This came across my radar today and proved to be something I found interesting. It appears that there is a movement in Idaho to make rolling stops legal for cyclists. This well-put-together video making a compelling case for this to be allowed.
I am probably what I would consider is an aspiring cyclist. I could definitely ride my bike a lot more, but during the summer I made an effort to commute to work at least 1-2 times per week on my bike.
I think they make a really compelling argument and I can’t disagree with it. However, it does make a very dangerous assumption: that all cyclists are alert, law-abiding commuters. My experience has been significantly opposite. While many cyclists do obey the laws, on every drive/ride I encounter at least 2 cyclists that are riding the wrong way on the road, using sidewalks when there are perfectly good bike lanes, and riding across major intersections during red lights. I think the spirit of the law is sound, and it sounds like they’ve tried to address is by proposing a larger fine for cyclists who don’t yield. At the same time, I think this is a pretty grey area. Stop signs draw a concrete line in the sand as to how you maintain safety, and once you remove that it can become really subjective.
Secondly, can’t this same argument be made for cars? Bikes are definitely efficient in terms of expunging energy, but when a car comes to a complete stop and starts moving again, more energy is expunged than if it was able to roll through. I realize that a car is much more dangerous than a bike, but I wonder if the same principles would apply for the times I come up against a 2-way stop on a deserted intersection at 11pm.