The Star's opinion section blasts cyclists for not coming to full stops at stop signs. No mention is made of how many motorists didn't come to a full stop at the same stop sign. As well no differentiation is made between cyclists that don't come to a full stop and cyclists that do not yield to those with the right-of-way.
Elsewhere, Vancouver police warned motorists to avoid Vancouver's downtown during their critical mass ride expected to draw 3000 people in this article -
Police say the ride has grown so large they have given up trying to rein in participants, even those breaking rules, such as riding without a helmet or blocking traffic.
The actually ride was fairly incident free as documented here, despite a negative public opinion from motorists already unhappy that cyclists have been given a lane on the Burrard street bridge. Meanwhile, at July's Toronto critical mass, it was business as usual from the police, calling out red lights, and handing out tickets.
More Toronto news
- 'Ghost bike' a reminder roads unsafe for cyclists
- Green intentions lost in smog - a letter to the editor about bike lanes versus automobile congestion
- New York bike parking just got easier with a law passed which will force building managers to allow bicycles in to office buildings
Critical mass, same ol storyTue, 08/04/2009 - 01:52
Apparently the Vancouver downtown was almost shutdown anyways for a fireworks display, what is the point of fear mongering about the mass?
Iowa group wants to ban cyclists from most roads
The Decider's "whimsical" take on critical mass
According to some stop-sign behaviour is a reason for "road-rage" and cause for possible violence against cyclists.
Personally, I'm not buying into that thinking, but, the Toronto star seems to be confirming this sort of attitude towards cyclists of being lawless fluff with their little "road vigilante" style survey. Such tones in mass-media articles make it increasingly dangerous for us - both the ones who would follow the letter of the law and the ones who don't. Just read some of the enlightened comments it precipitated.
The irony of the article, I suppose, is that "Idaho stops"(one where the cyclist yields) are already happening and guess what, nobody is getting hit at 4-way stops in record numbers.
Hayduke (not verified)
Cars and stop signs/lightsTue, 08/04/2009 - 23:59
It doesn't matter that motorists don't stop at stop lights and stop signs. We're not motorists, we're bicyclists. Bicyclist who flout the law give all bicyclists a bad name.
I'm tired of being considered an idiot because others act like idiots.
Why bother?Wed, 08/05/2009 - 13:06
The majority of people, cyclists and motorists alike, always cede the right of way and slow down to a speed that allows you to safely traverse the intersection. The fact is that cyclists have much more awareness of their surroundings and shorter stopping distance than motorists do, and thus can continue through intersections at a higher speed.
The act of stopping doesn't make an intersection traversal any safer. What makes an intersection traversal safe is not colliding with anyone. If you slow to the speed that you can make sure you won't hit anyone, then it is safe to proceed.
I don't see the Star articleWed, 08/05/2009 - 10:02
I don't see the Star article is taking a stand for or against the Idaho rule, just giving a balanced view of the situation. I can imagine them supporting a change to the law.
Ignore the comments afterward, they never represent the general public.
Stop GapWed, 08/05/2009 - 11:02
There is a fundamental difference between obliviously riding through an intersection, and slowing down to assess the flow of traffic. One demonstrates courtesy and consideration, the other demonstrates carelessness and arrogance.
This is where the real issue lies; it’s more about respect for other road users, and less about a strict enforcement of the HTA.
Ed (not verified)
Is "not hitting anyone" the only criterion?Wed, 08/05/2009 - 16:06
"The act of stopping doesn't make an intersection traversal any safer. What makes an intersection traversal safe is not colliding with anyone. If you slow to the speed that you can make sure you won't hit anyone, then it is safe to proceed."
Not hitting anyone/anything is good. I see cyclists weaving through passengers embarking/disembarking at streetcar stops all the time. I don't think I've seen anyone hit yet.
But is "not hitting anyone" all you should worry about?
If a car races by you at 30 km/h over the limit, not quite touching you, and you don't get knocked off your bike, that's okay, right? Car drivers--and bicyclists--can scare the crap out of pedestrians and other road users, while at the same time being pretty sure they won't hit anyone.
Plus now any defensive cyclist or driver now has to watch out for the maniac, because after all some people don't make sure they won't hit anyone. How to tell an irresponsible maniac apart from a "careful" hotdogger? Pretty hard to do.
The point of rules of the road is to keep things predictable.
whoa now...Wed, 08/05/2009 - 16:15
I only wrote about safety, not assholiness.
I'm not advocating being an asshole. Courtesy rules supreme, as usual.
Let's take the hype out of the messageWed, 08/05/2009 - 17:30
That's how the Star article opens. That triggered a thought: what if we had a similar count for cars?
Today at 3:30pm, I stood at the intersection of Alexmuir and Bushmills in Scarborough and counted for 30 minutes - a three-way stop intersection.
Out of 78 cars, 27 came to the legally required full stop. The drivers of the cars that flaunted the law were all trained, tested and licensed by the Province (we can reasonably assume that). Furthermore, they are under threat of losing three points if caught with serious implications to their future insurance rates. That makes us cyclists not look so bad, actually... ;-)
Yeah, as svend pointed out...Wed, 08/05/2009 - 22:16
maybe they were trying to be unbiased about Idaho stops but, in the process they managed to label/"prove" cyclists are lawless fluff. Encouraging negative stereo-types about us.
What if that opinion editor did a "study" of some minority and found that only 30% of them follow the law, and then went and wrote an article saying all of minority x are lawless people. That those people of minority x don't "need" laws(was the author being sarcastic here?). Pretty sure, hopefully I'm not wrong here, that the response from the public would be negative and the author viewed as a racist.
On a side note, check out the town Drachten in Holland, they just removed all the signal lights from their town of 50,000 this year. They've basically completely eliminated road fatalities:
Old nuuz but ..Thu, 08/06/2009 - 17:40
Queen Juliana and her six years old daughter Princess Marijke (later called Christina) in front of Soestdijk palace, Juli 1953.
More old Nuuz .. 1940 Tour de FranceFri, 08/07/2009 - 09:14