In 1982, Idaho modernized its traffic laws and with it came a revision to the cycling code. A law was passed that allowed cyclists to treat a stop sign like a yield sign. Since then, other municipalities have considered implementing the rolling stop—commonly referred to as the Idaho stop—and advocacy groups in Canada have encouraged legislatures in Ontario and elsewhere to adopt the law.
This week, Edmonton’s council committee announced that on Oct. 11 it will vote on installing a $7.5 million separated cycling grid downtown by the summer of 2017. At the same time, in order to make cycling a more attractive mode of transportation, the council voted to ask provincial officials to consider implementing the Idaho stop in its ongoing review of Alberta’s traffic regulations.
“It basically happens all the time anyway,” the major of Edmonton Don Iveson told the Edmonton Journal. “There is lots of evidence that it actually reduces conflict and makes cycling a little bit more attractive. All we’re doing is asking [the province] … if they’d consider it.”
Iveson added that cyclists can stop faster and have better lines of sight than cars so when it’s safe to do so, a rolling stop allows cyclists to save momentum.
The province said that they aren’t currently considering Idaho stops but are open to it if there is support for the change.
“We are open to hearing from the public on this issue,” a statement issued by the Transportation Minister read. “Safety on our roads for all users, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists, is Alberta Transportation’s top priority.”
The proposed infrastructure that will be voted on by the council was designed to get cyclists of all abilities within a couple of blocks of all major destinations in the downtown core. The changes would see 7 km of separated two-lane bike lanes installed in the downtown grid on 100 and 102 avenues, as well as on 99, 103 and 106 streets. Temporary, movable bollards would be installed to allow changes to be made if unexpected problems were to arise.
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The project was approved unanimously by the city council’s urban planning committee.