FORT COLLINS - A Colorado State University student riding his single-speed bike on a Friday evening down Remington Street approaches the intersection with East Olive Street.
Slowing down as he nears the stop sign, he looks left for traffic. He looks right, then looks left again, further applying the brake.
No cars are in the area. So he starts pedaling, rolling through the stop sign on his way to Old Town.
Currently, in Fort Collins, and in most of Colorado, this maneuver of failing to stop at a stop sign is illegal.
But, as discussions about a possible stop-as-yield ordinance heat up between the Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee and City Transportation Board, someday it could be legal to roll through stop signs.
Fort Collins Bikes Program manager Tessa Greegor said the goals of implementing stop-as-yield in Fort Collins are to improve bicycling safety, increase bicycling, and establish bicycling as a safe, comfortable and efficient mode of travel.
Some Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee members want Fort Collins to lead a statewide effort to create a new law, similar to the Idaho Stop Law, passed in 1982.
Others aren't so sure about the stop-as-yield idea.
"I'm on the fence about the whole thing," said BAC chair Sylvia Cranmer, who worries about the ambiguity of a stop-as-yield ordinance. "I think unequivocally trying to communicate the message would be extremely challenging."
What has heads spinning about the stop-as-yield idea is the language of the concept.
Does it mean cyclists are allowed to now "blow through" stop signs all the time?
According to the Idaho Stop Law, no. The law states that a person on a bike approaching a stop sign shall slow down, and if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed, or stopping, the cyclist shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection.
No new right-of-way privileges are given to cyclists and a cyclist who fails to yield the right-of-way and causes a crash is at fault, according to the law.
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