Explainer: “The Idaho Stop”

Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

I created this explainer video to support the Bicycle Transportation Alliance‘s effort to pass a law that would allow people on bikes to treat stop signs like yield signs: carefully, and if – and only if – they have the right of way. Blowing through a stop would still be illegal, and under this law would have carried an even stiffer penalty.

It was a fun project, with a tight schedule that inspired a creative approach to 3D graphics. I wrote the script (with much input from the BTA), did the voice over, and edited the the piece together with some wonderful music by Lucas Gonze.

Surprisingly enough, this video that was mainly intended to educate a few state legislators about a relatively obscure law managed to go a little bit viral, at least by bicycle activism standards. 183k views at last count! Seven years later, it continues to be featured in articles such as this one.

It showed me the potential for this medium’s ability to explain things that are otherwise difficult to convey, especially when it comes to a multidimensional and dynamic subject like active transportation.


An early test image of the chameleon-like Idaho Stop guy: