After reading this article posted by the Raccoon River Valley Trail association I saw the stop signs along the trail with a different perspective. A $195 bike ride is not one I want to take!
I'm cautious when crossing intersections and I don't wear headphones/ear buds so I can hear what's going on around me. But I'll admit to using an Idaho Stop.
On today's ride I wondered if my "stopping" was good enough. Would my method result in a fine? Perhaps, as Iowa's law requires cyclists to heed stop signs. But maybe not. Jeremy King's comment shows there is subjectivity used.
"If there's no traffic, I don't really need to see somebody come to a complete stop with their foot down on the trail, but I expect to see them slow way down and get a real good look before they proceed. Some of these crossings don't have completely clear views in both directions. If we're not all more careful out there, we're going to be dealing with some tragic situations."
With the countless stops signs along the Raccoon River Valley Trail there's a lot of stopping and going. It's easy to see the red octagons as a nuisance and even easier to tune them out. But it only takes approaching a blind intersection like this one to remind me why these signs are there.
So, for me, I'll be slowing way down, and making sure intersections are clear before proceeding with caution. Not only because traffic rules apply on the bike trails too, but because the alternatives are just too costly.
Happy (and safe) Riding!