spot warning systems.

by RDHD on May 27, 2014 9:53 am • linkreport

The Post-mortem on the DHS project seems to put a lot of the blame on the sequester, and maybe that's right. But there's a more nuanced insight about what's trending in an FT piece (via some ideas in the Economist) about the deeper divide between cities, especially global capital cities, were things are improving versus the struggling burbs.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4bba49fe-e27b-11e3-a829-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz32vKKe9i4

by kob on May 27, 2014 9:55 am • linkreport

The FHA policy in from the 1930's to the 1960' is as much a part of our urban history as the government build highways and the loss of manufacturing in the post war era. It should all be part of the urban planner's education. Just becasue race played a part in our suburban sprawl shoudn't make us uncomfortable to look at it squarely. Afterall, if racism is seen for what it is, fear of the unknown, then it will seem less ominous.

by Thayer-D on May 27, 2014 10:18 am • linkreport

@engrish_major, you're assuming that drivers without rear-facing cameras look around them now.

by cminus on May 27, 2014 10:22 am • linkreport

I would not have a problem with the Idaho Stop if:
1.) There was a strong educational campaign for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians before its implementation.
2.) MPD actually enforced cyclist failure-to-yield.

I can see DDOT kind-of doing #1 but I can't see (and currently don't see) MPD doing #2. Without these two measures, I don't think the benefits (increased riding ease/safety for cyclists) outweigh the costs (bolstering the dangerous riding of selfish cyclists and increased unpredictability/risk for everyone).

I also think it's unfair of WashCycle to say that Idaho is a perfectly reasonable case study for everywhere else. I'm guessing the mode share even in Boise is vastly different from DC. We shouldn't discount the success in Idaho, but we have to at least acknowledge that there are significant differences in use.

by DC Transit Nerd on May 27, 2014 10:27 am • linkreport

@Crickey7: I'm curious, why are you against the Idaho Stop? It seems quite sensible to me.

by Goldfish33 on May 27, 2014 10:45 am • linkreport

The cranes are gone.

As the WaPo piece mentions, the DC area in 2013 grew less than 1/3 the US rate and once the Republicans take Congress in January I suspect spending here will plummet. If we still had journalism a good story would be how many announced but unfunded new construction sites will actually get built. Clearly new announcements are disappearing.

My observations are that, at least with DC residential, spurts of 2-3 years are usually followed by five-to-ten years of no gains. I'd say a 10-year lull is what we're entering in DC.

by Tom Coumaris on May 27, 2014 10:48 am • linkreport

I think my issue is that it would be a license for one group of users to decide when it's safe to proceed. To the extent the intersection supports any one users doing that, then it ought to apply to all users. So a stop sign should be a yield, a light a stop sign. Not a blanket carveout for one group. I see no evidence that cyclists possess better judgment that drivers.

It's not just a safety issue, though it is that, too. It's a flow issue. To the extent some users go out of turn and thereby force a disruption in the cross-flow, then overall flow-through is diminished.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 10:52 am • linkreport

I don't think the Idaho Stop allows bicyclists to take the right of way (ROW) from even pedestrians crossing in front of them. All vehicles are supposed to stop at the stop bar, crosswalk lines, stop sign or before the sidewalk, depending on how the intersection is marked/unmarked. Which means if there is a pedestrian approaching the crosswalk where you must stop, yield or slow and they have the walk light or the ROW, they still have the ROW. So if you can't then properly Idaho Stop your way across the intersection in time without interfering with this pedestrian(s), you must yield to them.

So I don't agree with Adler. Although it is clear that Idaho Stop does work better in lower traffic areas such as most of Idaho vs. DC. So I might be on the fence about this one.

