As we noted on Monday, the contentious issue of legalizing the rolling "Idaho stop" for cyclists came for a vote at the Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday, and as predicted it came up two votes shy of the eight votes needed to override a threatened mayoral veto. It did pass, however, by a one-vote margin, 6 to 5, as CBS 5 and others report. And in one of the first Board votes for the new "progressive bloc" joined by Aaron Peskin, Peskin disappointed bicyclists by voting against the legislation as did Mark Farrell, who was also seen as a swing vote.
As the Chronicle reports, Supervisor Norman Yee, who was struck by a car himself in 2007, voted against it, saying, "What we don’t want to do is create more situations where we are second-guessing what a biker is going to do."
Per Hoodline, Supervisor Scott Wiener showed his support in trying to sway other supervisors that this legislation would not give carte blanche to bicyclists who don't feel like stopping in busy intersections. "We're talking about people who slow down and cautiously enter an intersection, only if there's no one else there," he said. "This legislation does not in any way apply to anyone blowing through a stop sign or running a red light."
But this is merely a procedural vote, with a final binding vote on the legislation coming on January 12th, as the person manning the SF Bicycle Coalition's Twitter account noted before the vote yesterday afternoon.
That did not stop the SFBC's Twitter from going hog-wild throughout the debate on the law, sending @ messages quoting Supervisors who were in support of the law, and noting each of the Supes who were leaning "no." They refer to it as the Bike Yield Law, and they stress that bicyclists would slow to 6 mph and always still yield to pedestrians.
.@avalossf: “This ordinance does not condone cyclists who fail to yield but we cannot allow SFPD to continue to flout Vision Zero goals.”— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
Cohen reiterates concerns on Bike Yield Law. Farrell also leaning “no.”— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
“Our roads right now are the craziest I’ve ever seen them.” Sup. Farrell undercutting his opposition to Bike Yield Law?— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
Farrell misunderstanding legislation of SFPD priorities not changing law: “Changing the rules of the road is the wrong message.”— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
Sup. Tang calls @sfpdpark Capt. John Sanford’s behavior “outrageous”.— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
But Sup. Tang doesn’t want to legislate SFPD priorities. Leaning no on Bike Yield Law.— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
.@janekim: “This legislation specifically states that people biking can’t endanger pedestrians on the when they roll through a stop sign.”— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
Peskin offers no comment. Votes against Bike Yield Law.— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
Standing in the way of safer streets and smart enforcement: Cohen, Farrell, Peskin, Tang, Yee.— SF Bicycle Coalition (@sfbike) December 16, 2015
So, in the end, Supervisors Yee, Peskin, Farrell, Tang and Cohen voted against the law, though it remains possible someone might change their mind by January 12.
Otherwise, the mayor has promised a veto something that many question the wisdom of, since he'd be expending political capital, as the Chron noted earlier, on a police enforcement issue that already ought to be a low priority.
At the time, back in September (and before his humbling narrow-ish victory in the November election), Mayor Lee said, "I’m not willing to trade away safety for convenience, and any new law that reaches my desk has to enhance public safety, not create potential conflicts that can harm our residents."