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Should Cyclists Have to Stop at Stop Signs?

A proposal to make San Francisco the first major city to adopt the so-called “Idaho stop” is under intense debate.
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San Francisco has a well-deserved reputation as a city that’s willing to experiment with urban policy. Now that reputation is being put to the test, as legislation that would change the way police deal with cyclists and stop signs makes its way through the city’s Board of Supervisors.

The ordinance, known as the Bike Yield Law, would instruct cops to treat cyclists who roll slowly and cautiously through stop signs as their lowest enforcement priority. It would, in essence, permit the so-called Idaho stop, in which a person on a bike is allowed to approach a stop sign, check for conflicts with drivers and people on foot, then roll through without coming to a complete halt—essentially treating it as a yield sign.