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 10:52 am • linkreport

@DC Transit Nerd, I highly doubt MPD will have any interest in enforcing any sort of laws. POPville just did an "Ask A Cop" (now, whether you believe this person is an actual cop is up to you), and this fascinating exchange took place:

Q: My question for the PoP Cop: why aren’t traffic violations more strictly enforced here? I’ve lived in Los Angeles and NYC – both are places with horrendous traffic – and cops are quick to drop the hammer on you for the slightest screw-up. Same goes for cops in Virginia (huge jerks, btw – the worst I’ve ever encountered). Cops in DC don’t really seem to care too much about traffic enforcement, even when someone is pulling an illegal mid-block U-turn in front of them. Is it less of a priority now that we traffic cameras bringing in a steady stream of income?

A: Ah traffic. A good question. So there is no quota in MPD. Unlike other departments, you don’t have to write any tickets. In addition, when you write tickets and they get appealed, you have go to traffic court (BTA). There is a question of whether or not you get overtime cash for those appearances, which dissuades some officers. Finally, if you work in busy districts and you do traffic, you’re going to get arrests for things like driving on a suspended license or not having a license, and this takes you out of commission for a few hours to process. That puts an increased burden on the other officers in your PSA or District to handle the jobs and that can be yet another reason why traffic isn’t done as much in DC.

Anyone else having to pick their jaw up off the floor? It takes too much effort to enforce the laws, so we're not going to do it.

you can read all the questions here: http://www.popville.com/2014/05/from-the-forum-ask-a-cop/

by Birdie on May 27, 2014 10:57 am • linkreport

@Tom Coumaris - "once the Republicans take Congress in January" - do you mean the US House or both the US House and US Senate? Congress very often means simply the US House...less often so also the US Senate. Unless I've got this wrong as far most of us understand the semantics involved?

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 10:58 am • linkreport

It may not allow that, but that will be the effect. As it would be if you gave it to drivers.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 10:58 am • linkreport

@Crickey7
To the extent the intersection supports any one users doing that, then it ought to apply to all users.
It shouldn't apply to all, because all don't have the same acceleration, ability to see, etc. Users have different needs and concerns so a blanket rule might not always be appropriate.

I see no evidence that cyclists possess better judgment that drivers.
But they have a better ability to assess a situation because of sight lines, etc.

It's not just a safety issue, though it is that, too. It's a flow issue. To the extent some users go out of turn and thereby force a disruption in the cross-flow, then overall flow-through is diminished.

Idaho stop doesn't let anyone "go out of turn." It only lets cyclists proceed when there is no ROW conflict.

by MLD on May 27, 2014 11:01 am • linkreport

@Crickey7 - Don't you think people walking already do an idaho stop? Its rare to see people walking waiting for a light when its clear to walk. Thus there is already an unofficial idaho stop for when you're walking.

Really, who reading this waits at a light for 20-30 secs. when walking when there is no traffic coming either direction?

the only time I can see that happening is either when you're training a child to wait for the light or you have an infirmity (you're slow moving do to physical prob) that causes you to want the security of a definite right of way.

by Tina on May 27, 2014 11:06 am • linkreport

Thanks, MLD. Sounds like we agree that under Idaho Stop, bicyclists must first yield ROW to all road users crossing in front of them at a yield sign, stop sign or red light - before proceeding. Otherwise it seems pedestrians always go last which, good urbanism or not, sounds like a terrible idea because then, in theory, a pedestrian might have to wait forever.

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 11:08 am • linkreport

"But they have a better ability to assess a situation because of sight lines, etc."

Do they? I think that is a totally unproven assumption. Moreover, I think it is a fallacy to this all cyclists are like you. Not all cyclists have as good control over their bikes as you. Not all have the years of urban cycling that allows them to guage if it really is safe. Frankly, a lot have pretty sucky judgment in general.

This is why we have laws that paint a broad brush and do not take varying abilities into account. It's cludgy, but it's cludgy for drivers, too.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 11:11 am • linkreport

Do people opposed to the Idaho Stop also oppose allowing cars to turn right on red?

by TM on May 27, 2014 11:12 am • linkreport

@ Tina:

I do, and so do many, if not most, cyclists.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 11:13 am • linkreport

@TM. That is a law of general applicability like a yield sign, put in where conditions of the road, not the users, dictate that it is safe.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 11:14 am • linkreport

Right-on-red is a blanket rule unless countered by an extra sign, only placed at certain intersections.

