Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Stopping

I'm on record with my opinion about the Winnequah Road stop signs and they make even less sense when applied to bikers heading toward Bridge Road, but I've been appalled by my fellow bicyclists' refusal to even slow down for the stop signs.

I bike to work at least several times in good weather. I understand the concept of rolling stops. When I bike I slow down enough for stop signs so that I can stop if a vehicle is coming on the cross road. (For busy streets, like Monroe Street, I typically just come to a complete stop.) It's all about maintaining momentum. Car drivers do pretty much the same thing; it's just easier to slow down and accelerate when driving a car, so motorists tend to slow down more or stop signs than bicyclists, but they are still just slowing down enough to decide whether they need to stop completely. I get all that.

But, too many of my fellow bikers are not even hesitating in their pedaling as they blast past the Maywood/Winnequah and Frostwoods/Winnequah stop signs. Heading toward Bridge Road, the probability of a crash is not very high, but these bikers have really left themselves no room for error, so if something unexpected happens, they are screwed and tattooed. And I'm not even getting into the fact it makes bikers look like a-holes. It's not safe.

Slow down for stop signs! (Written with only slight irony.)

Thanks you very much for your kind attention.


  1. Doug, I'm the first to cast the evil eye to fellow cyclists not following the rules of the road. But you should talk to the PD (I did). No stop required of southbound bicyclists who stay on the curbed bike lane. So lecture on common sense, but not on illegality. (See also southbound Monona Drive at Cottage Grove Rd, similar situation for autos).

    Besides, it's crazy to ride those bump-outs much more than 10 mph.

  2. After the signs were installed, I talked to the city attorney and his opinion was that bikes are required to stop. Not sure if that filtered down by the time you talked to the officer. Obviously this is not and should not be an enforcement priority, but bikes are required to stop.

  3. According to WI state law:

    346.803 Riding bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device on bicycle way.
    (1) Every person operating a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device upon a bicycle way shall:

    (a) Exercise due care and give an audible signal when passing a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device rider or a pedestrian proceeding in the same direction.

    (b) Obey each traffic signal or sign facing a roadway which runs parallel and adjacent to a bicycle way.

  4. Well, Doug, as I type this, a Monona officer on a bike is at the corner of Frostwoods and Winnequah enforcing the bike laws. So, apparently MPD does think it's at least more important than an "C" priority.

    Fred Hyde

  5. Thanks for the info Fred. [Just for the record I did *not* ask the chief to step up enforcement (nor did I ask him not to - not my job).]. One problem is that these tickets go on your driving record, which seems harsh to me given possible insuraance repercussions, etc. Perhaps we can look at adopting separate bike ordinances with only forfeitures and no points, although I'm not sure if we can do that legally.