Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In

Oregon cyclists will be able to treat stop signs and flashing red traffic lights as "Yield" signs under a bill that narrowly passed this week in the legislature after 15 years of grassroots advocacy.

The bill, if signed by Gov. Kate Brown, would make Oregon the fourth state to legalize a version of the so-called "Idaho Stop," named after the tuber-famous state that first legalized the practice. Delaware lawmakers passed a similar law in 2017 and Arkansas did the same earlier this year.

Oregon State Rep. Barbara Smith Warner led the charge to get the 31-28 vote for passage, according to Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland. Smith explained that allowing cyclists to yield rather than stop "was about 'usability' and that, unlike driving a vehicle, bicycle riders constantly need to start and stop under their own power."

The Idaho Stop has been shown to provide safety benefits as well. The year after it passed 1982 in its namesake state, cycling injuries dropped 14 percent. Overall, studies have shown, cities in Idaho are about 30 percent safer for cyclists than other cities. That law allows cyclists to treat red lights like stop signs as well.

For decades Idaho stood alone with this well-known and successful policy. Now, in the last few years, it has finally begun to gain traction in other places. In addition to Arkansas, Delaware and Oregon, Utah also took up the issue before it died in the House earlier this year.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Port Lobbyists Trying to Kill Bike and Pedestrian Safety in Oakland

Trucking/port lobbyists want to destroy a long-established plan to build protected bike lanes connecting Jack London Square, West Oakland, and downtown

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

5 recommendations for high-speed rail; Caltrans, stop building new freeway lanes already; "Data bikes" can collect information about bike path conditions; More

July 12, 2024

Next Week: Active Transportation Program Workshop

The good news is that there will be a Cycle 7. But it will be small, and there will be hard choices about what gets funded.

July 11, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 11, 2024
See all posts