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  1. #1
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Making Cycling Criminal

    Ok... I know there are a lot of us from New York City on here, so it's time we got together. What I'm about to show you is the reason that we have to act to protect our rights to the streets, be it on a Critical Mass ride, or by joining advocacy organizations like TA. Check this out, and tell me it doesn't make your blood boil:

    Action Alert!
    Stop the Anti-Bicycling Bill!

    A draconian anti-bicycling bill, Int. No. 497, was recently introduced to the New York City Council by Councilmember Madeline Provenzano.

    If passed, Int. No. 497 would require every bicycling New Yorker over sixteen years old to obtain bicycle license tags from the NYC Department of Transportation. The bill stipulates that those who do not display such tags on their bicycles would be subject to up to 15 days imprisonment in addition to hefty fines and bicycle confiscation.
    Yes, you heard that correctly. Registration for bikes.

    Face facts people, they want us off the streets.

    If you live in New York City, fill out the form at the bottom of this page to have a fax sent to Madeline Provenzano. Be respectful, we want to project a good image of us contrary to what they're trying to do.

    Fill in all the information; without it the faxes are usually disregarded.

    Don't take this laying down, or we're all going to be standing in line together to get license plates for our bikes. Also, email (or PM) me if you live in NYC and will be attending the Critical Mass ride the day after Thanksgiving so we can coordinate a meeting place and time and ride together.

    Let's show them what thousands of cyclists in the Big Apple think of politicians who want us off the road.

    Thanks guys.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    15 days imprisonment???????? Do the car drivers face that for not registering their cars?

  3. #3
    No, GIR, thatís bad. Konakazi's Avatar
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    Hey Vincen!

    Man I just got that email from T.A. also. What the hell is with this City?

    I had one of the most frustrating commutes home today in quite a while.

    Masses of people jaywalking together effectively making it a "walk" signal (pedestrian critical mass) , I get down to Herald Square Park and the planters next to the bike lane have been moved IN TO the bike lane, so now the lane is full of people too!

    Then I get down to Union Square where a car pulls out in front of me, from being parked, then stops suddenly when I start pedaling again. THEN backs up. I smacked the trunk of his car, and go around him. He calls me an ******* and peels rubber trying to giving me a little hit!!!!

    WOW.

    Anyway I've had it with the way the City treats bikers. It's bananas.

    I'm doing everything I can to make myself more visible as the winter creeps in. I just ordered two new lights and an Illuminite jacket to boot.

    I definitely want to do Critical Mass this month. I haven't done one since August or so and would love to get back out there.
    "Ooooo! You've got CHICKEN LEGS!"

    "Those darn liberal wackos! Why do they always try to get involved in just causes?"

  4. #4
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi


    Yes, you heard that correctly. Registration for bikes.

    Face facts people, they want us off the streets.
    Registering bikes takes them off the streets? And we thought neo-cons were paranoid!

    Nope, got it backwards. Critical Mass has demonstrated, beyond all doubt, that bicycles can be used on the road to flee the scene of a crime. Reckless cyclists have exploited their anonymity and put all cyclists at risk as a resut.

    Bikes should be registered so that their owners can be found and held responsible...not leave them by the roadside and run off like the little chicken-sh*ts they were in NYC during the republican convention. Since CM members are too gutless to control their friskier members, let the cops do it.

    How odd I should read your letter today. I just got back from dialing 911 and reporting a driver swaying erratically in the roadway; she appeared to be drunk, or perhaps ill. Of course we did so by using her license plate, which enabled the vehicle to be identified by the state police who pulled in front of us [and behind her] a few minutes later.

    Thanks for the fax form; with a few choice edits, I made my preferences clear.

    roughstuff
    Last edited by Roughstuff; 11-16-04 at 10:25 PM.
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Tell me one way in which forcing every single adult cyclist in the city to register their bike (like a car) and either fining or confiscating bikes is going to help police enforce anything.

