2023/04 – draft resolution in support of A3986/S2643 (“Idaho Stop”)

Resolution in support of New York State bills A3986/S2643 (“Idaho Stop”):

A person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle and pedestrians if required, before proceeding, and

A person operating a bicycle approaching a steady red traffic-control signal shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has stopped, the person may proceed through the steady red traffic-control signal with caution.

Whereas the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 846 bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2019—including 29 in New York.

Whereas a majority of these crashes occur at intersections, often involving cyclists “hooked” by turning vehicles.  Also, when bike lanes are blocked, forcing cyclists into the path of traffic.

Whereas permitting cyclists discretion to proceed in the absence of cross-traffic will enable them to: clear intersections ahead of turning vehicles; exit vehicle “blind spots,” and; establish visibility on the road ahead.

Whereas the New York City Police Department wrote 35,000 moving violations to cyclists in 2019—more than for trucks which figured in 43 of that year’s 220 road deaths.

Whereas the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 6,205 pedestrians were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2019 vs. none involving bicycles.  [This infers that any increase in bicycle mode share would proportionally reduce pedestrian fatalities.]

Whereas cyclists in New York City have been allowed to proceed at red traffic signals during the “leading pedestrian interval” (thus emulating Idaho Stop behavior) since 2018 with no rise in complaints by motorists or pedestrians.

Whereas cyclists’ exposure to tail pipe emissions is 4.3 times greater than car occupants and that the bill’s passage would increase cyclists’ distance from car exhaust.

Whereas Idaho, which first passed such legislation in 1982, had the third fewest fatalities per 10,000 bicycle commuters in the U.S from 2011-2015—despite ranking 47th on federal funds spent on bike-walk improvements. 

Whereas Delaware crashes involving bicycles at stop sign–controlled intersections fell 23% in the 30 months after it passed its Bicycle Friendly Act in 2017.

Whereas NHTSA concluded in 2022 that bicycle stop-as-yield laws enhanced cyclist safety in states where they were evaluated.

Whereas non-motorists pay half the cost of road construction and maintenance and are therefore entitled to proper infrastructure and enlightened legislation so they may safely share in its use.

Whereas New York State has invested billions of dollars bridges and extended bikeways, making cycling safer and easier on the public roads will increase throughput, maximizing the return on this investment, and grow the constituency for further improvements.

Whereas bicycle tourism generates half a billion dollars per year in NY State and that NY City houses 800,000 active adult cyclists who comprise a ready market.

Whereas allowing cyclists to yield-and-go at signed intersections will facilitate planners’ use of secondary roads to create bike networks—further enhancing cyclists’ safety.

Whereas forty cycling organizations and fifteen state legislators have voiced support.

Whereas passage of this legislation will enhance cyclist safety; extend resident access to green space; yield significant public health benefits; increase patronage of local business; and broadly enhance transportation connectivity, sustainability and resilience.

Therefore Be It Resolved that the ________________________ calls on the New York State Assembly, Senate and the Governor to pass and sign into law A3986 / S2643 (“Idaho Stop”) to make cycling safer and easier across New York and to grow cycling as means of transportation, recreation and tourism.

Therefore Be It Further Resolved that the ________________________ asks that a copy of this Resolution be sent to Assembly Member(s), State Senators(s), Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Governor Kathy C. Hochul.  Signed and sealed _________________.