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  1. #1
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    Cycling Protest in T.O.

    Cyclists block westbound Gardiner
    A group of cyclists cruises down the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, Friday, May 30, 2008.
    May 31, 2008
    Laura Stone
    Staff Reporter

    The westbound Gardiner Expressway was shut down for about 20 minutes tonight when over 200 cyclists got onto the highway at Jameson Ave. shortly before 8 p.m.

    The cyclists rode for those 20 minutes before being directed towards the off-ramp at Dunn Ave. by police. Traffic was stalled as the bikers took up all the westbound lanes, but has since returned to normal.

    One man, whom police said is part of a cycling group, was taken into custody and faces several charges under the Highway Traffic Act. Police believe the group was participating in a protest, but have no details. The man is set to be released later tonight.

    "That wasn't the smartest thing to do," said Sgt. Gary McBratney of the Toronto police's traffic services department. "It's a tough way to make a point, if a car hits you up there."

    No injuries were reported.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Man I heard about this on the radio. Arn't those guys part of the Critical Mass group or something? The cops got a damn good point. I mean on the highway is a good way to make a point and also to get your butt road pizza'ed as well.
    Zero_Enigma

  3. #3
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    "when over 200 cyclists got onto the highway at Jameson Ave. shortly before 8 p.m." QUOTE.


    I believe that SPADINA AVENUE was the point of entry, not JAMESON AVENUE.


    Regards,
    J T

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    I was part of this pack of cyclists. To be honest it was pretty risky. The way the interchange works, and the nature of the traffic at that point, actually made merging onto a crazy busy highway not that difficult at all. It took some time before the pack had taken over all three lanes. I would say it was risky, but very controlled. Maybe a 5/10 on the scale of stupidity.

    Besides...cruising at 50kph down an empty highway was pretty surreal!

  5. #5
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    You and your "fellow travellers", are IDIOTS!

    "cruising at 50kph down an empty highway. . " QUOTE.

    FYI, the highway was not empty BEHIND you.


    J T

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    Quote Originally Posted by J T CUNNINGHAM View Post
    You and your "fellow travellers", are IDIOTS!

    "cruising at 50kph down an empty highway. . " QUOTE.

    FYI, the highway was not empty BEHIND you.


    J T


    You're missing the entire point of Critical Mass. The entire reason this cycling event exists is to raise awareness about cycling in Toronto. Cars and trucks hog the road every minute of every day at the expense of cyclists who are legally entitled to the same plot of land. Commuting in Toronto is suicide. Just last week a cyclists was killed when some idiot opened a door without looking. I've been run off the road two or three times this summer already.

    Now - admittedly, we were riding on a highway. That's illegal any way you cut it. However, considering the broader context I have little sympathy for drivers that are held up along the way.

    As they say, Critical Mass isn't holding up traffic, they ARE traffic.

  7. #7
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airosen View Post
    Police believe the group was participating in a protest, but have no details.
    Well, that was effective in getting the point across.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    You're missing the entire point of Critical Mass. The entire reason this cycling event exists is to raise awareness about cycling in Toronto. Cars and trucks hog the road every minute of every day at the expense of cyclists who are legally entitled to the same plot of land. Commuting in Toronto is suicide. Just last week a cyclists was killed when some idiot opened a door without looking. I've been run off the road two or three times this summer already.

    Now - admittedly, we were riding on a highway. That's illegal any way you cut it. However, considering the broader context I have little sympathy for drivers that are held up along the way.

    As they say, Critical Mass isn't holding up traffic, they ARE traffic.
    While I agree with your goal, I doubt that pissing off motorists is the most effective way to win them over to our side. I suspect that drivers delayed by the protest will have a more antagonistic view of cyclists in the future, rather than a sympathetic one.

    Condolences for the local rider who was killed.
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

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    This seems to be the challenge with any social movement in general. Labour strikes, mass protest movements, etc, often serve to piss the hell out of the general public. It doesn't matter how valid the rationale for a TTC union strike is, we still all hate them for interrupting our morning commute.

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    "You're missing the entire point of Critical Mass." QUOTE.


    YOU, are missing the entire point!

    YOU & THEY are "fellow travellers", in the historical sense of the term. If you do not

    understand that, how are you able to understand what you really are doing.

    (Or are you THAT uninformed; does the word 'ignorant', sound better to your

    'virgin ears'?)


    J T

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    Quote Originally Posted by J T CUNNINGHAM View Post
    "You're missing the entire point of Critical Mass." QUOTE.


