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Cyclists yielding to stop signs: Colorado Senate Bill addresses the idea

Posted: 7:09 PM, Apr 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-23 21:09:23-04

There is growing discussion in Colorado on the topic of what is called a "safety stop" for bicyclists. The state legislature is sending a bill to the Governor’s desk that standardizes language for communities adopting these laws. Opting in on such laws is up to local community leaders.

A safety stop allows bicycle riders to treat stop signs as a yield, and stop lights like stop signs. It is also sometimes called an Idaho stop. The Idaho reference is because the state passed a law like this decades back. Research shows this can be safer for cyclists. It also helps reduce traffic congestion from drivers backing up behind a cyclist trying to get going from a complete stop.

Some Colorado communities already have laws like this in place. Currently it is Aspen, Breckenridge, Dillon, and Summit County.

If signed by the Governor, Senate Bill 144 creates some statewide guidelines, while leaving it up to local government to decide if they want to adopt "safety stop" laws. Passage of the bill is an indication of growing interest in these traffic rules across the state. Colorado Springs City Council President Pro Tem, Jill Gaebler, is an advocate for better bike laws, but says this one is not a simple discussion. "We would really need to do a public process, educate our citizens and really understand the pros and cons before we ever considered adopting a similar ordinance."