NYPD threatens NYCC rides

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Anonymous's picture

"I sent an alert about this to a couple of board members and got zero response. I remember when the Administration said that a parks permit was required for gatherings of 20 in parks, I warned members of the Board that this was just the beginning. Do we care? Heads in the sand?


The New York City Police Department has just announced new rules for the definition of ""parades"". Cyclists in groups of 20 or more will require a parade permit. Groups of 35 or more pedestrians will also require a permit. As few as two cyclists or pedestrians, if they
break a traffic regulation together, can be arrested by the police for ""parading without a permit"". The exact text of the new rules is at:


Speak out at the public hearing, on Wednesday, August 23, at 6 PM at One Police Plaza ( http://shorl.com/bisagretybyna ). The new rules
are scheduled to take effect the following day. In the meantime, cyclists can express their opinion by contacting Mayor Bloomberg and your City Council member.

Contact Mayor Bloomberg:

Contact your City Council member:

Read more about the new rules and what you can do about them:


Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)

remember the city will have to prove that it is not specifically targeting critical mass rides with this new law. they will have to ticket other rides to prove the law is applied evenly.
two or three bicyclist running lights in central park or gathering to ride together at illegal (16mph) speeds would also fall into this parade without permit

Anonymous's picture
Christophe Jammet (not verified)
we need to take action

as the biggest cycling club in the city, we need to take action here. I'll be at the hearing, and i've already written to bloomberg and my council member. you should all do the same.

Anonymous's picture
Fred Steinberg (not verified)
NYPD Bike rules

"The NYPD ruling regarding groups of 20 or more cyclists to have a permit is easily resolved by keeping groups of cyclists to less than that amount. Groups of 20 are too large and difficult to control anyway. Ride leaders should delegate sub-leaders to manage these groups. Once out of the city you can re-group if desired. But common sense calls for riding in smaller groups.

As for groups of 2 or more cyclists, if you are not riding side by side in continuous conversation, who's to say they are riding together not? Cyclists should ride single file on city streets anyway.

These rules will not be unformly enforced and will probably fail in court eventually. They are obviously designed to be selectively applied to ""critcial mass' rides and such. The NYPD has a burr in their butt about these protests and the mayor has no backbone to tone down his cops; one would think his liberal sensibilities would cause him to take the side of law-abiding cyclists.

As for the rules in Central Park, they are nothing but common sense. It is a park, not a velodrome except when the CRCA races are in progress. A 15mph speed limit is rational when there is heavy pedestrian traffic on the park drives. Has a speeding ticket ever been issued for 25+mph on uncrowded park drives?

The best thing we can do is to stay off the radar screen and not antagonize non-cyclists with kind of actions that leave the general public unsympathetic to our cause."

Anonymous's picture
Christophe Jammet (not verified)

fred, i agree that large groups are hard to handle, but this chips away not only at civil liberties of cyclists, but the right to assembly.

and yes, they have been issuing speeding tickets at 7am in the park, with no one around. it's ridiculous.

Anonymous's picture
Grant Mandsager (not verified)

"With all due respect, Fred, I think that relying on selective enforcement and the NYPD's common sense skirts the issue, and sets a dangerous precedent for future police decisions.

The relationship we have with our government, specifically the right to assemble, is one in which the government has the burden of proving the necessity of any restrictions on that right. While you may be correct from a practical standpoint that NYCC rides will not be affected (at least in the immediate future), the proposed regulation reflects an alarming attitude by our police force. Our right to assemble peacibly is not dependant upon proper genuflection and ""Sir, may I please."" I accept that public safety concerns dictate restrictions on assembly, however there has been no proof that 20 is threshold number of cyclists that dramatically affects publich saftey. Moreover, as previous threads have discussed, this issue touches not only NYCC organized rides, but tour groups, field trips, funeral processions, and the like.

My view of the situation is that the NYPD is upset with Critical Mass (as well as the court), and has petulantly crafted a rule that swallows the otherwise legal behavior of a number of other individuals. That's not right. I agree that from a PR standpoint, it would be best not to facilitate a negative perception of cyclists, but I refuse to prioritize my image above my civil liberties."

Anonymous's picture
Mike (not verified)

"While I agree with you, I understand law enforcement's problem. Legal language has to be precise, and ""we know it when we see it"" isn't good enough for the courts. That's why so many statutes are written ridiculously broadly and left to prosecutorial discretion for enforcement. The unspoken assumption is that the police and others in law enforcement are too busy to deal with petty matters and won't go about enforcing every letter violation of the law anyway. Unfortunately, no one ever got rich betting on the discretion or common sense of others, let alone jerks in uniform. And you can't get away from the fundamental disconnect between the motivations of those writing the laws and the idiots carrying them out.

The system is too slow, cranky, and rusty. Things are unfair for a long time before they get fair again. The best guard against abuse is shame, and the best vehicle for that is the press. I'd love to see the reaction the first time the members of a funeral procession are ticketed for parading without a permit and the Post catches wind of it. That won't happen though. What is most likely that this ends up back in the courts in a few years time, after some cop tickets the wrong cyclist who has the time and money to pursue a complaint. But a few years is still a pain in the ass."

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
Look what happened in Colorado...


A similiar sort of thing happened in Colorado, when their Colorado State Patrol (police) wanted to put a 2,500 cyclist limit for bike events. The limit was to be in effect Dec. 2006

But when the police and the dept. of transportation got together with Bicycle Colorado (which is an equivalent of our Transporation Alternatives), it didn't happen.



Anonymous's picture
biking advocate (not verified)

make it clear to times up & the city that we don't support the critical mass rides , try to get them to discontinue the rides & stop there get in your face attitude(it gets you nowhere ) .Then do something to get some good PR for cyclists instead of Sat. morn articles about the rude behavior of bikers .Stop alienating the public & the Police dept with those silly & childish displays of rage ,lack of respect & manners .

cycling trips