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San Francisco Ordinance Would Allow Rolling Bicycle Stops

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco supervisors have announced a plan to allow bicyclists roll through stop signs if it can be done safely.

The so-called "bike yield law" would make enforcement the law requiring bicyclist to fully stop at stop signs the lowest priority.

Bicyclists would be able to essentially treat stop signs as yield signs if no vehicles or pedestrians are at the intersection.

The proposal came about after police near Golden Gate Park started handing out tickets to bicyclists rolling through stop signs after complaints from drivers and pedestrians.

That got the biking community in an uproar, and led pro-biking supervisors to craft the ordinance.

"To expect everyone to come to a complete stop at every single intersection, even if it's completely clear, it's just not how people bike," said Supervisor Scott Wiener. "And it's a surefire way, with that kind of ticky-tacky enforcement, to make sure fewer people cycle."

Safety advocates see it quite differently.

"Bicyclists decide when it's safe, not only for me, but for other vulnerable pedestrians?" said disabled activist Bob Planthold. "They're pandering to a large, specific interest constituency."

The ordinance would go against state law, which says bicyclists must observe the same traffic laws as motorized vehicles.

"San Franciscans have developed the sense that we are so special," said Planthold."We're like a separate island. We make our own laws."

Idaho has had a similar bike yield law on the books for 32 years.

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