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    Cyclist on windshield

    Let’s not forget double fines in construction zone. Throw the book at this driver.



    Yes, they’ve basically ordered the PCOs not to ticket a class of vehicles that violate the law. How is this is an different from asking the police to place a low priority on cyclists rolling through empty intersections?



    It seems like you haven’t really followed the debate! The cycling crowd is asking for exactly the same thing – that law enforcement focus on actual unsafe behaviour like failure to yield to pedestrians more aggressively, whether by bicyclists or motorists.



    This is identity politics at it’s finest. People who walk and ride bicycles in the city are natural allies who are both vulnerable on the streets because they aren’t surrounded by 2,000 lbs. of fast moving metal. Even framing the argument this way misses the fact that these are simply modes of travel rather than political groups. However, making this an argument of convenience of “bikers” over “pedestrians”, you split the advocates apart over nuance and can neuter their political strength.

    It also shows that our mayor doesn’t care about Vision Zero, except that it’s a convenient slogan. The core of the Vision Zero movement is careful data analysis. And since there is no data which suggest that the ‘Idaho Stop’ law has resulted in an increase in injuries and collisions he is ignoring one of the key principals of that effort. The fact that his letter doesn’t reference any crash data shows that this is more about emotion and politics than data.



    It looks like the SFMTA gets to trump CVC 21211 in SF city limits with their mere -memo “allowing” Taxi cabs to obstruct bike paths. Perhaps the SFMTA could write a similar memo to trump the CVC about Idaho style Stop-Yield law?



    Aaron, with this pithy article, you remind us all why the Fourth Estate exists. Thank you for pointing out this emperor wears no clothes.



    Ed Lee sucks, but hey! he’s on his way to the Governor’s mansion with his tech money and his unblemished election record. Who cares what some hippies running against him now have to say LOL



    Yeah, but Willie Brown told the chip monk it was OK for taxis to block bike lanes.



    You need to add this to your list:

    0. The time Mayor Lee’s SFMTA granted special permission for taxi drivers to block bike lanes for pick-up and drop off passengers. Talk about sacrificing safety for convenience….


    Michael Smith

    Just a reminder. There is an election coming up. This is a prime opportunity to voice your opinion and vote against the Zero Vision mayor. Remember, not voting is the same as voting for him. Make sure you do indeed vote for the other candidates.


    City Resident

    Thank you, Aaron, for your dedication and consistency. You covered issues that few bothered to pursue, such as our Mayor’s fiscally and environmentally irresponsible erosion of Sunday metered parking. You demonstrated humility when you interviewed Captain Sanford. We can all learn from one another and strident voices tend to alienate. Thanks for staying calm. And thank you for making both and San Francisco better places.


    City Resident

    I, too, would rather bicycle on side streets, away from the congestion, noise and exhaust of automobiles, however often times the very best streets to bike on (ie. those that follow the lay of the land and topographically offer the path of least resistance) are streets like Masonic, Van Ness (or Polk), Market, and Alemany. Side streets often have stop signs every block. Major thoroughfares have green waves, allowing motorists (and sometimes cyclists) to enjoy efficient and quick transportation). For the occasional cyclist, these issues may be unimportant. But for regular bicyclists/bike commuters and for those that wish to see more fellow citizens pedaling (for the sake of our environment and so much more), it makes sense to have good bicycling infrastructure built where it does the most good.



    But nobody would take on this turkey. Even if Leno, maybe Ammiano, were to lose to Ed Lee, it would have made him dance and stick out his neck. By running with no credible opposition, he’s been given the go ahead to do whatever the hell he wants for 4.5 more years. Underscored by raising a million dollars for his campaign and spending it basically on largesse.


    City Resident

    Thank you, Aaron, for speaking truth to power. There is a lot of greenwashing and b.s. going on here. Vision Zero and Transit First are too often not much more than a slick slogan, especially when the mayor chooses to backpedal and water things down. Thank you for consistently displaying this mayor’s hypocrisy.



    Initiating a negative interaction with a total stranger on the streets can lead to any number of easily foreseeable negative reactions. It clearly could have been much worse for you than a mere swear word in passing, and you are an idiot for exposing your child to the potential fallout from the conflict you initiated.


    Andy Chow

    Also, with the new BART schedule, there’s a 30 minute gap from SF to Millbrae during the 8pm hour. BART expanded service on the red line for 1 hour, but also cut back the yellow line service to Millbrae for 1 hour. The last red line train to SF runs 30 minutes after the red line train before. Before the change the yellow line served Millbrae every 15 minutes during the 8pm hour before running every 20 minutes from 9pm.

    The more interesting fact is that there’s no southbound Caltrain service from Millbrae during the 8pm hour (there’s a train leaving 6 min before 8pm and 4 minutes after 9pm). Train 192 is actually quite crowded leaving SF, so Caltrain should run another train at about 8pm to reduce wait time and crowding.


    Black n Pink Fixed Gear

    If he were smiling I would give him a pass. But ok you are right.



    You’re representing a big part of why people don’t start cycling.
    The guy is on a bike, but he’s apparently doing it wrong according to your sense of style. Who really cares?


    Black n Pink Fixed Gear

    What a square. Look at him riding probably ~2mph with both hands on the brakes. Mash that fixie Mayor!


    Black n Pink Fixed Gear

    Thanks for the Anecdata Colonel!



    I agree… a crackdown (if done correctly) on failure to yield (to pedestrians, especially) would show that the new law actually has teeth, and would hopefully make this whole conversation less divisive.

    In some sense, I don’t fault Mayor Lee too much for the veto… he’s just doing a cost benefit analysis and figures he’ll please more people with the veto (perhaps those with more $$$) than he’ll piss off. It’s politics, and I’m probably too cynical here, but par for the course.

    I’m actually really impressed and surprised by the fact that six supervisors have come out strong for this. It’s nice that they are voting based on doing the right thing, even if it’s generally unpopular, to enhance safety and quality of life in the city.

    I think Suhr could have been a more politic and basically said that the police’s job is to enforce laws and prioritize the safety of all road users and leave it at that. Basically, a non-answer instead of coming out against the proposal.


    Aaron Bialick

    There is a large block of quoted text in this article comprised of Scott Wiener’s explanation of why he supports the Bike Yield Law.



    Right…as it is today, if they focus only on egregious violations, everyone passing by will see them turning a blind eye toward a lot of people running (safely, but illegally) stop signs, which may makes them look incompetent, lazy, or like they are condoning illegal behavior. If you change the law, their presence and enforcement could be much more effective.



    If this law goes into effect I think the way the SFPD can really drive the key point home would be to have an enforcement action on the wiggle and *only* ticket the egregious violators, and while they are writing those tickets smile and wave nicely to the slow-rollers.



    Bullshit. Bicycles are just another wheeled vehicle that I have to look out for.



    If you grab a moving bicycle by the handlebars and move your hand very quickly in a downward direction, you will direct all the bicyclist’s forward momentum into the ground.



    I walk or ride through the Wiggle daily and agree there are way too many jacka$$es riding through there. Even if just 5% of bike riders are totally inconsiderate and dangerous, that means every minute there is at least one coming through the Wiggle during rush hour and sunny weekends given the number of people riding here. Thing is, if an Idaho law was correctly enforced, those people would get tickets.



    When I said “Hey there is a stop sign” the person yelled “F— you!” To a
    father. Walking a 10 year old kid. I get sworn at fairly regularly when
    pointing out stop signs but this was the first time I had someone yell a
    profanity in front of my kid.

    You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Play the victim card rather than the angry card. True for peds, true for bikes. Consider it part of the greater battle between “jerks” and “not-jerks”. I used to just give a big frown and point at my toddler. Worked pretty well.



    “If you knew anything you’d know I find him to be a bad mayor”.

    Dan knows a lot of semiconductor physics, but that’s not anything I guess. Also, bikes.



    ” ‘Automobile stop’ is full stop.”

    That’s funny!



    And that’s the point. Let’s stop focusing on the arbitrary and unrealistic full stop, and pay more attention to yielding and right-of-way. The Page St example you give is a perfect case of someone not exhibiting due care and yielding right-of-way to someone on foot in the crosswalk. That person should have received a citation. A yield law would more realistically direct police resources to focus on these behaviors, not failure to make a complete stop when no one is around.



    Welcome back Colonel!!



    I’m not voting for ex lee, I you knew anything you’d know I find him to be a bad mayor, but I really don’t believe any of the “candidates” running would really be any different so there’s no point in participating in the charade .



    That was njudah, not me.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Then your comment, “he wouldn’t support this either” refers to whom?



    I can understand the cars vs bikes issue but in all of this it seems like the pedestrian is lost.

    I live in Lower Haight and am forced to cross the wiggle multiple times daily to walk my dogs and walk my kid to school. At minimum of 6 times a day during commute hours. Outside of 1 time a week where I drive my kid to a lesson I walk and take muni and occasionally ride my bike.

    Have to say that through all of the walking I do in my neighborhood the cyclists scare me far more than cars. Maybe once a week I have an issue with a car behaving badly but I have at least 5 issues a week with cyclists totally ignoring my rights as a pedestrian. Yesterday morning I was crossing Page with my kid an a cyclist had to slam on brakes and swerve around me. When I said “Hey there is a stop sign” the person yelled “F— you!” To a father. Walking a 10 year old kid. I get sworn at fairly regularly when pointing out stop signs but this was the first time I had someone yell a profanity in front of my kid.