Idaho stop could be enforced in exactly the same way.

by MLD on May 27, 2014 11:23 am • linkreport

Do they? I think that is a totally unproven assumption.

It's intrinsic to the vehicle. A bike is smaller, doesn't have blind spots, is only capable of going so fast, and is much more maneuverable (they are allowed on sidewalks in many areas).

The risk posed by a bicycle to pedestrians (or anyone) is therefor much lower (not totally elimated sure, but much lower) than a car so then it follows that bikes can operate with different rules. They already do in many cases, so this is just one more difference added to the books.

by drumz on May 27, 2014 11:29 am • linkreport

@Crickey - You say Idaho Stop is never safe, but right turn on red is. Either both are unsafe under all conditions, or both are safe if done correctly. Which is it?

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 11:33 am • linkreport

And re: rear view cameras,

At least in my friend's ford escape his rear view camera showed a field of view that covered the sides as well eliminating his blind spot. If new rules mandate something near that I think traffic overall will be better off.

by drumz on May 27, 2014 11:33 am • linkreport

So, Idaho stop for cyclists, motorcycles, and convertibles with the top down. But not when it's raining, because that might diminish the keen senses we possess.

Yes, there ought to be different laws to reflect different capabilities of cyclists. Spidey senses are not among those.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 11:37 am • linkreport

The thing about Idaho Stop for me is that it simply removes the illegality from a thing I already do and will continue doing. Basically, all traffic laws apply in all situations except for two:

1) If I come to a stop sign and I can clearly see that there is no cross traffic, I may slow down, look both ways, and proceed without coming to a full stop. (If there are other vehicles or pedestrians approaching the intersection, I must obey the stop sign and yield right-of-way normally.)
2) If I come to a red light I must come to a stop. While stopped, if I can clearly see that there is no cross traffic, I may proceed through the intersection against a red light. (If there are other vehicles or pedestrians approaching the intersection, I must obey the red light and wait until I have right-of-way indicated by a green light or a pedestrian signal.)

That's it. I never get someone else's right of way. If I, or any other idiot biker, blow through a red light into the path of a car and get run over, that's my fault. If I, or any other idiot biker, blow through a stop sign and hit a pedestrian, that's my fault. The law does not remove liability for biking like a jackass. It simply assumes (perhaps too generously?) that human beings riding bicycles are able to use their judgement in very specific circumstances to make physically reasonable decisions, and makes those decisions legal. That's it.

by Ampersand on May 27, 2014 11:51 am • linkreport

It's not that senses are improved on a bike. It's that they aren't restricted as much because one is not operating something much bigger than them (sorry convertibles) or capable of outrunning someone's reaction time (sorry motorcycles).

Not spidey senses, regular senses, unimpeded.

by Drumz on May 27, 2014 11:57 am • linkreport

DaveG- The predictions are that the Republicans will take at least 53 seats in the Senate and increase their majority in the House. Very bad news for DC and transit.

by Tom Coumaris on May 27, 2014 12:07 pm • linkreport

"I'd be curious to know what percentage of home owners actually had a mortage back then.
I'm sure in 50 years we'll look at denying home mortages to people 5 days late on the credit card payments in much the same way."

by charlie on May 27, 2014

Thank goodness racism wasn't real back then, whenever back then was. Or, now. There was an interesting interview I heard last week on the radio, with the author being interviewed about reparations. He argued that it's important not to cast it as reparations for slavery, but rather for persistent, pernicious racism...and cited the FHA practices which affected many people still with us, a considerable number of who m were returning vets.

As to how many people had mortgages "back then" -- it might depend on what you see as "back then." The policy noted extended to 1968 The FHA's role in creating the suburbs, helping lots of returning soldiers and later middle class Americans is rather famous, no? Home ownership's place in the American boom of the 50s and 60s is well-documented. Look for your answers there.

