Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D–Williamsburg) wants New York to legalize the “Idaho stop” — allowing cyclists to treat red lights like stop signs, and stop signs like yield signs.
New Yorkers have plenty of opinions on the topic, but it has already been the law of the land in its namesake state since the early ’80s — so how is that working out for Idahoans? We called them to find out!
In the state’s capital city of Boise — which has roughly half the population of bucolic Staten Island — one cycling newsman says the rule has served him well.
“The ‘Idaho stop’ has really allowed me to get around pretty well,” said Harrison Berry, a reporter for alternative newsweekly the Boise Weekly. “I’m very happy with it, and I can’t imagine a more intuitive system.”
The Idaho stop is not just for Idaho, said Berry — the law is a common-sense measure that can seriously improve the flow of traffic on urban streets, and is safe as long as motorists and bikers alike remain aware of their surroundings.
“In a larger city where more people are on bicycles, I can see where the Idaho stop might make more sense,” he said.
But outside the main urban hub, other Gem Staters say they haven’t seen any upsides — in some cases, because they do not have traffic lights.
“We don’t have any stoplights here,” said Greg Wherry, editor of the Cottonwood Chronicle, which serves an Idaho town of 900. “There’s not even a blinker here in Cottonwood.”