The Chainlink

Do you...

A. Obey traffic lights and the law, stop at reds and wait for green and be safe/respectable

B. Go through reds with barely slowing, being risky and foolish in the eyes of others

c. Somewhere in between, maybe only blowing lights after you have slowed and see no traffic, or only going through one ways at lights.


I want to know what you think, I don't condone disobeying traffic laws because of the negative impression it gives all the 2 ton monsters on the road. I Stop at all stop light except if they are one ways and there is no traffic around. And I slow down at stop signs but don't usually stop.

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C.

if it's a busy intersection, i'm going to wait until that red light turns green. but if it's like 2 in the morning and i can't see/hear a car, of course i'm going right through.
Definitely somewhere in between. I treat most stop signs as yield signs- something that is actually legal in a few states out west. If I see another vehicle or pedestrians, I stop, but if it's clear I just go on through. I'm generally more obedient when it comes to lights. Unless I know the intersection really well, I generally just stop and wait. Even when I do go through against a light I always stop first- and I only go through on lights that are timed and when there is no traffic coming, or if I'm at a 3-way light where no traffic would be crossing my path if I go through. I'm completely aware that this opens me up to scrutiny by motorists who I might have words with over obeying traffic laws, but I've learned to live with that.
It really depends on the light. The light at Division and Wood, I generally go through at a slightly reduced speed while looking both ways multiple times. The light at Division and Ashland? I stop with little to no hope of coasting through (except sometimes after 11pm).
Downtown, however, I feel like it's more acceptable to take more liberties with lights, especially if you look like a messenger.

Stop signs: I think it's important for the cyclist to communicate. If we get to the line first--or at the same time--we should get to go because we're cooler. If the car gets there way before, then we should wave them through. This usually works, but you will inevitably have drivers confused why you're ceding right-of-way and will wait for you to get to the intersection before they do anything. In such cases, I take my right-of-way back and mutter things under my breath. The traffic "laws" that we have set up the expectations; if the drivers *expect* us to blow through stop signs, then it's ok.

I do have a friend, however, who was just in a moderately bad accident at a stop sign. Afterwards, he said "I thought bikers didn't have to stop at stop signs..." ...which blew my mind. I mean, I don't stop at stop signs, but I think it's important to know that I should and should be able to if needed.
Sometimes it confused drivers when you actually obey the law and stop at stop signs. I alway try to make eye-contact with the driver when crossing an intersection. If they are in lala land and not paying attention, then i'll stop or cruise behind them.
I always stop at stop signs...

As a new mother, I am now often a pedestrian with a stroller. This poses new risks as the stroller is out in front of me and less visible. The other day two bicyclists were cruising through a 4-way stop and nearly hit the stroller. Because of parked cars, we didn't see eachother. It was scary for me and probably them, too.

I think the idea is to ride / drive / walk safely. Sometimes that means to follow every rule and sometimes when you are positive it is clear, you go (anything less than positive is risky by definition).

We aren't riding at just our own risk, we are riding at other people's risk, too.
I usually proceed cautiously through stop signs.

With lights, I usually bike along the same stretch, so i generally know when they are going to change. I try to pace my riding so that I'll get a green at most lights.

If I do get caught at a light and I have good visibility, I'll blow the light. I use the criteria of "would I jaywalk across this intersection?" It works quite well and I have very few close calls.
I'm with everyone on "C". At busy times, I always stop at lights. Other times, I mostly come to a stop and then go through if there is no traffic. I rarely stop for stop signs, but am ALWAYS prepared to stop.

Got a new bike yesterday and riding south on Halsted in Boystown almost got hit by a woman with a handicapped hang tag in a maroon Accord turning left at a light (Roscoe?); she stopped mid-turn when she finally saw me (2 feet from my front tire). So, look out for her.
Id say C except thats not totally accurate as I really only really slow down a bit through stop signs when there is no traffic and I always completely stop for red lights except on a few occasions when its 1-4 am and there is no traffic at all. As for what people driving cars think doesnt matter in the slightest to me as they disobey just as many or more traffic laws and are only mad when others do it.

Actaully cyclists should be more conserned with how they look to other cyclists because I have been in more near accidents because of jack ass cyclists afraid to let there heart rate drop rather than slow down than because of motorists. Anyhow nobody and I mean nobody obeys 100% of trafic laws 100% of the time wether on a bike or in a car.
i just use my ears eyes and instinct and just read the intersection as i come to it and play through, theres almost never a need to stop but crossing through intersections occurs at varying speeds
After a frightening accident involving a cubsfan and me getting sprawled out into both lanes of traffic, I am more careful than ever. I was a very careful rider to begin with, but when you get that near death stuff, you get a bit paranoid. Thank goodness I had my helmet on. I always stop at signs and red lights. I always look around and have my eyes everywhere.
I go with C. I think Iowa has bike laws that allow bikes to treat stops signs as yields and red lights as stop signs - making me wish for a brief moment I lived in Iowa.

And FYI for anyone who rides Milwaukee. They've been ticketing bicyclists for going through red lights. I got one about about a month ago and I know a couple of other people who have gotten them as well.
C again.

i do stop at busy intersections though - almost 100% of the time. side roads and alleys FTW

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