The protest hadn’t even started before the first motorist laid on the horn.
Hundreds of cyclists rode through The Wiggle yesterday evening in protest of a San Francisco police captain’s calls for a crackdown on bikers coasting through stop signs. But instead of breaking the law, protesters wanted to show the city just how bad traffic would be if every bicycle approached intersections just as a car does.
Riders arrived at every stop sign in a single file, coming to a complete stop and filing through the intersection only once they were given the right-of-way. The law-abiding act of civil disobedience snarled traffic almost immediately.
The protest, flanked by an army of TV cameras and amused onlookers, was in response to a directive from SFPD Park Station Captain John Sanford, who ordered his officers to punish cyclists for “zipping past” cars and supposedly endangering people. …
Cyclists, along with a growing number of organizations and local politicians, believe bike riders shouldn’t be legally treated like cars, but rather treated as what they are — bikers. There’s been a growing call for the city and California to adopt what is known as the “Idaho Stop” law. Since 1982, Idaho has permitted cyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stop signs, which allows bikers to conserve energy, clear intersections faster, and become more visible (and thus safer) by getting in front of traffic.
Full story here in sfweekly – thanks to Alex Gaio.