It isn’t often that a New York Times opinion columnist holds Idaho up as a model of how to do things. But bicycle enthusiast Randy Cohen did that recently. Cohen, who writes the Times Magazine’s Ethicist column, admitted that he rolls through stop signs and stoplights and sometimes rides on sidewalks. But he doesn’t “salmon” (ride against traffic). Then, he reasoned that his “rolling stops” were legal in some places. Like Idaho. Indeed, an Idaho bicyclist is allowed to slow down and roll through stop signs, if it is safe to do so. Argues Cohen: “Laws work best when they are voluntarily heeded by people who regard them as reasonable. There aren’t enough cops to coerce everyone into obeying every law all the time. If cycling laws were a wise response to actual cycling rather than a clumsy misapplication of motor vehicle laws, I suspect that compliance, even by me, would rise.” Cohen would really wax poetic if he knew that Idaho also allows bicyclists to cross against a red traffic light after stopping, if the coast is clear. Idaho more progressive than New York? Who woulda thunk it?/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.
Other SR weekend columns:
- Voting reveals continued Washington state split/Jim Camden
- Garden: Organic cherries aren't for the birds/Susan Mulvihill
- Slice: At 60, we will be ready for a stiff one/Paul Turner
- Install mayor's revolving door in other Washington/Doug Clark
- Outdoors: USFS mule packers lend muscle to lookout project/Rich Landers
- Jeffreys' sleight of hand isn't just Ridpath/Shawn Vestal
Question: How else is Idaho more pragmatic than New York?