To Mayor Lee, President Breed and Supervisors:
Please do not adopt the ordinance proposed by Supervisor Avalos to make citations for bicyclists who don’t stop at stop signs the lowest law enforcement priority and to permit bicyclists not to stop at stop signs if the intersection is empty.
If this legislation becomes law bicyclists may go through intersections without stopping when they determine that there is no ‘immediate hazard. This proposed legislation may lead to increased crashes because many bicyclists, especially our young riders, will misunderstand the law and blast through stop signs with tragic results.
The extent that stopping is a burden to cyclists is up to the individual. As a longtime cyclist I’ve never considered stopping to be a problem. Cyclists who are not fit enough to start and stop multiple times when riding, perhaps shouldn’t be on a pedal-bike?
Here’s a scenario to consider: a cyclist approaches a red light. She stops, looks both ways, and decides to cross or turn left on the red light. Unbeknownst to her, motor traffic on her left or across the intersection has just gotten a green left turn arrow. Conflict (or worse) occurs. She wasn’t aware of that because many such signals are not visible to the cross traffic because there’s no reason for them to be when all traffic is supposed to obey them according to the same black and white rules. I suppose you could argue that a prudent cyclist would not cross on the red light under the circumstance where there was cross traffic waiting to turn left across her path. But how many of us would make that determination under those circumstances?
My observation of the “judgment” used by many cyclists when choosing to ignore stop signs or red lights is that they often make very poor and dangerous decisions. Making such behavior “legal” won’t reduce the danger to them or others.
Is it REALLY all that onerous to stop at stop signs and red lights?The “Idaho Stop” runs counter to the principles of vehicular cycling and also violates one of the primary elements of traffic safety: predictability.
Please take a moment to view this video and oppose this ordinance that would diminish pedestrian safety and give cyclists special treatment.
Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF)