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SF Cyclists To Protest Stopping At Stop Signs With 'Stop-In'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A San Francisco bike group unhappy with a crackdown on cyclists who run stop signs is protesting the law by obeying it in critical mass style.

The Wigg Party wants to demonstrate what it would look like if every cyclist made a full and complete stop.

On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the bicycle advocacy group plans to ride the Wiggle route, a popular San Francisco thoroughfare, in single file and stop at every single stop sign. The end result? An inevitable traffic jam for bikers and drivers alike.

The "stop-in," as it's called, challenges the San Francisco Park Police District's proposal to increase enforcement measures by ticketing cyclists who don't come to complete stops.

According to Park Police Capt. John Sanford, law-breaking cyclists present a hazard for many people.

But the Wigg Party, along with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, says enforcement is "diverting precious resources away" from the city's Vision Zero project to prioritize street safety and prevent traffic deaths.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's communications director, Chris Cassidy, said the San Francisco Police Department has yet to reach their goal of issuing 50 percent of their citations for the five deadliest traffic behaviors identified by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency as: speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, running red lights, running stop signs and violating turn restrictions.

The bicycle coalition, which conducts numerous safety classes each year, has launched a petition to stop the Park Station from moving forward with the crackdown.

"Any shift of SFPD resources away from these deadliest traffic violations is dangerous and unacceptable," the petition states.

The Wigg Party also said the current California law to require cyclists stop at stop signs is "simply lazy, misguided, and not at all reflective of behavior required to operate a bicycle safely."

The group supports the Idaho Stop law which allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and requires them to stop when others have the right of way.

"If cyclists came to a full and complete stop at every stop sign, it would have disastrous effects to traffic patterns and precious 'Level of Service,'" the group says.  "And that's what we intend to show."

Nicole Jones is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco. Follow her musings @nicjonestweets

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