    As for the RNC, even the most jaded observer knows that the majority of riders in those CM rides were not from this city. I suppose if you believe they were, you believe that the NION protests were all New Yorkers also.

    This is harassment plain and simple. The city wants to have an excuse to nail cyclists, and this is yet another attempt to make cycling in this city more difficult. Plain and bloody simple.

    And before you flame me as some liberal greenie whatever, I voted for Bush, I'm a hardcore conservative with very libertarian leanings in many ways, and as anyone who's been here for awhile will tell you I'm not the biggest fan of CM.

    HOWEVER

    I do not tolerate stuff like this laying down. This isn't about CM, it's about cycling, and the city making an attempt to make it more difficult. If you want to take that and be happy about it, that's your right.

    I for one am not going to, and I have a feeling there are a hell of a lot more people in here that agree with me than agree with you.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Oh, and Konakazi, let me know if you decide to do the ride. I'll be there along with a few others from here.
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  7. #7
    Out of breath again. suntreader's Avatar
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    I don't have a dog in this fight, but...

    1 - What is the motivation behind the bill? Are they searching for additional sources of tax revenue? If so, can you offer other options?

    2 - What are the actual chances of passage of this bill? If it's unlikely to pass, why do anything? If it might pass, are there political avenues that can be taken such as calling in a favor from a well-situated political friend?

    3 - Are you being baited into over-reacting? If the Councilmember sees this as a longshot, she might be clever enough to get you to prove her point for her by getting you into the streets. Then she can step in front of a TV camera and tell the good folks at home that bicycle licensing will put an end to all this out-of-control revelry.

    I know I'm just a simple southerner who doesn't understand life in the big city, but redneck South Carolina sheriffs have been using that last trick it for ages. And it still works!
    Last edited by suntreader; 11-16-04 at 10:33 PM.

  8. #8
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Madeline Provenzano 2931 Westchester Square, Bronx 10461
    City Hall: (212) 788-7375
    District: (718) 931-6060
    Fax: (718) 518-8443
    Email: provenzano@council.nyc.ny.us

    I think I'll just email her directly and tell her what a dumbass she is.
    My girlfriend's hybrid has no room on the back for the dumbassed license plate. Either she's got her blinker there or the damn plate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff
    Bikes should be registered so that their owners can be found and held responsible...not leave them by the roadside and run off like the little chicken-sh*ts they were in NYC during the republican convention. Since CM members are too gutless to control their friskier members, let the cops do it.
    roughstuff

    While you are welcome to your mistaken opinions regarding CM, you are just plain wrong about the facts as concerns the bike seizures of CM riders who locked their bikes and walked away from the scene. This took place in September, not August. During August, the seizures were preemptive (took place in the days leading up to the CM and the RNC) but at the pre-RNC CM, the NYPD's tactics were to seal the street at both ends, and catalogus and seize the bicycles of all the cyclists caught up in the nets. So while you can certainly make a case that riders at the Spetember CM were chickensh*ts, the riders at the August ride simply had no opportunity to be chickensh*ts in the way you describe. anecdotally, as on of the cyclists who was arrested at the August CM, most of the cyclists at that event were very much willing to accept the legal consequences and fight aginst the arrests withing the legal system. I didn't meet and haven't since talked to any chickensh*ts from the group of 265 who were arrested, though some of the women arrested were pretty mouthy about the whole thing.

    And secondly, again in the spirit of respecting your right to your opinions while correcting your mistaken beliefs concerning the facts, CM is not an organization, and CM has no members. CM is an event. Individual cyclists participate in the event. New York is the exception to the rule in this, in that an organization called time's up (times-up.org) takes it upon itself to include CM among the many cycling events that it promotes and, as is needed, defends. But CM itself is a leaderless event, not a club or a group. This is an important distinction, and I urge you to come to terms with it. It may help you in thinking about why, exactly, you oppose CM if you understand what, exactly, it is.

