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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Are you for or against "Critical Mass?
For it, it helps advocate bicycling rights. 28 33.73%
Against it, it hurts bicyclists more than it helps. 55 66.27%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-09-05, 03:06 PM   #1
Paul L.
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For it or against it "Critical Mass"

Since there has been a big debate about Critical Mass and various cyclists opinions of it I am curious as to how many of us are actually for this and how many are against it. Is this valid bicycle advocacy?
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Old 09-09-05, 06:41 PM   #2
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Old 09-09-05, 06:45 PM   #3
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I voted for, but only because I support the idea of cyclists being able to do CM rides unmolested by the police. I don't think it affects advocacy one way or another. No one in my entire office has even heard of CM.
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Old 09-09-05, 06:48 PM   #4
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You need a "I don't care one way or the other" choice in the poll.
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Old 09-09-05, 06:54 PM   #5
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I'm for it: but i dont think it helps advocacy. You would have to be delusional to think so.
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Old 09-09-05, 08:11 PM   #6
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I remain opposed to Critical Mass, because I think it generally generates bad publicity. However, I strongly favor vocal activism at the appropriate levels of government.
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Old 09-09-05, 08:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by John E
I remain opposed to Critical Mass, because I think it generally generates bad publicity. However, I strongly favor vocal activism at the appropriate levels of government.
Bad publicity...good publicity...it's all publicity. If CM ever gets mention on Rush Limbaugh, like Cindy Sheehan, man, oh man!
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Old 09-09-05, 08:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Treespeed
I voted for, but only because I support the idea of cyclists being able to do CM rides unmolested by the police. I don't think it affects advocacy one way or another. No one in my entire office has even heard of CM.
Yeah... it sucks that police harrass cyclists who run red lights en masse (to stick together as a group)- who sometimes stop in the middle on intersections just to be obnoxious... who veer into oncoming traffic. CM is more about civil disobedience than cycling advocacy.

CM at its best: just because it is legal doesn't mean it is a good idea.
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Old 09-09-05, 08:46 PM   #9
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I hate these polls! If I say that I am "for" CM, then I must also vote, "it helps advocate bicycling rights". Those two statements do not necessarily belong together!
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Old 09-09-05, 09:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
I remain opposed to Critical Mass, because I think it generally generates bad publicity.
In Chicago, it's amusing to watch the tourists watch Critical Mass go by. The tourists often get big goofy grins on their face and snap a lot of pictures. Of course, the ride often has a lot of eye-candy. A three-piece band pulled by bicycle. A roller-blader playing the trombone. Homemade bikes that are are as tall as buses. I wouldn't call it "advocacy"; I'd just call it "a happy hour with bikes instead of beers."

As a side-note, the City of Chicago is currently looking into a pilot program to have recurring Sundays where the boulevards that join some of the parks together would be closed to car traffic and would be open instead to cyclists, pedestrians, etc. The City apparently likes the idea of having the streets be social places instead of just places for cars to speed through from point A to point B. Of course, a number of Chicago's otherwise fine parks have a design flaw in that they have fast-moving roads cutting through them, which can interfere with people just trying to enjoy the parks. I'm not going to go so far as to say that the City of Chicago was inspired by Critical Mass, but just that the City recognizes that changing the way that roads are used can enhance one's experience of the City.
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Old 09-10-05, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViciousCycle
As a side-note, the City of Chicago is currently looking into a pilot program to have recurring Sundays where the boulevards that join some of the parks together would be closed to car traffic and would be open instead to cyclists, pedestrians, etc. The City apparently likes the idea of having the streets be social places instead of just places for cars to speed through from point A to point B. Of course, a number of Chicago's otherwise fine parks have a design flaw in that they have fast-moving roads cutting through them, which can interfere with people just trying to enjoy the parks. I'm not going to go so far as to say that the City of Chicago was inspired by Critical Mass, but just that the City recognizes that changing the way that roads are used can enhance one's experience of the City.

