• Cyclists are drawn to the challenge of riding steep, narrow, twisty mountain roads, but residents who live there feel entitled to drive at normal speeds without worrying about fragile bicycles and their riders.
• On most afternoons, a knot of 50 to 100 cyclists — a peloton — courses through the two towns, ignoring stop signs and slowing four-wheeled traffic. Drivers have rights, but so do cyclists, particularly on roads without bike lanes.
• A deputy may want to cite a peloton cyclist for violating a stop sign, but often has no way to safely impound a bike, may not be sure of who the offender is given the similarity of spandex outfits, and can't write a ticket anyway because the cyclist isn't carrying ID.
• A motorcycle officer patrolling Skyline Boulevard may want to cite a motorcyclist, but try catching a kid putting his super-bike through the paces, hurtling around blind corners and reaching triple-digit speeds on the straight-aways.
Enter cyclist, triathlon coach and Daly City resident Marc Evans, who spoke to an agreeable Woodside Town Council on Tuesday, May 27, about his idea for stopping the insanity: an "Honor the Stop" campaign, in which anyone using the roads — cyclists, drivers, equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, motorcyclists — can agree to obey all traffic laws and symbolize that commitment by wearing a red-and-black wristband.
The red color symbolizes the agreement to be law-abiding and to encourage others to do likewise when a wearer offers a wristband to someone else, Mr. Evans said. The black commemorates the deaths and injuries caused by inattention and mistakes on the road.
A cyclist accepting the wristband would "agree to stop at all stop signs, period," Mr. Evans said, noting that his principle aim is to end the divisiveness among cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers and equestrians.
The council voted 5-0, with members Sue Boynton and Peter Mason absent, to allocate up to $2,500 to buy 5,000 of the wristbands, use Town Hall as a distribution site and begin a publicity campaign.
"It's time for everyone to start respecting one another," Mr. Evans said.
Mayor Ron Romines said Mr. Evans has "done a great service by conceptualizing and bringing this concept forward."
"It's something we truly need," Mr. Romines added. "There has grown up a kind of antagonism. This can be a way to promote a dialogue."
The key to success is in the handing off of a wristband from one person to another, Bicycle Committee Chair Milo Fenzi told the council.
When the recipient shows an attitude of "'I get it and I'm there, too,' then you give them one," he said, adding: "This could become a nationwide and a worldwide program."
For more information, go to www.honorthestop.org.