San Francisco supervisors on the Land Use and Transportation Committee voted in support of a proposed law on Monday that would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.
This bike-yield law introduced by Supervisor John Avalos and co-sponsored by five others would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, so they could roll through the intersections - when safe - without getting ticketed. The committee voted to send the proposed law to the full Board of Supervisors by a vote of 2-1.
Mayor Ed Lee feels the law would compromise the safety of pedestrians, the elderly and those with disabilities.
Idaho passed a bike-yield law in 1982. If passed, San Francisco would become the biggest city in the country with this stop-as-yield law for bicyclists.
San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said she thinks the law is a step in "the right direction for San Francisco."
"Everyone thinks our streets are too crowded," Kim said. "Anything we can do to get more people out of their cars, out of Muni, onto a bike is better for everyone."
"SFPD at times has been ticketing cyclists who have been very slowly and cautiously entering an intersection, violating no one's right away, and yet they get a ticket," said Supervisor Scott Wiener. "that's just not good use of scarce enforcement resources."
Not every supervisor NBC Bay Area spoke with was as enthusiastic about the law.
"One of the things that I am committed to is ensuring that everyone is held accountable to the law, that no one is considered a higher priority or lower priority," said Supervisor Malia Cohen.
All it takes is two of three votes to pass committee Monday, so it appears it will, but the larger issue is whether Supervisor Cohen will throw her support behind it for the full board vote next week.
At Monday's meeting, the supervisors heard from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Supervisor Avalos said, with the majority of the board supporting the law, this policy has legs and stresses the cyclist still has to yield to the public right of way.