Guatemala city does this every Sunday. That was one thing they had that I really wish our city had. It was really cool to see people riding bikes up and down the avenue and having picnics and stuff. Almost like a big block party every Sunday where you could ride your bike and do lots of other stuff.
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Old 09-10-05, 01:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
I hate these polls! If I say that I am "for" CM, then I must also vote, "it helps advocate bicycling rights". Those two statements do not necessarily belong together!

Well I worded it that way because I wanted to see opinions on it from an advocacy point of view. I suppose to some it is just another group ride.
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Old 09-10-05, 01:10 AM   #13
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I could not vote. You need a not decided either or neutral option..
TO me the jury is still out..Yes, I think they have some members who use unwise tactics..But, overall, once in awhile I think we need protect our bike rights with loud tactics..
And I think a lot of anti CM hype is just that, hype. I need find a chapter and find out for myself. If forced against the wall, I would probably reluctantly vote for.
As in the civil rights struggle, every great once in awhile it might be necessary to demand your rights.
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Old 09-10-05, 01:19 AM   #14
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critical mass does nothing to advance the rights of cyclists...it is mostly all about pissing ppl off and eff-ing ***** up..-there is however something to be said for that. There is a little street tout in all off us, a little anarchist and antichrist that resides in our innermost depths that demands satisfaction...shall we starve the beast? this is the question..
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Old 09-10-05, 08:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
You need a "I don't care one way or the other" choice in the poll.
Yep
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Old 09-10-05, 09:11 AM   #16
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Why Do I have a somewhat miliitant attitude about motorists. Yesterday, I was a strict pedestarian crossing a very busy 4 lane road near a strip mall in Murrieta. Had the cross walk traffic light ok to cross...Right turn on red..During all the while it was flashing white, not one car yielded to my right to cross...Not even a 'California' stop...God, this habit infuriates me.
Ever try to make a lane change on a freeway in order to get to an exit ramp...Use your turn signals , you will not make it..Motorists are just Azz holes..They see you wanting to exit..They will speed up to Nascar speeds just to deny you the opportunity to exit. With or w/o the turn signal on..Just to spite you..
No behavior of cyclists can ever be a arrogrant as those of motorists. Respect the rights of cyclists..The road is only for their useage...Not even pedestarians are safe to cross a crosswalk..Better hire a taxi to cross the forty feet.
But, nothing tops the habit of passing on double lines.
Critical massers can't be any more arrogrant than these motoring jerks.
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Old 09-10-05, 09:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
Well I worded it that way because I wanted to see opinions on it from an advocacy point of view. I suppose to some it is just another group ride.
Sure, to some its "just a another group rise". To others it could be be about self-empowerment, to others about rebellion, to others a form of advocacy meant to reach out to *people* and not governments (and thus not directly about "rights"). To others....

Its fine to post a poll for a specific reason, but boxing people into too few answers leads to misleading results. Some of the voters will have agreed to one half the question but not both, others will avoid voting, and others may randomly pick the "least wrong" option.

Sorry to be a ***** about this, but if you are asking people to vote in your poll, I feel you need to at least take the time to make sure the answers will be meaningful.
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Old 09-10-05, 10:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot
Had the cross walk traffic light ok to cross...Right turn on red..During all the while it was flashing white, not one car yielded to my right to cross...Not even a 'California' stop...God, this habit infuriates me.
A good slap on the side of the body helps with driver education. And making a visual point of writing down license numbers, or snapping picture with phone camera.
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Old 09-10-05, 10:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ViciousCycle
In Chicago, it's amusing to watch the tourists watch Critical Mass go by. The tourists often get big goofy grins on their face and snap a lot of pictures. Of course, the ride often has a lot of eye-candy. A three-piece band pulled by bicycle. A roller-blader playing the trombone. Homemade bikes that are are as tall as buses. I wouldn't call it "advocacy"; I'd just call it "a happy hour with bikes instead of beers."
This is the way CM is supposed to be! It's good for tourism. It's good fun. And, the police should quit with the harassment already.

