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Old 12-06-04, 06:51 AM   #1
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This editorial in sunday's NYtimes.

Congratulations to those of you who made enough noise to get the paper's attention.

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Old 12-06-04, 06:59 AM   #2
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How about a cut and paste.
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Old 12-06-04, 07:20 AM   #3
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Well I don't want to login
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Old 12-06-04, 07:36 AM   #4
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he sight of hundreds or even thousands of bicycles on busy streets is something that sounds more like Beijing than New York, but on Manhattan's avenues, it has become a regular event. In monthly rides meant to promote healthful and nonpolluting commuting, cyclists have gathered and then pedaled for a few blocks en masse, often up Park Avenue from a parking lot at Union Square.

The ride, called Critical Mass, is part of a grass-roots effort that has taken hold in major American cities and hundreds of other cities worldwide. In recent months, though, what for six years had been a generally uneventful spin in New York City has drawn the ire of the police, who regard the bikers as a safety and security hazard and illegal to boot. The city has asked a federal court to halt the rides unless organizers get a permit, as they would for a parade. That could bring the rides to an unfortunate end.

Some cyclists have contributed to the showdown with unnecessarily aggressive behavior like blocking traffic and running red lights. Even so, the police seem to have come on awfully strong. Other cities, among them Chicago and San Francisco, have found ways to reconcile bikers and the police. But politics and increasingly frayed tempers have complicated matters in New York.

The turning point seems to have occurred before the Republican convention last summer, when regularly scheduled rides - on the last Friday of the month - took on overtones of a political protest. In July, some cyclists headed to the F.D.R. Drive, where bike riding is not allowed. At the end of August, just before the convention, Critical Mass attracted 5,000 riders. As part of a general crackdown on protests without permits, the police detained hundreds of riders - including, apparently, innocent bystanders. Since then, scores more Critical Mass cyclists have been arrested.

Norman Siegel, a prominent civil rights lawyer who is representing five riders whose bicycles were confiscated, agrees that Critical Mass riders should obey traffic laws. But he has reasonable concerns about what the police want. By petitioning to bar future rides by groups of even a few cyclists unless they have permits, he says, the city is seeking to pre-empt Critical Mass altogether.

Critical Mass has no organizers, and there's no way to know how many riders will participate in any given month. That's a problem if a permit to ride must be regularly obtained. The movement - which takes its name from a documentary film about cycling - spread from San Francisco in the early 1990's through the Internet and word of mouth. Various Web sites keep riders informed, but there is no hierarchy, and there's no formal leader of the pack. Critical Mass by its nature is no leaders and all followers, joined together by a love of cycling.

There is no law keeping bikes off the streets. The sudden appearance of thousands of riders obviously poses a challenge, but need not inconvenience others if riders do their part and obey traffic laws as they should. There are no doubt scofflaws among Critical Mass bikers, just as there are among car drivers. But the problem now is that instead of issuing summonses, the police have been arresting the cyclists, handcuffing and taking them away. That is not the best use of New York's finest.

In a city like New York, with heavy traffic congestion and overburdened mass transit, bicycles offer an alternative that ought to be encouraged. Bicycles do not create dangerous air emissions. They offer health benefits to the riders. And they're easier on the city's aging roads.

Past efforts to encourage commuter biking included the path on Sixth Avenue, a project of Mayor Ed Koch. Few people used it, many complained about it, and it was abandoned. But times are changing. As a way to promote cycling, Critical Mass has legs, in more ways than one. The city should work with riders to defuse their disagreement so the monthly rides can go on, in an orderly, lawful and safe way.
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Old 12-06-04, 07:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Nice letter, and I totally agree.
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Old 12-06-04, 08:03 AM   #6
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That's AWESOME!

I'm completely with it's tone and that's terrific press for us!
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Old 12-06-04, 08:24 AM   #7
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YYYYYYEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!! I have to observe this is well timed in the battle between the cops and bikes, but also well timed in the season; riding Sat and Sun, nearly every ave. and street I was on was a parking lot. I went down though Times Sq and there were people pouring off the sidewalks into the car clogged streets. If there is a time of the year to show the futility of the car in NYC, it is now. Thanks for pointing out the editorial.
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Old 12-06-04, 12:00 PM   #8
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that editorial is nice and all except they dont mention that it was the police that led us onto the west side highway where bikes are not allowed either. They took us out of times square and it was those scooter cops that put us on the highway. This isnt all about lawless cyclists (even though we are totally breaking the law) the police used the highway to get us off the streets. Its nice that the media is involved and all, but they should take some journalistic responsibility to report the story accurately. After all, if it wasnt for the media and their sensationalism WE WOULDNT BE IN THIS MESS AT ALL.
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Old 12-06-04, 01:33 PM   #9
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It's nice to hear a supportive tone in any mainstream comments about CM. In 50years, US cyclists will see CM cyclists for the heroes/heroines they truly are!
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Old 12-06-04, 02:32 PM   #10
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Critical Mass has lead to NYC beginning to propose laws to curtail bicycling. This is not a victory but a horrible defeat for bicyclist. It is as simple as that folks.
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Old 12-06-04, 03:33 PM   #11
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will see CM cyclists for the heroes/heroines they truly are!
Thanks, I needed the laugh.
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Old 12-06-04, 03:33 PM   #12
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Wait, we have the Times onboard and we have one nutjob councilwoman proposing bike registration laws and that is a horrible defeat? She brought more publicity for our cause than her own. Even the tabloids were on the bikers side. I think you are trying to bait me into a brawl just like that shortsighted hack in the Bronx
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Old 12-06-04, 04:14 PM   #13
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It makes me uncomfortable when I agree with the NYT.
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Old 12-06-04, 06:10 PM   #14
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Is it freezing in Hell yet?
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Old 12-06-04, 06:45 PM   #15
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Well, I did see Satan buying a snowblower...
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Old 12-06-04, 08:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpsblake
Critical Mass has lead to NYC beginning to propose laws to curtail bicycling. This is not a victory but a horrible defeat for bicyclist. It is as simple as that folks.
Straight from the horses mouth - Provenzano has stated the reason she proposed the bill was because of complaints from her constituents about bicyclists (particularly messangers and delivery guys) riding on the sidewalk and running redlights. Not once has she even mentioned critical mass.

Please keep your facts straight.
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Old 12-06-04, 09:40 PM   #17
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Wait, the President doesn't have to snowblow the Whitehouse, why would he buy a snowblo........
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Old 12-06-04, 09:42 PM   #18
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You know Yoshji, that just proves what a friggin' liar she is.

See, I happen to be one of her constituents... Unfortunately...

I have never seen a bike messenger in my neighborhood. See how easy it is to catch a liar?
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Old 12-06-04, 10:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
You know Yoshji, that just proves what a friggin' liar she is.

See, I happen to be one of her constituents... Unfortunately...

I have never seen a bike messenger in my neighborhood. See how easy it is to catch a liar?
Actually I must apologize. She said it was in reaction to her constituents' complaints about dangerous cyclists (I thought she mentioned delivery boys and messangers, looks ilke I need to keep my facts straight!). However, there is no mention of CM, and seeing as how she's a council woman in the Bronx, which does not have a CM, it seems like this is not a reaction to CM at all.
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Old 12-06-04, 10:20 PM   #20
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Actually, no you mustn't apologize.

In an op-ed in the NY Daily News a couple of days after the fit hit the shan about this idiotic legislation, she did in fact mention bike messengers and delivery boys.

You were correct the first time.
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