BTW and OT -- those rear-view cameras offer a much larger field of view than the rear-view mirror that most people rely on when backing up out of a parking space or driveway. Vast improvement.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on May 27, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

I still haven't seen a reason to give the Idaho Stop to cylists that does not apply pretty much equally to cars. To the extent bikes have some inherent advantages (debatable, and varies by individual), cars have offsetting ones, such as the ability to clear the intersection faster.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 12:34 pm • linkreport

I still haven't seen a reason to give the Idaho Stop to cylists that does not apply pretty much equally to cars.

How about the laws of physics?

Bicycles have much lower mass and travel at lower speeds. Lower speeds mean a greater field of vision; combined with the lower mass, that means a much shorter stopping distance.

The implication is that you can easily let cyclists treat a stop sign like a yield sign because they can very easily stop when needed - unlike a car.

Same laws of physics, but different rules for the road. Why? Because a car/driver has (at least) 10x the mass of a bike/cyclist.

by Alex B. on May 27, 2014 12:50 pm • linkreport

Do we really need a name for these long corridors? Corridors are just collections of individual real "places".

The "Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor" has no other name, other than perhaps "North Arlington" more generally.

What do we call the Connecticut/Wisconsin Avenue Red Line corridor from Woodley Park to Friendship Heights (other than "NW DC" more generally?

by Joey on May 27, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

@Tom, the cranes have disappeared? Really? Been to Navy Yard or the SW Waterfront in the past few months?

Also, if anyone thinks Republicans are going to gut DC's job market, I don't think you paid attention to how much military spending and the deficit ballooned under Bush. There might be a slowdown in spending, but it's certainly not going to completely tank the local economy.

by JES on May 27, 2014 1:52 pm • linkreport

@Joey: "suburbia." Or possibly "White-ville."

by LowHeadways on May 27, 2014 1:53 pm • linkreport

It's not quite a year yet without a fatality. One more month.

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:15 pm • linkreport

Don't these cameras just discourage the driver from actually looking around and behind them, as they believe that they can just rely on looking down at the little screen?

Maybe, but nonetheless NHTSA estimates universal adoption will save about 60 lives per year.

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

I'm guessing the mode share even in Boise is vastly different from DC. We shouldn't discount the success in Idaho, but we have to at least acknowledge that there are significant differences in use.

I acknowledge it, but I can't for the life of me think of why it's relevant. How do any of these differences matter?

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:22 pm • linkreport

bolstering the dangerous riding of selfish cyclists and increased unpredictability/risk for everyone

That's not what happened in Idaho. And what dangerous riding are selfish cyclists foregoing now that they would take up post-Idaho stop?

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:24 pm • linkreport

Although it is clear that Idaho Stop does work better in lower traffic areas such as most of Idaho vs. DC.

Why is that clear?

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:26 pm • linkreport

I still haven't seen a reason to give the Idaho Stop to cylists that does not apply pretty much equally to cars. To the extent bikes have some inherent advantages (debatable, and varies by individual), cars have offsetting ones, such as the ability to clear the intersection faster.

Because of the positive externalities of cycling, bicycle laws should be designed to allow cyclists to travel swiftly and easily, and this provision allows for the conservation of energy.

By allowing cyclist to get in front of traffic, they become more visible, and in so doing, more safe.

Current laws were written for cars, and unlike cars, it is easy for cyclists to yield the right-of-way without coming to a complete stop. Because cyclists are moving slower, have stereoscopic hearing, have no blind spots and can stop and maneuver more quickly than cars, current traffic control device laws don't make sense for cyclists.

With the Idaho stop, at special intersections where lights are controlled by sensing equipment, there is no need to provide extra equipment for cyclists.

The stop-as-yield provision reduces conflict between neighborhood traffic-calming advocates wanting more stop signs and bicycle commuters.

