Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rolling stops and scofflaw.... motorists?

Welcome to Cyclelicious. Take the quiz and see how well you do. Answers immediately below.

1. Motorists in Portland, Oregon come to a legal, complete stop at stop signs how often?
  1. 92% of the time
  2. 62%
  3. 44%
  4. 22%

If you answered 92%, you're not even close. 62% and 44% aren't right either. The Portland (OR) Bureau of Transportation found that drivers come to a complete stop at stop signs only 22% of the time, according to this article in The Oregonia.

The same traffic survey showed cyclists stop only 7% of the time, so bike lawyer Bob "Uncle Tom" Mionske encourages cyclists to see stop signs not as obstructions but as "opportunities–to improve bike-handling skills, braking technique, trackstands and acceleration", but most people (including cyclists) generally don't let reality get in the way of their preconceived conceptions.
A minivan driver, for example, may only notice things that reinforce negative stereotypes about cyclists being reckless, while ignoring attentive, law-abiding riders.
It goes both ways, of course, since we as cyclists tend to only see the scofflaw motorists.

Hat tip to Eco Velo.


  1. So, Bob Mionske is "Uncle Tom" because he encourages cyclists to follow the laws in place for vehicles? That seems a bit -- no, REALLY -- harsh.

    Regardless of what motorists do, we have both a duty and obligation to follow the laws as they are written. How else will cycling ever be seen in a positive light in this country if we're all considered a bunch of scofflaws?!?

  2. It was a poor attempt at a joke; sorry.

  3. Ok, Fritz, I can live with that...your humor usually hits me in all the right places, and I KNOW you're about being a good role model, so this one threw me. You're off the hook, though, after your explanation.

  4. Well I don't know if we should keep paying good taxpayer money to replace dangerous overpasses and such for motorists until they learn to obey the law. Its a shame that all motorists are seen in a bad light because of the actions of a few. /snark