P.S. Where are the nekkid ladies?
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Old 09-10-05, 11:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
A good slap on the side of the body helps with driver education. And making a visual point of writing down license numbers, or snapping picture with phone camera.
I post this RANT almost daily..Think it a lie, almost: BUT, it happens daily ! .either as a cyclist of pedestarian.. they just have no respect for other's needs..It causes some kind of mental anguish should they have to let up on the gas pedal.
Seems the really fast cars,often have sun roofs and are painted red..Think my favorite retribution for their misdeeds would be to pour poweraide on their heads- if you can possibly catch them at a red light.
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Old 09-10-05, 12:06 PM   #21
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In the nearly 20 years they have had Critical Mass in Seattle. I cannot think of one positive thing they have done for my cycling rights or cycling advocacy. You would better spend you time with a local bike club and/or cycling advocacy group. They actually accomplish something beyond ticking of the general population.
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Old 09-10-05, 12:12 PM   #22
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In the nearly 20 years they have had Critical Mass in Seattle. I cannot think of one positive thing they have done for my cycling rights or cycling advocacy. You would better spend you time with a local bike club and/or cycling advocacy group. They actually accomplish something beyond ticking of the general population.
Maybe you expect too much from CM. Keep those pictures of nekkid women on bikes coming outta Seattle and Vancouver!
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Old 09-10-05, 12:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by barenakedbiker
Maybe you expect too much from CM.
When they tell me they are there for my rights then thats exactly what I expect from them. I don't see it happening.



Quote:
Keep those pictures of nekkid women on bikes coming outta Seattle and Vancouver!
Be happy to most of the time they start their ride from the park across the street from my work
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Old 09-10-05, 12:31 PM   #24
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I'm very much against CM but I can understand those who say they're for it but don't think it helps advocate bicycling rights.

If someone is for CM as a big party for cyclists, I can understand that. If someone is for CM because they hate cars, I can understand that. If someone is for CM because they're would-be revolutionaries and like stirring up crap, I can understand that. If someone thinks the police have over-reacted to CM and have violated the civil rights of some individuals, I can understand that (I agree with that, actually, but it has nothing to do with cycling advocacy; it's one of the big lies of CM (CM has many lies), that it does).

What I cannot fathom is anybody who thinks CM has anything to do with cycling advocacy. I cannot fathom anybody who thinks CM has ever done anything to further the cause of bicyclists. All CM has ever done is get people pissed at bicyclsts (and I can't say I blame people for being pissed at bicyclists, considering the behavior of some CMers).

CM is cycling anti-advocacy; CM is cyclists shooting themselves in the foot. CM is an an attack on responsible bicyclists everywhere. Bicyclists would be better off if CM did not exist.
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Old 09-10-05, 03:23 PM   #25
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A so far not cited dynamic here is age: I keep reading stuff that invariably translates out to people acting out the last vestiges of Rebellious Teenager Syndrome. Does traffic and/or the drivers here in NYC suck? Yes, of course they do. Clogging up the streets once a month to return the "Eff You!" is not the answer.
Does the NYPD get heavy-handed sometimes. Yes, I'm sure they do. But all you cm advocates keep leaving out the other side: You guys keep showing up to renew the confrontation. You deviate from the route, so that the Officers who were originally assigned to escort you end up ticketing you for Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing Government Administration.

The charges leveled are significant: if the NYPD saw CM as traffic, the offenses cited would be Failure to Stop, and other traffic violations. That they cite CM'ers for DisCon and OGA means that they have no problem seeing CM for what it is, which is a kind of mob that disrupts the normal flow of traffic.
Again: The NYPD acts on orders from 1 Police Plaza, who gets their instructions from the Mayor. He's the one who's convinced that CM is bad. How did he get that impression? All the drivers that CM has p!ssed off over time have called him to complain. And let's not forget that people who can afford to run an automobile in NYC can also afford to make political contributions.
We have a Mayoral Race going on right now. Spend your time courting the candidates and letting them know why they should care, contribute to the legal fight going on now against the Bloomberg Administration, and for G-d's Sake, please remember that you are adults and please comport yourselves that way!
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