NYPD publishes parade permit rule

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Anonymous's picture

"[from the NYCLU Web site]

NYPD Modifies Proposed Parade Permit Rules

January 26, 2007 -- In response to objections raised by the New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups, the New York City Police Department has modified its proposal to expand the categories of bike and vehicle processions that would require parade permits.

In regulations originally proposed last summer, the Department sought to require police permits for sidewalk marches, any lawful street procession of 20 more bikes or vehicles, and any street procession of more than two people where any traffic law was violated. In final regulations published today the Department narrowed its proposal so that the only events requiring parade permits are roadway processions of 50 or more bikes or vehicles.

""These final rules mark a substantial improvement from the Department's original proposal, but we believe that requiring permits for law-abiding bike rides of only 50 people is unreasonable and unnecessary,"" NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. ""Changes to our City's permit laws should be made by the City Council, not the police department.""

Added NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn: ""We welcome the Department's change but remain concerned about how difficult it is for groups to obtain police permits. We will closely monitor implementation of these rules.""

More at http://www.nyclu.org/nypd_parade_permits_pr_012607.html


I am informed that this rule will become effective in 30 days if ""procedural requirements relating to rulemaking"" were observed. And that it applies to cyclists, pedestrians, and cars in the ""street or roadway.""

Anyone suppose the cops will enforce the rule for automobiles? Har har. Here comes another long cycle of lawsuits. My earlier optimism was clearly misplaced.

(Challenges are already in the works -- now is a great time to contribute to the volunteer lawyers at the Bicycle Defense Fund if you haven't already.)


Press conference with cycling-friendly City Council members will take place Wed. Jan. 31 at t noon, at One Police Plaza.

Details will be posted on Assemble For Rights Web site (www.a4rnyc.org)"

Anonymous's picture
Gordo (not verified)
I'm not sure I understand

"So how many bikes or vehicles have to violate a traffic law for the cops to be able to arrest all 50 ""participants?"" One? 25? All 50?

Let's say, hypothetically, that the police were to enforce this for cars too... If I'm driving a car during rush hour (or any hour in NYC, really) and the car in front of me runs a red light (or is caught speeding, or double parks, or isn't wearing a seatbelt(!)), could I be arrested? Or would I be cited for the same violation as the real offender? Or would I be cited for ""parading w/o a permit?""

What about the other 48 cars sitting behind me at the light? Them too?

This just sounds so ridiculous.

- Gordo"

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)

No, not really. Cars are exempt.

Anonymous's picture
Peter Engel (not verified)

What bothers me is that the NYCLU seems to be accepting the idea that the cops can do this at all. Isn't accepting ANY parade permit for groups of this size giving the police too much leighway for abuse?

I'll be very interested to see how NYCC. 5BBC, TA (not to mention Times UP!) respond.

Anonymous's picture
Joe S. (not verified)
clarification requested


Last I knew, the proposal designated as a parade:
1. >= 10 cyclists violating any traffic rules; or
2. >= 30 cyclists whether or not they are violating any rules

From your post, I gather (2) has been increased from 30 to 50. But how about (1)?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Interim answer

"My understanding is that technically it applies to groups of 50 pedestrians/cyclists/drivers ""in the roadway"" regardless of whether they obey traffic rules or not.

Your guess as to which groups it will be applied to.

Don't forget that plenty Critical Mass riders have been arrested while observing traffic rules --riding in bike lanes, stopping at red lights. As I myself witnessed, cyclists have been yanked off their bikes and arrested while being directed through an intersection by cops.

The message is clear: unless you are obsequiously upholding the status quo, Bloomberg's New York doesn't want you to move independently about the city without asking permission and submitting to the control of authorities. Yet even obsequiousness may not be adequate protection of your civil rights."

Anonymous's picture
Joe S. (not verified)

I hope that (1) has either been increased from 10 or eliminated altogether. Not only would it be quite painful to have to stop at every light on RSD, but even if we all did that, we would still be in violation of the traffic rules - last I checked, most of us don't have bells on our bikes.

So if 10 (depending on the final language) NYCC'ers were making their way from CP to the GWB, and if we violated any traffic rules (including the bell requirement), a cop could ARREST us for parading without a permit. Presumably, he could also SEIZE our bikes as evidence of the infraction.

Hell, you could be riding by yourself down RSD, with your steel bell attached to your carbon K-Wing bars, stopping at every light, and if you happened to pass or be passed by a larger group that was committing a traffic violation . . . well, hope you brought a parade permit.

Am I crazy for imagining this scenario? Maybe. But if someone told me I would be ticketed during a CM ride for riding outside the bike lane on a street that has no bike lane, I would have said they're crazy. My ticket says otherwise.

cycling trips