Tonight's Critical Mass

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Anonymous's picture

I stopped by Union Square before the Critical Mass this evening to distribute flyers. By about 7:20 roughly 100 people were there. It was a mellow, friendly crowd, despite the phalanx of scooter cops hulking along Park Ave. But the police presence was nowhere near as martial as a year ago, and no one scowled at me, though they did look me very directly in the eye.

Spoke briefly with Norman Siegel. (Remember him? The guy who could have made a difference as public advocate, had enough of us turned out at last year's primary? Yep, he's still out there advocating for cyclists, for free.) Anyways, Norman said the cops had not been arresting cyclists as aggressively as they had been, though they did issue summonses for minor infractions. However, with the enactment of the new parade permit rules, that is bound to change next month. Critical Mass will be squelched, which should lead a few curmudgeons to vicariously curl their lips in satisfaction.

I thought about doing the ride this time--haven't done it for a year and a half. It was a lovely not-too-warm evening with a breeze; I regretted how fear of arrest (or rather the year-long hassle that goes along with it, even when dismissed) as well as potential police brutality have kept me from enjoying this truly urban experience and these vibrant, unpredictable people. One young woman expressed herself by wearing a bikini with an American flag cape--my kinda gal. It was twilight. I rode home.

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
27 tickets issued

"according to, 27 tickets were issued at last nights ride.

here's a pic of the young woman in a bikini & american flag.


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
...Just warming up for the meeting about parade permits.

"That's roughly a 27% rate of ticketing all the participants. Meanwhile, as I've written here, I've lived where I live for around thirty years. Surely over 1000 cars a day go through the red light at my intersection and over 400 a day obstruct traffic. In all these years I've yet to see one driver ticketed for either.

I will note someone who writes on our message board as ""Scooter Cop"" and who may or may not be a member of our club but who is a cop and who rides, did ticket someone at this intersection--the only ticket I've seen given here in more than thirty years. It was for failure to wear a seat belt.(It goes without saying, as he was writing the ticket, multiple drivers went through red lights.)

For example a truck driver who turned into a cyclist on this corner, killing him, was not given a ticket.

Meanwhile, on those rare occurences a driver is cited for going through a red light, and, even rarer, for obstructing traffic, he is given a ticket.

When participants in Critical Mass have been cited for going through red lights or obstructing traffic, they have been jailed, fingerprinted, had their mug shots taken, and their bikes confiscated.

Have you ever known of a driver, cited for the same thing, to be jailed and had his car confiscated?

In geometry, things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. The NYPD is neither geometric nor evenhanded in its enforcement of the laws."

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrdlu (not verified)
Blame It On Bloomberg

"I've posted here several times before to the effect that, when the cops come down on cyclists the problem isn't Bruce Smolka, the problem is Michael Bloomberg.

I've said before that cops report to the mayor, not some mystical creep-in-the-sky, and that when they behave like thugs, it's because the mayor wants them to behave like thugs.

I've said before -- to all the Bloomberg worshippers who love ""Mike"" but get upset at the cops -- that they can't have it both ways.

When he ran Bloomberg News, he ran it like the thug he is. There were sexist jokes. There was a you're-loyal-or-you're-dead-around-here mentality. Leave the company once -- say for a better job, or more money, you -- were dead there forever.

Now this in the New York Times:

In other words, if you love Mike Bloomberg, melt your bike down and trade it in for a Hummer.

""You're not a democracy if you arrest anyone who disagrees with you.""
-Solovic the Soliloquist

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdly"

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