Resident Chron curmudgeon Chuck Nevius, who's never been shy when it comes to carping about hot-button topics like off-leash laws and hobo feces, returned to another favorite beat last week: pissing off cyclists. His focus in a pair of columns has been The Wiggle, which he's taken to cycling himself a few days a week, and while he once found it charming this zig-zagging route that takes one from Market Street to the Haight and Richmond without any terrible hills he now finds a "crash course" in which speeding bicyclists who blow through stop signs are threatening each others lives, and those of pedestrians.
Nevius only discovered The Wiggle last summer, when he penned this column and concluded that "Now bicycling is for grown-ups," and "Bikes are the future." But lately ALL THAT HAS CHANGED. In the wake of a recent crackdown by the SFPD, ticketing bicyclists on The Wiggle when they don't come to a complete stop at stop signs and the inevitable backlash by bicyclists that followed Nevius now quotes Haight residents who place bets on whether cyclists will stop, and cyclists who yell "Fuck You" to pedestrians who tell them to watch out.
He of course mentions the 67-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a cyclist on the Embarcadero last July, and notes that most cyclists on this route are going to be reluctant to stop at every stop sign given that they have to turn at nearly every block.
A HuffPo columnist argues that Nevius doesn't know what he's talking about and most bicyclists are calm and considerate, and SF just needs to adopt an Idaho law that has bicyclists treat stop signs as yield signs. That sounds unrealistic to us, and the issue here seems to be that cyclists devote more of their energy and attention while riding to not getting hit by a car, and some of them just ignore the fact that they themselves could be a threat to pedestrians.
As for determining how many cyclists are good citizens and how many are stop-sign-blowing, Critical Mass-riding, police-hating anarchists, Nevius hasn't yet taken an official census.