I Freak People Out

What is it about a bicyclist stopped, and signaling a turn, at a 4-way stop sign that freaks out motorists?

Well, I think it’s the fact that I’m driving my bicycle instead of gliding through the intersection as if  I own the whole damned road. That’s the behavior I see most of the time. In fact, I’m always a little startled when I see another bicyclist obeying the traffic rules or the order of right-of-way at an intersection.

If traffic is light, most motorists handle the situation normally. But this time of year the streets around campus and downtown are busy. So freak-outs — most of them characterized by mucking up the order of right-of-way by failing to proceed from abject fear of a stopped bicyclist — tend to snaggle up the intersection.

I often have to direct traffic.

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Comments 3

  1. RANTWICK wrote:

    +1000! It is a bummer when you are careful to follow the rules of the 4 way stop in the hopes of maintaining order, only to have somebody wreck that order because they don’t trust what they’re seeing… as you say, I guess the motorists disbelief is pretty understandable, though.

    Posted 20 Sep 2012 at 8:09 am
  2. Tom Armstrong wrote:

    I LIKE to stop at stop lights. The legal issues notwithstanding, it also confuses people who insist that no cyclists ever stop at stop lights!

    Posted 20 Sep 2012 at 2:44 pm
  3. Nate wrote:

    The single most common occurrence.

    Posted 20 Sep 2012 at 7:07 pm