Cyclists should stop at stop signs, right?

I know a guy who rides a road bike everywhere and he frequently doesn’t stop at stop signs. If he can see that there are no cars stopped at the intersecting stop signs, he just goes right through it, especially if it’s a one-way street. And I think sometimes even if there are cars rolling up to the stop sign, but not stopped yet, he’ll go through anyway if he’s close enough. He justifies this riding practice by saying that he doesn’t want to lose his momentum by stopping.

I am under the impression this is frowned upon, and besides being illegal, also makes drivers resent cyclists. This town has a huge number of cyclists, the hipster with messenger bag kind and the middle-aged doctor/lawyer in Spandex covered in logos kind. Sometimes there are letters in the paper complaining about the bikers and sometimes there are letters from bikers complaining about the drivers not sharing the road. I think bikers not obeying the traffic laws gives all of them a bad name. Do you agree?

Yep, if he’s riding on the road, he needs to obey traffic rules. Don’t like losing momentum? Drive a car instead.

It’s frowned on. It’s a shitty thing to do when other traffic is around. Still not going to stop doing it, sorry.

When done properly and respectfully, it should inconvenience no one. If it makes you that angry, you probably should relax a bit. Try going for a nice bike ride or something.

The answer is yes, they should. I always do unless there is clearly no traffic around.

Should add, if there’s clearly no traffic around, then fine, go for it. But I see so many bikers whip out in front of traffic it’s ridiculous.

And, as a biker, I don’t have that much trouble getting my ass moving from a complete stop.

Hell, cars don’t even stop at stop signs any longer. Stop signs have become completely optional in my city.

Given the number of times I’ve had to slam to a stop to avoid hitting a cyclist running a stop sign, I don’t buy the “I do it when there is no one there” argument.

It doesn’t make me angry, it makes me worried about flattening the moron if I can’t stop in time. I really don’t want that on my conscience.

What does make me angry is when the cyclist is upset with me having the nerve to almost exercise my right of way when he wants to run the stop sign.

I regularly run into the problem where there is green light going down a road, and I want to make a right turn, but there is bike lane to my right. On the one hand, I am always conscious of pedestrians who may be in a crosswalk or on a street corner about to step off and cross the street. I will admit, however, that I don’t always remember to crane my head around to check for the guy in the bike lane who may be in my blind spot and is planning to go straight as I am turning right. I assume the bike has the right of way, but I have had numerous close calls with exactly this scenario where I almost caused a guy on a bike to eat it into the passenger side of my car. Does the biker have no responsibility to look at the cars and their turn signals and anticipate this? I admit I’m guilty of being a little unsafe here, but the bikers with their iPods who are ‘in the zone’ don’t seem to pay attention either and instantly get pissed off if they perceive you may cut them off… but yes, the blowing through stop signs thing irritates me.

I don’t think biking with an iPod on is legal, either, frankly.

Only on a bike, or when you are driving a car as well?

Just so long as you also agree that they should also get ticketed for failing to obey a traffic control device if it turns out there was someone around - ie., a cop.

The biker has the same level of responsibility as a pedestrian who wants to cross when they have a walk signal. It’s a really good idea to check that some idiot in a car isn’t about to kill them, but the onus is on the person turning to ensure that it’s safe to do so.

They’re pissed off because passing a bike with your turn signal on is tantamount to telling them, “Hey, I’m about to try and kill you here.” If a car coming the other way turned left in front of you when you’re trying to proceed through a green light, wouldn’t you be pissed off? It’s pretty much the same situation.

Yes, they should. Those who don’t are stupid jerks who make the rest of us look bad.

In my opinion it comes down to whether or not you acknowledge reality. Would it be nice if you didn’t have to stop at every stop sign, and if there were nice wide bike lanes that never bordered on-the-street parking, and if car drivers always remembered to look for cyclists before turning left, and no one ever shouted “get off the road” at you? Yeah, that would be sweet. It would also be great if I could fart out golden coins, but that’s not going to happen. You want to ride a bike? Ride responsibly and courteously. That makes it easier for everyone, including us cyclists who aren’t dicks.


What you are supposed to do is, if you are ahead of the bicyclist, merge into the bike lane prior to turning. If you can’t safely do so, slow and merge behind the bicyclist. You should not turn through the bike lane, any more than you’d turn through a (car) traffic lane.

I don’t begrudge a bicyclist not stopping if there’s no traffic around, but I do if they don’t stop and take their turn when there is traffic.

Yes they should obey all traffic laws.

And any bike used on the public highways should be licensed, and plated, tagged and registered, and insured, and follow every other requirement any other vehicle driven on public roads must follow.

I remember as a teenager in Switzerland needing to get a license plate for my bike. Here are some pictures of Switzerland bicycle licence plates (the ones labelled “Cyclomoteur” are for mopeds) :

What drove me crazy when I used to bicycle was that without fail the city put a stop sign at the bottom of each and every hill in the city. So I would laboriously winch my obese butt up to the top of each hill, and then have to throw away all the effort I’d expended at the bottom. Lather, rinse, repeat. In such a situation you quickly become aware of the fact that your neighborhood has the topography of an egg carton.

I might go through a stop sign if there’s no traffic at all, but I always stop for red lights, and at stop signs always yield according to the rules. So it kind of pisses me off when I am in my car and stop for a red light and a bike pulls up alongside me and goes through it weaving in and out of traffic.

I got a ticket in Ann Arbor for running a stop sign on my bicycle in a residential neighborhood in 1978. I was pulled over by a police car with the lights flashing, though she honked horn instead of using the siren. Ann Arbor was (maybe still is) a real biker’s town where bikes are treated with respect but they are also expected to obey the laws, same as cars.

BTW “stop means a complete cessation of motion.” That’s what Ann Arbor cops say after you answer, “Do you know what stop means?”, no matter what your answer was. :rolleyes: I am still trying to figure out what is an incomplete cessation of motion. :wink:

How many times is that? You must be one unlucky dude. I’ve never had that happen in a few decades of driving.