    Best,
    Laika

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    Oh, and Konakazi, let me know if you decide to do the ride. I'll be there along with a few others from here.
    allright, V, you've shamed me into sending them my money and joining TA. If you're willing to ride CM, I can certainly put at least some of my money where my mouth is. Thx for the link and info.

  11. #11
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    (1) Tell me one way in which forcing every single adult cyclist in the city to register their bike (like a car) and either fining or confiscating bikes is going to help police enforce anything....

    (2) And before you flame me as some liberal greenie whatever, I voted for Bush, I'm a hardcore conservative with very libertarian leanings in many ways, and as anyone who's been here for awhile will tell you I'm not the biggest fan of CM.
    On your first comment...I already HAVE done that, Vince. If you have a license plate that enables you to be identified you can't hide in your anonymity. Afer having a few fines or confiscations your behavior is likely to change.

    On the second point, I know you are conservative, as I have read many other of your posts. As a conservative, you know the role of incentives and importance of risk and reward. Extreme elements of CM are ruining it for everyone else. The 'organization' should either police itself, or it will be policed.

    Every vehicle on the road should be identifiable so that violators can be reported and punished. What better way to identify them than to have the equivalent of license plates?

    Has registering bikes in European countries reduced their use?

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  12. #12
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I'm also interested at the odds of this thing passing and/or if it's just gonna be slipped in.

  13. #13
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to see how our anti-CM contingent would react if you replaced the word "bicycle" with "***" in this legislation. I think it would be funny, in an ironic sort of way. "If we register our guns it's the first step towards a totalitarian state." Well what do you call not having the right to civil disobedience, genius?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    It would be interesting to see how our anti-CM contingent would react if you replaced the word "bicycle" with "***" in this legislation. I think it would be funny, in an ironic sort of way. "If we register our guns it's the first step towards a totalitarian state." Well what do you call not having the right to civil disobedience, genius?
    Well, when guns kill as many people as bicycles do, we'll...wait...I mean...bike don't kill people, wait...oh, bother.

  15. #15
    No, GIR, thatís bad. Konakazi's Avatar
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    Anyway let's stay on topic.

    I for one think that the bill would discourage people from casually cycling.

    Aside from the construction of the greenway, NYC IMO has done very little to encourage cycling or make it more safe for people.

    As I was saying earlier, the City even moved planters IN TO a bike lane in the heart of midtown! Thusly you are forced out of the bike lane and in to traffic. Lovely.

    Many people are too initimidated by traffic to ride in the city in the first place and adding one more hurdle to the scenario would likely make a lot of people say "Forget it".

    As for crime, how can anyone possible compare vehicular crimes or death to anything involving a bike? When was the last time there was a bike drive by in NYC? Or anywhere? If someone was drunk riding their bike, A) They might just do fine B) They might just fall over. It's not likely they would plow through an intersection, jump a curb and kill a family.

    At best in your scenario, the city would be flooded with phone calls from people complaining about over enthusiastic bike messengers.

    Cyclists have a bad enough rep because of the media's portrayals of recent events at Critical Mass rides without calling in Johnny Law.

    As far as being "paranoid", the reason why it's being discussed is largely because a a group called Transportation Alternatives sent out an email about it alerting people who would and should be concerned about it. It's perfectly within reason for someone to be concerned about a bill that could be passed in to law affecting their lifestyle.
    "Ooooo! You've got CHICKEN LEGS!"

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  16. #16
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    It would be interesting to see how our anti-CM contingent would react if you replaced the word "bicycle" with "***" in this legislation. I think it would be funny, in an ironic sort of way. "If we register our guns it's the first step towards a totalitarian state." Well what do you call not having the right to civil disobedience, genius?
    How about you replace "cycling" with "jogging" and tell me it's not stupid.

  17. #17
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff
    On the second point, I know you are conservative, as I have read many other of your posts. As a conservative, you know the role of incentives and importance of risk and reward. Extreme elements of CM are ruining it for everyone else. The 'organization' should either police itself, or it will be policed.
    As a conservative I also understand that government roles should be limited, if any, and overregulation is a bad thing. This smacks of both, and is completely the opposite of everything I stand for.

