In order to demonstrate the genuine ineffectiveness of some rules of the road strictly applied to cyclists, some bike activists are planning to go ahead and actually follow the laws for once.
Many activists like the San Francisco Bike Coalition are up in arms at news that the SFPD Park Station is planning to increase enforcement measures on cyclists such as ticketing those who don't come to a complete stop. The SFPD is "diverting resources away from Vision Zero," that group wrote in a blog post, adding that the "SFPD’s new leadership at Park Station is less interested in enforcing the deadliest traffic behaviors, or communicating with the SF Bicycle Coalition and our 11,000 members."
As part of a concerted response to Park Station, members of the bike advocacy group "The Wigg Party" have planned a protest for Wednesday. The location: The popular bicycle thoroughfare from which their name is derived, "The Wiggle," a symbol and epicenter for local bike commuters.
"We think it's ludicrous that SFPD Park Station is diverting precious resources towards trying to make sure every cyclist comes to a full and complete stop at every stop sign," reads the invitation to the Wigg Party event on Facebook which has been flagged by the Examiner and Uptown Almanac. 300 cyclists have already signed up for the so-called "stop-in," a pointed indictment of Captain John Sanford's recent remarks.
"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."
Not so fast, says the Wigg Party. "Let's show Capt. John Sanford of Park Station that his choice to crack down on cyclists who aren't following the letter of the law not only doesn't make anyone safer but actually would create terrible conditions on our roads."
Resources needed for the safety of cyclists and other commuter's is being diverted, the Wigg Party and the SFBC also argue. "Not only should those resources be directed toward curbing behavior that is actually dangerous (like people driving 2,000 lb cars rolling every single stop sign or speeding on every single street), but the law requiring cyclists stop at stop signs is simply lazy, misguided, and not at all reflective of behavior required to operate a bicycle safely (we of course endorse 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)."
The premise for the protest is that the "misguided" law will — if cyclists strictly adhere to it — have dire traffic consequences. From the Facebook event post, "In fact, 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.' And that's what we intend to show."
So, on Wednesday July 29th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, "grab your bike, ride to the Wiggle (the epicenter will be Waller and Steiner), and wait your turn for your chance to come to a full and complete stop at every intersection. Bonus points if you need to negotiate with other 'vehicles' about who should be going first."
Or perhaps steer clear, since if the Wigg Party proves its point — which it very will might — traffic will be a nightmare.