As a follow up to my post the other day [Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs], I wanted to point out that the SF Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission is currently looking at the feasibility of a “stop and roll” law for California cyclists, similar to the one in Idaho. If it eventually goes through, cyclists would be able to treat stop signs as yield signs, and red lights as stop signs.
Of course, many cyclists are already using the so called “stop and roll” approach; the new law would only change the legality of the practice.
In some cases, stop signs are used more to calm traffic and control speed than as safety devices. In the Netherlands, there is an experiment underway in which stop lights have been completely removed from an entire city. It’s an interesting concept, but somehow I can’t quite see it in California, with our 50mph parkways and battalions of oversized SUVs (there’s nothing like a good ol’ red light to tame a herd of 3-ton steel beasts).
Maybe, just maybe, a “stop and roll” law would be a good compromise.