When I first started bike commuting in Portland, the heart of Law Abiding Cyclist Country, I got really jazzed about always stopping at stop signs and red lights. It made sense to me that I could make drivers take me seriously by behaving predictably. I'd grown up in a place where jaywalking meant running across the street, because pedestrians having priority was more theoretical than real. So it followed that, using this new mode of transport, I should do what the signs told me to do.
|An inelastic or rigid intersection. The black line is the measure of elasticity.|
|A more elastic intersection. Note that the pedestrian has more freedom of mobility.|
|A very elastic intersection, as is common in D.C.|
|Pragmatic rigidity: honoring cross traffic's right of way.|
|As the cross traffic clears the intersection, the elasticity returns.|