UPDATE, 12/18/15: This week, the full Board of Supervisors cast their first of two votes to pass SF’s Bike Yield Law. The six-to-five voted included Supervisors John Avalos, London Breed, David Campos, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Scott Wiener voting for smart enforcement. Opposed were Supervisors Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Aaron Peskin, Katy Tang and Norman Yee. This is a step in the right direction towards ensuring that the San Francisco Police Department honors their promise to deploy traffic enforcement resources in a manner that makes our streets safer for everyone who walks, bikes and drives in our city.
Today’s Board of Supervisors’ vote on SF’s Bike Yield Law is the culmination of a tremendous effort by people who support safer streets. That vote is a procedural vote without public comment, ahead of the Supervisors voting on whether to pass SF’s Bike Yield Law on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
We recently learned that, during the two-day August crackdown against people biking the Wiggle, Park Station Captain John Sanford dedicated 114 officer-hours to ticketing people biking. Meanwhile, at one of the most dangerous intersections in the country — Market and Octavia — the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) invested zero officer-hours in traffic enforcement over a four-week period that included the crackdown. This demonstrates the SFPD’s dangerous decision to prioritize their crackdown against people biking cautiously through intersections over the safety of all road-users.
Here’s how far we’ve come since then:
- In September, Supervisor John Avalos introduced SF’s Bike Yield Law, with a majority of the Board of Supervisors as co-sponsors;
- The Mayor immediately threatened to veto the proposed ordinance;
- The Bike Yield Law was endorsed by both the Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee; and
- The Land Use and Transportation Committee recommended passage of the Bike Yield Law by a two-to-one vote, with Supervisors Avalos and Scott Wiener voting yay, and Supervisor Malia Cohen dissenting.
The question raised by SF’s Bike Yield Law remains how best the SFPD can deploy limited traffic enforcement resources. Over 2,000 people have signed our petition in favor of making people biking cautiously and slowly through stop signs the lowest enforcement priority.
Together, we can bring an end to the SFPD’s wasteful and counter-productive crackdown against biking. Please sign the petition in favor of smart enforcement today.