Thanks for that lovely rejoinder.
You can't be serious saying it is more dangerous to give way at slow speed versus coming to a complete stop and then having to huff and puff back up to speed, while simultaneously being overtaken with inches to spare by a bunch of impatient motorists because you can't outpace them.
Unfortunately, your typical car driver is all too often dead serious in taking this view. I'm quoting this passage because the issue is more fundamental still.
As my motorcycle driving instructor said so long ago "an intersection is where vehicles intersect". He was no Euclid. That was his only postulate. The corollary he taught, which I took to heart, is "try not to be where vehicles intersect any longer than necessary". He didn't even add an axiom about human binocular vision lacking a faceted lens (this is how Brundlefly checks out the girl flies) or note that the nature of an intersection having four lines of sight is the worst possible configuration concerning the forward brow-ridge skull design. He was no Newton, either.
What does your average barely-competent cyclist do for the first three pedal strokes? It certainly doesn't appear to involve noticing that they've departed from a dead stop in a cruising gear, but then certain forms of cognition are strained when a cyclist is laboriously heaving left, right, left, right, left right to obtain the 30 rpm cadence permitting minimal pelvic-saddle congruence.
Minimal balance, maximal transit time, and poor lane control. What else can we optimize by demanding that cyclists come to a complete stop, rather than entering the danger zone with the inertia of a fast-moving pedestrian?
I was reading about OODA loops the other day, as conceived by USAF renegade-Colonel John Boyle (largely responsible for the F16 and A10 aircraft designs according to his booster camp). In his world coming to a complete stop is called a stall, also known as a clay pigeon, also known as a energy-space cluster fuck.
Stupidity is much the same all the world over.
— John Stuart Mill
You know what, fat bubba in your big compensator truck? Having rules that allow the congestion to clear expediently also permits you to get through the intersection more efficiently, without getting any Spandex floss caught between your radiator teeth (typically also a large delay if you even heard the bump). Look it up someday. Expedience is the thinking man's barging ahead, to mutual benefit for one and all.
I had a guy in my motorcycle class who got a broken leg sitting at a red light because the car behind him (closing time) didn't manage to stop in time. He got bumped just enough to drop his giant bike onto his own leg and snapped it good. We were taught to keep an eye on the rear view when stopped at the front of a red light after closing time, with one hand on the throttle to gun it through, if traffic was spotty. If we were going to bite it, we were going to bite it in style.
Pardon my French, but being stopped at the freaking light as a safety measure is so freaking overrated. In a jet fighter you're a clay pigeon. On a motorcycle you're a leather pigeon. On a bicycle you're a Spandex pigeon. On the sidewalk you're a sneaker pigeon. For the drunk, any colouring outside the lines that you can walk away from is a good landing.
I didn't even get into the human eye having rods and cones and being preferentially sensitive to moving objects in 90% of the field of vision.
I personally tend to treat stop signs as "dwell" not "yield". Dwell means having enough time to look a fair distance up the street in both cross direction, twice each way. Then I'm good to go, so far as I'm concerned. Pi legislated to equal 3, bite me.