SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Board of Supervisors have voted to allow cyclists to make safe rolling stops as of Tuesday, December 16. The ordinance was passed to indicate to police that ticketing bicyclists who safely approach stop signs should be a low priority as far as ticketing.
The yielding stop would permit bicyclists to treat stop signs as a yield sign and ride through the intersection without coming to a full stop at six miles per hour or less. Over the past year, this law has been largely controversial due to safety reasons and major opposition from Mayor Edward M. Lee. Earlier in September, Lee stated he would veto any bike yield law if it were to appear on his desk.
The widely-debated yielding stop or “Ohio stop” has prompted major activism efforts by San Francisco’s cyclist community, arguing that the yielding stop should be legalized. The San Francisco Bicyclist Coalition began protesting earlier this year when police issued hundreds of citations to bikers who did not come to a complete stop at stop signs on popular bicycle pathways such as The Wiggle route. According to cyclists, police continue to issue tickets along the pathway between Market Street and the Panhandle.
While this ordinance has been a reason for celebration amongst the city’s Bicycle Coalition, the ordinance still has the opportunity to be overturned by Mayor Lee.
Though the ordinance passed, it does not have enough support from San Francisco Supervisors to overturn a veto from the mayor. According to the Board of Supervisors, the ordinance is two votes short of the eight votes needed to override the veto.
The ordinance is expected to be reviewed by Mayor Lee next month to be decided whether it will remain in effect.