Bikes on the road: a TV report and ‘optional’ stop signs

Posted on May 2nd, 2008 – 6:05 AM
By Roadguy

BikeSignSmall.jpgRoadguy doesn’t watch much TV while he’s at work, but numerous alert readers (as well as colleague J.D.) have been discussing the Channel 5 story titled “Bicyclists Breaking the Law?” I’ve finally checked it out and have an observation to share.

In the video, crash stats purportedly from 2005 appear on the screen as the reporter shows what “our investigation discovered.” Moments after watching this, I did a similar investigation right here at my desk:

1) I rotated in my office chair
2) I opened my top left file drawer
3) I pulled out a copy of the state’s “Crash Facts 2006” report, distributed last summer
4) I looked in the table of contents
5) I turned to page 90
6) I “discovered” the statistics

(The figures actually appear to be from 2006, not 2005, unless the numbers didn’t change from one year to the next.)

Say what you will about the aerobic benefits of biking — sweeps month is all about being breathless.

As long as we’re on the topic of the bike-car conundrum again, here’s something to chew on: Idaho’s optional stop signs for bicyclists. An excerpt from that state’s statutes:

A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection.

So, a stop is not always required. Should Minnesota look into this, or would it make things worse between cars and bikes? Share your thoughts below.

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