SF’s Bike Yield Law Passes Committee

SF’s Bike Yield Law survived a committee hearing yesterday, and it moves forward with an even more compelling case for everyone who supports safer streets to join the campaign.

By a two-to-one vote, the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee recommended passage of SF’s Bike Yield Law by the full Board. Supervisors Scott Wiener and Jane Kim voiced strong support for smart enforcement as members of the committee. Their support for Bike Yield Law was echoed by committee guests President of the Board of Supervisors London Breed and the bill’s author Supervisor John Avalos, the last of whom stayed late to fill in for Supervisor Kim, who had pressing matters pull her away from the hearing.

Despite proposing amendments to the bill which Supervisor Avalos accepted, Supervisor Malia Cohen cast the only vote against recommending the Bike Yield Law’s passage yesterday. Supervisor Cohen sided with the SFPD leadership who have prioritized cracking down on people biking cautiously over concerns about safety at some of our city’s most dangerous intersections.

Despite Cohen becoming the second Supervisor to voice opposition to smart enforcement and safer streets — following Supervisor Norman Yee’s lead — the Bike Yield Law moves forward. With six co-sponsors (Avalos, Breed, Campos, Kim, Mar and Wiener), this common-sense safety legislation maintains majority support from the Board of Supervisors. Mayor Ed Lee’s veto threat, however, may require the support of eight Supervisors, leaving Supervisors Mark Farrell (mark.farrell@sfgov.org), Katy Tang (katy.tang@sfgov.org) and the soon-to-be seated Aaron Peskin (aaron.peskin@sfgov.org) as the looming question marks.

The Bike Yield Law has gotten this far based on incredible community support. Over 2,000 people have signed the petition, hundreds of supporters have written their Supervisors, and dozens of people showed up at yesterday’s committee hearing, showing broad public backing for safer streets through the Bike Yield Law. Thanks in particular to supporters Andy Blue, Matt Dove, Sven Eberlein, Morgan Fitzgibbons, Stacey Grewell-Flores, Sacha Ielmorini, ‘Deep Jawa, Adam Long, Richard May, Melyssa Mendoza, Volker Neumann, Laura O’Donovan, Anthony Ryan, Elliott Schwartz, Katrina Sostek, Andrew Stoltzfus, Kristin Tieche, Paul Valdez, Nathan Woody, Misha Zatsman, to everyone who attended yesterday’s meeting, and to advocates for street safety at City Hall.

Moving forward, we need to demonstrate increased community support for SF’s Bike Yield Law to ensure its passage and enactment. The ordinance now faces two hearings before the full Board of Supervisors: first on Tuesday, Dec. 15, then for a vote on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

If you haven’t already, please join the campaign to pass SF’s Bike Yield Law today. If you’ve already added your name to the list of supporters, please email this to your friends who bike or are otherwise concerned about SFPD priorities, and ask them to sign the petition. We’ll keep you updated as we continue to work with the Board of Supervisors for safer streets and smart enforcement. 

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