San Francisco’s proposal to allow bicycles to roll through stop signs without fear of being ticketed was approved Tuesday — but without a veto-proof majority.
And Mayor Ed Lee plans to live up to his promise to veto the legislation.
“The mayor believes this endangers pedestrians and other cyclists and he said he will veto it in the interest of public safety,” mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said after the Board of Supervisors approved the legislation in a 6-5 vote.
It takes eight votes to override a mayoral veto.
Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced the legislation, voted in support, along with supervisors Jane Kim, Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, David Campos and London Breed.
Voting in opposition to the law were supervisors Aaron Peskin, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Katy Tang and Norman Yee.
Avalos said it would promote bicycle riding and ensure that police officers focus on the most dangerous streets and behavior, not on “bicyclists who cautiously roll through stop signs.” He added, “Ticketing for biking cautiously through a stop sign is $200. For many people, that’s the difference between making their monthly rent or not.”
Wiener, who supports rolling stops said, “We have far better uses for our scarce law enforcement resources.”
Farrell said that San Francisco’s roads are currently the “craziest” he’s ever seen. “I don’t believe changing the rules of our road at this point in time is the appropriate response.” Farrell said, adding that different rules for bicyclists “just doesn’t make sense to me.”
The proposal, modeled after a similar law in Idaho, was introduced following a August crackdown of police on the popular Wiggle route along the Panhandle and drew strong support from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
The legislation would officially make citing bicyclists for not coming to complete stops at stop signs the lowest enforcement priority. Bicyclists would have to slow to a safe speed of under 6 miles per hour and yield the right-of-way to any other vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection.
A second board vote will be taken on the legislation next month. The mayor would then have 10 days to veto it.