Monday: Your Chance to Speak on the Bike Yield Law

On Monday at 1:30 p.m., the land use and transportation committee of the SF Board of Supervisors is going to discuss the Bike Yield Law at City Hall. This is an important opportunity to speak up for common-sense bike and traffic enforcement policies.

A new law would discourage cops from ticketing cyclists who cautiously and courteously roll through stop signs. Photo: Aaron Bialick
A new law would discourage cops from ticketing cyclists who cautiously and courteously roll through stop signs. Photo: Aaron Bialick

The ordinance would instruct San Francisco police to, in practice, adopt an “Idaho Stop” policy — meaning cyclists could treat a stop sign as a yield.

City Hall can’t actually change California’s stop sign law. But with this ordinance the city can tell SFPD that citing cyclists who roll cautiously and courteously through stop signs should be the lowest possible priority.

SFPD’s current approach to bike enforcement is exemplified by the recurring harassment and selective ticketing of cyclists on the Wiggle by officers under the command of Park Station Caption John Sanford.

“It’s not saying that cyclists are above the law,” explained Ivy Lee, a staffer for Supervisor Jane Kim, who supports the law. “It’s just applying common sense — our cops have more important things to do.”

The Bike Yield Law has six co-sponsors, including Kim, but Mayor Lee has vowed to veto it. It will take two more supervisors to override his veto.

The hearing will be held Monday at City Hall, Room 250.

Whether you can make it to City Hall or not, it’s a good idea to contact your supervisor.


Mayor Lee Vows to Veto Bike Yield Law

Updated at 6:46 p.m. with image of Mayor’s veto letter at the bottom. Mayor Ed Lee has vowed to veto the “Bike Yield Law” put forward by six supervisors. Assuming the mayor follows through, it will take a vote from eight of the 11 supervisors to override him. In a comment to the SF Chronicle, Lee showed that […]

“Bike Yield” Passes Without Enough Votes for Veto Override

The Bike Yield ordinance was heard by the full San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday. It passed, with six “ayes” and five against — two “ayes” short of what’s needed to override Mayor Edwin Lee’s veto pen. The San Francisco Examiner reports that mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey was ready with a response. “The mayor believes this endangers pedestrians […]

Mayor Vetoes Bike Yield But Advocates Must Never Yield to Regressive Politics

Mayor Edwin Lee officially vetoed the “Bike Yield” ordinance yesterday. Without enough votes to override, supporting supervisors will have to figure out a compromise plan, such as a pilot project. The bill’s author, Supervisor John Avalos, already prepared for that contingency. Not surprisingly, Avalos was frustrated with the Mayor’s veto. “SFPD has focused traffic enforcement […]

Majority of Supes Back the “Bike Yield Law” to Be Introduced Tomorrow

The “Bike Yield Law” proposed by Supervisor John Avalos is poised to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance urges the SFPD to let bicycle riders safely treat stop signs as yield signs. Avalos plans to introduce the ordinance tomorrow, and it has support from six supervisors — the majority needed to vote it into law. It’s unclear if it has support from SFPD […]