    As I see it from many years here cyclists fall into a pattern of 40/40/20. 40% are great and yield when they should. 40% have a herd mentality and just follow whoever is in front of them. 20% are awful. Take an intersection like Page and Scott. If one of the great 40% shows up first and a car is already at a stop at an intersection and stops, everyone behind them does as well. If it is one of the 20% they blow by because the driver is already stopped and everyone behind follows them, which can be as many as 20-30 cyclists.

    As I see it many cyclists do not actually want a yield law….they want a “if the car is already stopped or the pedestrian is not in the crosswalk I do not have to stop” law. There is way too much grey area in a yield law in a city like San Francisco. Would it work in Idaho? Definitely. Here? Never.

    I challenge any of you who take the wiggle to stop on the corner of Page and Scott or Haight and Scott and see how many “failure to yield” tickets could be issued to cars AND bikes. Tell me which one would be higher. Anyone have a guess?


    Andy Chow

    “Automobile stop” is full stop. Cars roll through 4 way stops is because 4 way stops are more of a queuing/metering device, and probably the line has been long.


    Andy Chow

    I bet that plenty of LAB members rolling stop as well. They accepted this to appease the car crowd (which set the standard for traffic control devices) and keep their place on the road.

    To follow the law, you are still required to stop at the Presidio even if no cars are present. Sure you should stop at a 2 way stop sign approaching a busy street, and most do. You are just confirming the reality that other cyclists knew, that the motion of fully stopping at stop signs ever so briefly for the sake of doing it is unnatural for cyclists.

    I think that it is time to have a true dialogue of that that new cyclists behavior should be that is consistent with natural behavior, that you can expect 90%+ of cyclists to follow at all times. Rather than a standard that is loosely followed, loosely enforced, and causing a lot of tension between cyclists, law enforcement, and the community.



    Of course Wiener supports it. He’s been one of its strongest proponents with Avalos and Breed.



    I have no idea what you mean about the take the election seriously part. You’re voting for Lee? Ranked choice substantially reduced the vote splitting problem so those who prioritize removing Lee but don’t agree specifically on who should replace him can combine votes anyway. It won’t magically elevate someone wothout support. It’s very hard to beat big money but you’ve got to try or democracy is a waste of time and we should just stop discussing elections.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    ? He says he supports it.



    it’s cute that you think that ranked choice voting will some how elevate a group no one has heard of into the mayor’s office, sorry but it won’t happen. Just leave that part of the ballot blank, and next time, take the election seriously.



    he wouldn’t support this either.


    Fran Taylor

    Both the proposed Warriors site at Pier 80 and the Muni yard used as a backdrop to the stories about new service are at the eastern end of Cesar Chavez, which has no east-west bus service. Would a new basketball arena finally provide the impetus to serve this area? Doubtful if a new Muni yard didn’t do the trick. Workers there can’t even take their own buses from the west — they don’t exist.


    Chris J.

    I also experience the situation where, because I’ve come to a complete stop, the car in the cross-street gets impatient and guns it through the intersection in front of me — while I’m biking through the intersection — even though I stopped at the intersection first and have the right of way.



    In addition to freeing up enforcement resources to focus on real problems (thereby improving streets safety), this law distinguishes between safe and unsafe behavior. Right now, the 95%+ of people (drivers and cyclists) who do not come to a complete stop are all at fault (ie all are acting unsafe, when in reality, is that really true?). This law acknowledges reasonable human behavior and specifically focuses on the need to correctly yield the right-of-way, which is what we should be focusing on, not expecting people to blindly follow a law nearly everyone consciously or subconsciously ignores.



    I’m starting to think this comes from Ron Conway



    “If you care to ride a bike sometime, you will find that making an automobile stop at stop sign to be very unnatural while cycling,…”

    What’s an “automobile stop”? Do you mean a California roll, which is what nearly every driver does as they approach a 4-way stop in this town? People on bikes do the same thing that people in cars do. It’s what most people are doing, which is why the law and/or the overuse of STOP signs is not inline with what reasonable human beings do. One or both of those things need to be updated.



    Jimbo, the data verifies that the Idaho Stop is statistically safer for al involved than the current ‘full stop’ standard. The data bears this out, look at the data and forget about personal anecdotes and bias. Would you mind telling us why you harbor such a strong anti-cycling bias? I am genuinely curious.



    George W. Bush and Edwin M. Lee. “They kept us safe.”