    YOU, are missing the entire point!

    YOU & THEY are "fellow travellers", in the historical sense of the term. If you do not

    understand that, how are you able to understand what you really are doing.

    (Or are you THAT uninformed; does the word 'ignorant', sound better to your

    'virgin ears'?)


    J T



    It seems as though you resent the fact that we impede traffic. I'll assume, then, that you are generally unsupportive of the entire Critical Mass ride. After all, we caused entire city blocks to grind to a standstill this evening.

    I understand that there is a delicate balance between raising social awareness and frustrating "innocent" bystanders. The tension between shaking a complacent public from their seemingly endless insomnia while remaining within the bounds of civil law is a complicated affair. The precise balance seems undefinable, for there will almost always, and perhaps necessarily so, be a particular group that disputes the validity of any given statement. That being said, when considering broader social change, boundaries are there to be pushed. Riding on the highway was dangerous and illegal. At the same time, social mobilization in the 1960's was often illegal, and look at what was achieved! My point is that sometimes people need to be inconvenienced in order to understand the nature of pressing issues.

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    What the hell did you achieve if no one knows what the hell you jokers were out there for?

    The only thing you have accomplished is to give cyclists a bad name. Look at how many people have started to hate the TTC...

    The original intentions of critical mass might have been good, but it's become an excuse for a bunch of punks to go out on a joy ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    This seems to be the challenge with any social movement in general. Labour strikes, mass protest movements, etc, often serve to piss the hell out of the general public. It doesn't matter how valid the rationale for a TTC union strike is, we still all hate them for interrupting our morning commute.
    The TTC union strike is not about any social movement or social change so let's not use that as an example.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    I understand that there is a delicate balance between raising social awareness and frustrating "innocent" bystanders.
    Why don't you just use the word guilty instead of hiding it? You've evidently already condemned society.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    The tension between shaking a complacent public from their seemingly endless insomnia while remaining within the bounds of civil law is a complicated affair. The precise balance seems undefinable, for there will almost always, and perhaps necessarily so, be a particular group that disputes the validity of any given statement. That being said, when considering broader social change, boundaries are there to be pushed. Riding on the highway was dangerous and illegal. At the same time, social mobilization in the 1960's was often illegal, and look at what was achieved! My point is that sometimes people need to be inconvenienced in order to understand the nature of pressing issues.
    Ooo..shakey rationale...reminds me of Maoist rhetoric/rationalism. The ride did not push the boundaries, it broke through the boundaries in the sense that it was illegal. This is Canada, not some sort of third-world nation such as Nepal or Colombia or Cuba or even the US where "social mobilization" may call for the use of illegal methods.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    As they say, Critical Mass isn't holding up traffic, they ARE traffic.
    If you are traffic then obey the traffic laws. Just because some drivers break the law doesn't entitle you to do the same thing.

    I did CM once and only once because the idea of blowing through reds and ignoring stop signs is not only illegal but wrong in a moral sense. CM inconveniences people and gives the rest of society the wrong idea about cyclists. As a cyclist, I certainly don't believe in flagrantly breaking laws nor do I want to hold up other people's business.

    I strongly believe in the concept of bicyclists en masse sharing the road, that's sharing the road, not seizing control of it. CM in its current incarnation is doing exactly what it accuses cars of doing.

  15. #15
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    Four cyclists charged after Gardiner ride

    May 31, 2008
    Sunny Freeman
    Staff Reporter


    About 200 cyclists, some riding with children, shut down the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway last night in what police called a dangerous stunt.

    The Gardiner was shut down for almost half an hour when the cyclists, most of whom were wearing helmets, stormed onto the westbound lanes from Lower Jarvis St. around 7:30 p.m., said Traffic Services Sgt. Jeff Redden.

    The cyclists pedaled down the expressway for about 20 minutes and seven kilometres before being rounded up by police cruisers and directed toward the off-ramp at Dunn Ave, said Redden.

    There were no collisions or injuries, but traffic was stalled as the bikers took up all westbound lanes and refused to leave, Redden said.

    “It was a crazy idea. They came, and then like cattle they all went up the ramp and once they were up there, they realized there was a problem when they couldn’t get off the ramp.”

    Some cyclists dismounted their bikes and climbed over a wall onto CN railway tracks to escape police, said Redden.

    Redden said he had never seen anything like it. “It goes beyond common sense in saying its not a good idea...Everyone has their right to free speech and protest, but not in that manner.”