Changing the legal duties of cyclists would provide direction to law enforcement to focus their attention where it belongs—on unsafe cyclists (and motorists).

The usual law forces cyclists to choose between routes that are more efficient but less safe due to higher traffic volumes, and routes that are more safe, but less efficient due to the presence of numerous stop signs. Allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs empowers them to legally make the safer routes more efficient.

The only study done on the safety of the Idaho Stop shows that it is slightly safer.[

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:33 pm • linkreport

Some months ago we saw a cool video about how if all cars were self-driving and communicated with each other, traffic control devices would be unnecessary and flow-through volumes would increase significantly. That is a world of the universal Idaho Stop.

We don't live in that world. We live in a world where we limit discretion precisely because the judgment of vehicle operators is imperfect. They are, in a word, human. I hate to burst anyone's bubbles here, but that applies to cyclists, too.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 2:39 pm • linkreport

If the DC Council adopts the Idaho law, it will not make one bit of difference. From what I can tell, most bikers have already implemented variants of it with little fear, or reason to fear, police enforcement. All the Idaho law will do is codify and legalize what is already common practice.

MV drivers and pedestrians will be clueless about the "Idaho law," which seems hard enough to explain based on the ongoing discussions to tease out exactly what it allows. They will assume cyclists rolling through red lights is just business as usual. The idea that there will be some education campaign that will be in anyway successful is wishful thinking. Once adopted, the only time the "Idaho law" may come up is in civil litigation following an accident, or when a cyclists is wrongfully ticketed by a police officer, triggering another closed-loop rant fest.

by kob on May 27, 2014 2:45 pm • linkreport

In some places they have taken away all traffic control devices, and vehicle flow through did increase. And it was safer too.

Still this is a straw man argument since no one is arguing for an end to TCDs. They would all still be there, just as stop signs and yield signs in place of red lights and stop signs.

by David C on May 27, 2014 2:48 pm • linkreport

@David C Mode share matters. If only 2% of people walk to work at Location A and 30% walk to work at Location B, then there are less opportunities for pedestrian/cyclist conflict at Location A. Thus statistics for Location A only reflect collisions given the rate of potential conflict at Location A. If the rate of potential conflict is different at Location B, Location A statistics won't hold.

By "bolster" I mean that the jerks who blow through lights and stop signs at 15 mph will now use a poorly understood law to support their (already existing) behavior if the law is not paired with a massive educational campaign and increased failure-to-yield enforcement.

Are there actual studies on accident rates before vs after the Idaho Stop in Idaho? Anyone have any links?

by DC Transit Nerd on May 27, 2014 3:48 pm • linkreport

I'm pro Idaho Stop but think it would be unfair to give it to cyclists but not peds. Would a cyclist who stops, gets off their bike and then walks their bike through a red light be a jaywalker who would get a citation but a cyclist who rides through a red light be totally legal? That makes no sense.

I see no evidence that cyclists possess better judgment that drivers.

That's probably true but cyclists and peds pose far less potential harm to others than drivers. They also pose more potential danger to themselves (since they're not protected by 2 tons of steel, airbags, etc.), so you would expect them to be more cautious for the purpose of self-preservation.

by Falls Church on May 27, 2014 3:57 pm • linkreport

Mode share matters, but not in this case. Why would high bike mode share at one location and low at another make the Idaho Stop more or less viable at those locations. Idaho is also farther west than DC, which is another difference, but I don't see how that matters either.

So by bolster, what is meant is that they will do what they are currently doing, but they will just use a different excuse.

There are actual crash statistics, but I've never seen them. There is this from someone who has:

"Mark McNeese, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for the Idaho Transportation Department adds that Idaho bicycle-collision statistics confirm that the Idaho law has resulted in no discernible increase in injuries or fatalities to bicyclists. McNeese says that bicyclists, due to their vulnerability, will seldom “push their luck” and refuse to yield to vehicles when necessary. Those who do take such chances would probably do so with or without the yield law"

There's one study done on it "Bicycle Safety and Choice: Compounded Public Cobenefits of the Idaho Law Relaxing Stop Requirements for Cycling," Jason N. Meggs, 2010 which one might be able to find online. I believe it uses the Idaho crash data. I may have it at home.

by David C on May 27, 2014 4:08 pm • linkreport

Falls church, we already don't require pedestrians to stop at stop signs.

