Boulder Sheriffs are cracking down on stop sign runners

Boulder Sheriff's department has been handing out $100 tickets in Hygiene for any cyclists not stopping at the stop sign. It also appears that the cops are taking the letter of the law approach and expecting cyclists to completely stop and put down 1 foot. Here is an eye witness statement

Hey Kris,
I got a ticket yesterday for not stopping at the stop sign at Hygiene and 75th. Couple questions for ya? Got the impression this same cop has been stopping cyclists for the past week and ticketing. He claimed to be out there to educate, but the only education he offered was a $100+ fine. His attitude was obviously hostile to cyclist as obvious by his comment that he was headed to Antelope trail in Heil to "hand out tickets" next. Not to educate, but hand out tickets!

We asked the TheCyclist-Lawyer.com Megan Hottman about the law and what it means to stop as a cyclists

Cyclists are vehicles and vehicles must stop at stop signs. I've talked to cops from numerous colorado offices and all have differing definitions of 'stopping' in a bike: From rolling 4mph to stopping the bike, to stopping with a foot down. The bottom line is that they need to see a cyclist slow down look both ways and be ready to stop completely if there is another vehicle coming. The position of the league of american cyclists is that cyclists must all stop at stop signs and unclip/touch a foot to the ground.


Officers frequently patrol a particular intersection for motor vehicle law violations and of course it follows they can do the same for repeated cycling violations. Here it sounds like the officer knew that cyclists frequently run this stop sign and he opted to cite those law violations.


This cyclist admitted she ran the sign and the officer saw it and cited her accordingly. Many law enforcement officers feel this is the only thing that gets cyclists' attention

How did it come to this?

Why are the cops cracking down on cyclists? Is this the cause of a few bad apples that completely disregard this stop sign or is this the cause the majority not pausing enough at the stop?

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38 Comments

A teammate and I sat there

A teammate and I sat there one morning and counted the amount of idiots who ran that stop sign. We counted way over $2500 in fines within 25 minutes. 99% were Frumpy Freds. Most of the people in race team kits stopped. I think it is great that the Sheriffs Department stopped people. A lot of the cycling public is a piss poor representation of common courtesy.

the Hygiene stop enforcement

the Hygiene stop enforcement thing is periodic. Every year or so they pick a nice day and troll the Hygiene intersection for cyclists. It's an easy couple thousand bucks in tickets on any given busy Saturday.

THAT SAID, you know, we do not live in Idaho. For better or for worse, when we are on a bike, we either agree to abide by the rule of law, or we should be held accountable.

Besides which there are a lot of recreational cyclists out there that use the "Idaho stop" mentality as an excuse for poor / sloppy form. Not only can they typically not stall or trackstand (which doesn't even really count but might get you a pass with a lenient cop) they can't get clipped in properly without at least 25 meters of flailing. I have no sympathy for that. If you don't have enough technical skill to stop and get started efficiently (on pavement no less) then you really shouldn't be using clipless in the first place. I see these folks and I want to sentence them to a day negotiating heavy urban traffic on a fixed gear with old school cages, or maybe force them to learn hill starts on a MTB on a rocky climb. I don't care if you're a casual rider, this is like a core skill you need for your own safety.

I have seen so many idiots on bike infractions at that intersection. A not infrequent occurrence is for someone to just jump on their bike and cruise right out of Mary's parking lot diagonally across the entire intersection to go east on Hygiene Road with zero regard to stop signs, other traffic or basically anything besides their own entitlement.

And yes I race bikes and frequently ride around in my team kit and I'm very cognizant of that fact and do my best to be an ambassador. If that means making a full foot-down stop at stop signs, then you know, it's really good crit and CX start practice.

No, what's ridiculous is all

No, what's ridiculous is all the unneeded stop signs all over Boulder county. I hate them on the bike and I hate them in my 4 wheel vehicle. I think ~60% of stop signs in the county could be safely replaced with yield signs. When a large percentage of the road users are disobeying a traffic signal, that generally means the wrong type of traffic signal has been installed, and it needs to be replaced with something more appropriate.

It's possible I might be

It's possible I might be slightly responsible for this. I told a Deputy a few weeks ago that they could make a butt load of money if they sat there collecting the lawless in Hygiene. I would just like to "You're welcome". na na na na booboo, stick your head in doodoo.

Cars don't stop either

Interesting enough, I observed that intersection earlier this week and not a single car came to a complete stop either. I do agree and get pissed off that there are a number of cyclists who blow through stop signs and stop lights with barely a slow down. Unfortunately that gives us all a bad name and leads to a bad rep for all of us and being specifically targeted at times. Wonder how many cars he ticketed for same infraction? Pick any intersection and cops could right tickets continuously to both cyclists and drivers for not coming to a complete stop.

this again...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho_stop - this old chestnut again... idaho stop makes sense to me.. "Cyclists are vehicles and vehicles must stop at stop signs" i'm no scholar:) but isn't it obvious that bikes are different? ok so bikes are vehicles... so can "vehicles" ride on sidewalks? ride on the grass through parks? park on the sidewalk? this is how I operate (flame suit on) come to an intersection with no traffic- look both ways and roll it.. if there is traffic I stop and let cars go- however normally cars are so confused when a cyclist waves them through that it creates more confusion rather than less.. 2cents from scoflaw cyclist.

Lots of bad apples with good intentions

What a can of worms this is.

"Is this the cause of a few bad apples"

No, it's not. Precious few cyclists stop for stop signs. Unfortunately, these otherwise good people are fueling an already heightened friction between vehicles and bicycles.

Is stopping always "necessary"? Is it a pain in the ass sometimes? It doesn't matter. it's currently the law.

FWIW, we can cultivate respect *and* ride fast(!) by observing stop signs and traffic lights. If you don't happen to agree with the existing laws lobby for change, such as supporting the passage of something like the "Idaho law". In the meantime please put a foot down.

Law doesn't require foot down

Nothing in the law says you are required to put a foot down, just come to a stop. Putting a foot down does make it harder to argue with but please don't propagate a false notion that it is required. If I am wrong, please correct me and point me to the section of the motor vehicle code that says you have to put a foot down.

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