Though San Francisco's Park Police District has only had its current leader for a couple months, folks pedaling through his territory had better make sure they follow every single rule and regulation — Captain John Sanford's already fed up with the area's scofflaw cyclists, and is ready to start meting out some justice.
Sanford abruptly took the top position at SFPD's Park Station at the end of March, saying in a message sent to community members that "I will encourage and embrace collaboration and partnership with the community. My goal is to foster a sustainable process with continuity, which will assist us with reducing crime and improving the quality of life for those who dwell within our borders.”
Apparently, one quality of life area in which Sanford sees room for improvement are bicyclists who break the rules. Reporting from Tuesday's Park Station community meeting, Hoodline says that Sanford has vowed "to step up traffic enforcement where bicycles are concerned," after growing aghast at some riders' disrespect for the law.
"I'm in an unmarked black police car, and they're just zipping past," Sanford said of bike riders.
"Bicyclists are required to follow the rules of the road...There's a thing called a stop sign that bicycles are supposed to stop at."
Bold remarks given the vocal nature of San Francisco's cycling community! But Sanford isn't afraid of those folks, saying "I am not too shy to say that it is a problem," and telling any cyclists who might be listening to "tell your friends to slow, stop and obey."
Sanford says that so far, 38 tickets have been handed out to cyclists this year, and riders should expect that number to grow. Park Station will deploy, Hoodline reports, "traffic enforcement teams [that] will consist of bicycle officers and marked police vehicles," all focused on catching bike riders who violate the rules of the road.
And before you ask, Sanford says that we shouldn't question the use of Park Station's notoriously limited resources for this activity.
According to Sanford, law-breaking cyclists "present a hazard for many people," and given that "the protection of life" is his top job, an enforcement effort like this one makes all the sense in the world.