I'd be OK with a peds treating red lights as stop law, but I don't think I need one to support the other.

by David C on May 27, 2014 4:10 pm • linkreport

I will concede that it's hard to say that mode share matters without knowing what statistics have been gathered. But my guess is that the statistics aren't adjusted for the collision potential that absolutely changes based on mode share. Statistics are misinterpreted/abused all the time because people don't understand conditional probabilities.

Thanks for the sources. I'll look into it more tonight too.

by DC Transit Nerd on May 27, 2014 4:40 pm • linkreport

I declare David C the hands-down winner of the Idaho Stop discussion. I calls em as I sees em.

by Reston on May 27, 2014 4:46 pm • linkreport

I have no strong feelings on it. I do think the debate is healthy, in that one can recognize valid policy arguments on both sides.

by Crickey7 on May 27, 2014 4:54 pm • linkreport

@Crickey7 -I wrote "people walking" and was specifically referring to when people walk, wrt the "idaho stop" at stop lights. You wrote you tho't it was a bad idea to give one set of road users , cyclists, the idaho stop. i meant to illustrate that there is already a set of raod users who routinely use the idaho stop - that is people walking.

by Tina on May 27, 2014 6:32 pm • linkreport

@Tina - don't you mean that sometimes pedestrians apply Idaho Stop rules to that activity...meaning they sometimes violate the letter of the law to cross the street? In much the same way that a bicyclist will run stop signs and red lights (in as safely a manner as possible, of course). I support Idaho Stop, but I am concerned that motorists will also demand it for themselves, ignoring the fact that they are the most dangerous road users, for certain posing far greater problems than bicyclists or pedestrians every time they would Idaho Stop an intersection. Perhaps it's all a matter of how the argument is framed. Anyone have a good response? If Idaho Stop is implemented in DC, a good public education campaign will be called for to minimize motorist resentment.

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 7:56 pm • linkreport

How do you minimize motorist resentment when motorists are probably already resentful? I'm assuming here that any resentment to the Idaho Stop has a basis, and that's probably existing cyclist behavior. If motorists are find with bicycle behavior, then this shouldn't be an issue.

Advocates for this, probably ought to push for adoption in much the same the bicycle bell requirement was removed; with as little attention as possible.

(And I honestly don't know how I feel about the Idaho Stop. My mind is far from made up. I just keep thinking about how nice people are in Idaho compared to the angry people riding around here.)

by kob on May 27, 2014 8:06 pm • linkreport

@kob - that's the thing. With public education, I think most motorists will be OK with it once they know it's permitted. Just like most motorists are currently OK with bicycles in general, with the unfortunate exception of a few. What you don't want is motorists suddenly deciding, in response to Idaho Stop, that they too can run red lights and stop signs all they want.

by DaveG on May 27, 2014 8:20 pm • linkreport

I am concerned that motorists will also demand it for themselves

That hasn't been the case in Idaho.

There are several cities in Colorado that have passed a stop-as-yield law that applies to stop signs but not lights. This treats cyclists identical to pedestrians, they have to stop at lights, but they can just yield at stop signs. Anyway, similar to Idaho, there hasn't been any push from motorists in those CO cities for similar rules for them (that I know of).

by David C on May 27, 2014 8:34 pm • linkreport

Rear visibility tech been inexpensive to add for years, glad to see it being pushed as a mandatory safety. Small kids are shorter than the height of the back windows. I think they also should mandate installing the little passenger mirrors so you can see children in the back-facing car carriers.

by asffa on May 27, 2014 11:23 pm • linkreport

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