    And Laika, you know what? You're slowly becoming one of the coolest people I've met on here. Glad to have made your acquaintance.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konakazi
    As far as being "paranoid", the reason why it's being discussed is largely because a a group called Transportation Alternatives sent out an email about it alerting people who would and should be concerned about it. It's perfectly within reason for someone to be concerned about a bill that could be passed in to law affecting their lifestyle.
    Bingo.

    I'm gonna give Councilmember Provenzano a call tomorrow. Maybe I'll record it for s***s and giggles. I'll also be at the TA volunteer effort tomorrow night (it's a mailing party for the magazine). I can't wait to see what some of the other members have to say about this.
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  19. #19
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laika
    (1) So while you can certainly make a case that riders at the September CM were chickensh*ts, ....

    (2) CM is not an organization, and CM has no members. CM is an event. Individual cyclists participate in the event.

    Excuse my cut and paste to save screen space; you made good points in some places. But...

    (1) Yes, that is my only point. I do not doubt however, that CM rides are increasingly magnets for chickensh*ts of this sort.

    (2) Correct. And in order to improve identifying the individual cyclists who are responsible for the behavior at CM that so many cyclists and non cyclists abhor, somethin akin to a license plate is a great idea. Again, I ask..has registration of bicycles in some European countries discouraged use in any way?


    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    Glad to have made your acquaintance.
    Mutual, you filthy conservative.

  21. #21
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    (1) As a conservative I also understand that government roles should be limited, if any,

    (2)and overregulation is a bad thing. This smacks of both, and is completely the opposite of everything I stand for.
    (1) registration will be a key to LIMITING governments role by focusing attention on those responsible for the actions which so many cyclists find abhorrent about CM 'events.' Compare that with the 'dragnet' approach which is necessary right now because miscreants cannot be indentified.

    (2) Again a good point as a conservative; but behavior on the roadways has always been subject to a host of regulations on velocity, seat belts, signals, etc. Again...how do identify violators of these rules? By using license plates.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  22. #22
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    It would be interesting to see how our anti-CM contingent would react if you replaced the word "bicycle" with "***" in this legislation. I think it would be funny, in an ironic sort of way. "If we register our guns it's the first step towards a totalitarian state." Well what do you call not having the right to civil disobedience, genius?

    Hmmm..given my republican party's obsession with constitutional amendments these days, I propose this one Kristofperson!

    "A mobile and well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and ride bicycles shall not be infringed."

    Laugh not! The swiss army has a bicycle division!

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  23. #23
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Roughstuff: Your "Europe" example belies a very simple difference between the US and Europe. In Europe, cycling is a very different thing. It's encouraged. It's even cosmopolitan. In some major cities, there are more bikes than cars. In Amsterdam, you can grab a bike off the street (a public one) and ride it non stop and then leave it for the next person to pick up.

    They line up for local crits after the Tour just for a chance to see their heroes.

    In the US, the general population is apathetic / indifferent toward cycling, and in some cities, like NYC, they're downright antagonistic. Creating a registration system in Europe wouldn't change the cultural influences toward cycling. Doing so in the United States, where the support for the sport / activity is already weak would utterly destroy it.

    Something tells me that thought hasn't escaped Councilmember Provenzano.
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  24. #24
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff
    Hmmm..given my republican party's obsession with constitutional amendments these days, I propose this one Kristofperson!

    "A mobile and well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and ride bicycles shall not be infringed."

    Laugh not! The swiss army has a bicycle division!

    roughstuff
    I'm all for it, baby! "This Bike Is A pipe Bomb" Indeed.

  25. #25
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konakazi
    Anyway let's stay on topic...

    At best in your scenario, the city would be flooded with phone calls from people complaining about over enthusiastic bike messengers...
    Amen bro! Best reason for the law I have heard yet.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

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