‘Do not stop for bikes on trail’: confusing sign is about keeping highway safe in Madrid

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MADRID, IOWA — A new sign along Highway 17 near Madrid is catching the attention of drivers and cyclists … and causing some confusion with its message. “Do not stop for bikes on trail” the sign warns drivers as they approach a cross with a bike trail.

Some are mistaking the sign to mean drivers shouldn’t avoid hitting cyclists. But the intention is much less sinister. The city is trying to warn drivers to not slow down on the highway to allow bicyclists to cross. The bike path has a stop sign and bikes are required to wait to cross the highway until traffic is clear both ways. Authorities say there have been rear-end accidents caused by vehicles unnecessarily to allow bikes to cross.

Ames bicyclist Patty Huisenga was on the trail on Thursday and said she agrees with sentiment and the rules completely. “I think sometimes it can be more dangerous for cars to be stopping unexpectedly and the cars behind them hit them”, she says, “Its not that big of a deal (for a bicyclist) to pull up, stop, look both ways and head on.”

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