    Redden said it did not appear to be an organized protest, but that several cyclists had placards demanding a bike lane along Bloor St. He believes it was related to the Critical Mass bike ride, which meets on the last Friday of every month.

    Four cyclists who refused to leave the highway were arrested and charged under the Provincial Offences Act with cycling on a highway.

    Redden said some of the cyclists dismounted their bikes, thrust them above their heads and ran at the officers.

    Police had released everyone and traffic was moving slowly by around 8:30 p.m., about an hour after cyclists flooded the ramps.

    Redden said there was no indication cyclists from the Toronto Criterium bike race happening nearby, were involved.

    Yvonne Bambrick, of the Toronto Cyclists Union said she had no idea the event was occurring.

    “Breaking the law is never a good idea ... It doesn’t strike me as a very safe thing to do.”

    A Facebook group for the Toronto chapter of Critical Mass was abuzz today with posts about the controversial stunt.

    Tory Law, 21 year-old cyclist and member of the group, confirmed the ride was organized by Critical Mass.

    “I fully support Critical Mass’ cause, however the methods used to convey CM’s message last night is questionable indeed,” he wrote. “I think what CM did does portray a negative image; however, what other possible way is there to get attention?”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    From www.thestar.com

    Doesn't seem like the smartest way to get their point across.

  16. #16
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    "you have the right to free speech as long as you don't slow the traffic down"


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    Senior Member powerband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    You're missing the entire point of Critical Mass. The entire reason this cycling event exists is to raise awareness about cycling in Toronto. Cars and trucks hog the road every minute of every day at the expense of cyclists who are legally entitled to the same plot of land. Commuting in Toronto is suicide. Just last week a cyclists was killed when some idiot opened a door without looking. I've been run off the road two or three times this summer already.

    Now - admittedly, we were riding on a highway. That's illegal any way you cut it. However, considering the broader context I have little sympathy for drivers that are held up along the way.

    As they say, Critical Mass isn't holding up traffic, they ARE traffic.
    I understand the intended message, but this method is at best trying to make a right out of two wrongs. It just doesn't work.

    Someone didn't think this through.
    Go Hard

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    This seems to be the challenge with any social movement in general. Labour strikes, mass protest movements, etc, often serve to piss the hell out of the general public. It doesn't matter how valid the rationale for a TTC union strike is, we still all hate them for interrupting our morning commute.
    You're an idiot and should have been thrown in jail. What a stupid way to make a point. What if someone was killed you idiots? This is just going to make people hate cyclists even more. Way to go.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    I think Critical Mass would be effective if everyone obeyed the laws. What's the point of going out and intentionally holding up traffic, running reds, etc.? It just pisses off drivers even more. There are better ways to raise awareness without causing more animosity.

  20. #20
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    "You're an idiot and should have been thrown in jail. What a stupid way to make a point. What if someone was killed you idiots? This is just going to make people hate cyclists even more. Way to go." QUOTE.


    +1


    Regards,
    J T

  21. #21
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    I'm trying to see if there is enough interest in Toronto for a Critical Manners:

    Any Interest In A Critical Manners for Toronto?

    It seems from this thread as if there should be some interest in a counterbalance.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by airosen View Post
    Redden said.

    “It was a crazy idea. They came, and then like cattle they all went up the ramp and once they were up there, they realized there was a problem when they couldn’t get off the ramp.”
    Now, that's embarrassing.

  23. #23
    Senior Member drafters65's Avatar
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    "Some cyclists dismounted their bikes and climbed over a wall onto CN railway tracks to escape police, said Redden." ROFL!....

    " About 200 cyclists, some riding with children, shut down the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway last night in what police called a dangerous stunt." shows how unfit they are to be parents....

    i wish you guys tried something like that in Nyc...ill be the first to plow through the group like a bowling ball and get away with it...

  24. #24
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    When riding home from the Toronto Crit I passed CM on Bay St and they asked me to join them. Glad I didn't.

    I don't see the point in picking a fight with motorists. Odd how they expect motorist to show decency and respect for others but won't reciprocate. I get the impression that these days CM is just a opportunity to be a creep on bike. The ride does not promote safety or a better understanding of the danger cyclists face on the road. Just a F-U to people driving home from work or wherever.

    Critical Mass - good idea, poorly executed.
    Last edited by Turd Ferguson; 06-01-08 at 12:31 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    "you have the right to free speech as long as you don't slow the traffic down"

    don't you know that my (motorized) commute is more important that your civil liberties? this is the free world!
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

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