Friday night was NYC critical mass on the heels of the NYPD backing down on enforcing new rules on parading. This did not stop a large police presence of scooter cops and ticketing, continuing the harassment of cyclists. There is also evidence that police stopped a videographer and knocked his camera to the ground…so much for free speech.
Of course, I missed another Critical Mass and instead went to the King Kog hosted: New Jack City Alley Cat.
We got to play drug dealer and the object of the race was to sell as much: “Crack” as you could in an hour and a half. Kind of like that first PDA video game we all wasted time with: Drug Dealer. The race started around 8:00pm in front of King Kog bike shop on Hope St. in the Willy B. This is where you registered and got a spoke card of an UZI and phat t-shirt that Team Screen designed with the slogan: “Crack Kills.” Then Bill from Messnyc, announced the rules of the game and gave the first location of the “Carter House” (From the movie New Jack City). The race worked like this. You go to the Carter house to get Crack and a manifest which has the location of 3 places to sell the crack and get your manifest marked with a green sharpie. Every sell is one mark, per checkpoint, until you fill up the manifest and thus…need to get some MO CRACK. So you ride back to the Carter house, get new viles and a new manifest…the one who sells the most…WINS. But there was a snafu…Cause crime don’t always pay and the Man is out there to bust you. 2 people were randomly selected to be cops, they were competing to see who could make the most busts. Armed with a red and blue sharpie if they caught you at a checkpoint (where a deal was going down) you got busted and recieved a red or blue mark on the manifest and 0 points. The cops looked like other riders and would hang out at the checkpoints to spoil your game.
We got some good video of this race but my helmet cam somehow turned off after a half hour and we didn’t get the great footage of “officer” Ken taking his role of the undercover cop…to the extreme.
I believe Sean won this race. More details will soon be posted…probably by Ken on the NYBMA website.
So the police decided to back off on their parade facsi—I mean parade regulations. They obviously didn’t want to make a big fuss when me and Samantha were away on our Honeymoon. Good move on their part cause we were gonna give them hell!
But we all know the fight is far from over.
Here is an upcoming free screening from Transportation Alternatives of the documentary…”contested streets.”
EXPERTS DISCUSS NYCâ€™S TRAFFIC CONGESTION AND SCREEN CONTESTED STREETS: BREAKING NYC GRIDLOCK AS PART OF SOLAR ONEâ€™S SOLAR-POWERED FILM SERIES
New York, New York (August 22, 2006) â€“ A new survey released by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign this summer shows that more than three-fourths of New Yorkers (79%) consider traffic jams on city streets to be a problem, including 53% who consider it a â€œmajor problem.â€ The same survey finds that 59% of New Yorkers say the mayor is doing only a â€œfairâ€ to â€œpoorâ€ job of reducing traffic jams and delays on city streets, highways and bridges
This stands in stark contrast to cities around the world like London, Paris and Copenhagen that are fighting back against traffic congestion, in part by switching trips to mass transit, cycling and walking.
Leaders in New York are taking notice, both of this problem and the solutions posed in a new film, co-produced by Transportation Alternatives, called Contested Streets: Breaking NYC Gridlock. The film has been screened for business leaders and at the NYC City Council.
Now Transportation Alternatives is working to take the film to audiences across the city. A free public screening will take place on Saturday, August 26th at Solar 1 in Stuyvesant Cove Park (E. 23rd Street and the East River) as part of their Solar Powered Film Series.
At 8 pm there will be a panel discussion about NYCâ€™s traffic problem and what groups around the city and around the world are doing to fight traffic. The panel will feature: Alexis Perrotta: Senior Policy Analyst, Regional Plan Association Ethan Kent: Vice President, Project for Public Spaces Glenn McAnanama: Founder, Upper Green Side and blogger featured on The Oil Drum and StreetsBlog Matthew Roth: Director, NYC Streets Renaissance Campaign Moderator: Dani Simons: Deputy Director, Transportation Alternatives
At 9 pm there will be a screening of Contested Streets. The screening is free and open to the public. Guests can enjoy delicious refreshments generously donated by the Birdbath Bakery, the cityâ€™s first sustainably built and managed bakery; as well organic wine, Brooklyn Brewery beer and other choice treats.
August 24th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Congratulations to us. Samantha and I had an amazing wedding up at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian NY. We had a short but symbolic bike ride on Saturday morning and then me and my sweetie rode off on our new tandem after the beautiful ceremony. Thanks to all our friends and family who came out and celebrated this amazing weekend with us.
There is just too much damn shit going on in the world of bikes to put bikeblog on hold. I will be out of town till August 23rd in Mexico for my Honeymoon. Meanwhile…John Neese, otherwise known as “Bronx” John has passed away. Here are the details from the NYBMA website, which includes information on a memorial ride tomorrow for John.
Bronx John WILL be missed…. On the morning of Saturday August 12th, John Neese – more well known as “Bronx John” – was pronounced dead and taken off of the life support that had been keeping him alive since his accident on Wednesday night. His mother has been contacted, and was at Belleview when the announcement was made. John was a beloved, long time member of the messenger community, and will be greatly missed. There will be a memorial ride for him and Darren Lewis, who died Thursday morning, on Tuesday, August 15th. It is scheduled to start at 8pm in the plaza across from the Javits Center on 11th Avenue between 35th and 36th street (where Cranksgiving starts). The ride will pass the locations of Darren and John’s accidents, and end in Williamsburg. We will then go to Rock Star bar (S. 5th & Kent) where people will have a chance to say some words about both of them.-NYBMA
Also King Kog, track bike shop in Williamsburg, posted the same information and gave this quote:
John was the HOMIE!…The nicest guy, always laughing and having a good time…He had my back just as he did everyone else’s…
August 14th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
I said this was it for August…but this is important. One of our own, a veteran of the messenger community is in a coma after an accident on his bike Wednesday night. It happened on South 4th and Roebling in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The guys name is “Bronx” John and his is in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital. John is a real solid, nice and friendly guy. My prayers are with you John…get well soon.
What? How can this be? In an ideal world I would spend my entire day mining the internet for wacky new bicycle innovations; reporting on alleycats and other messenger related events and posting all of your rants and observations on the NYPD’s jihad against our two wheeled warriors…wait a minute…that is what I do all day. Well I have to take a bit of a break because I am burnt out and I am getting married next week to the amazing Samantha Lobis who somehow tolerates my pretense for internet viewing and published rantings. Then we are off to Mexico for a brief honeymoon in a country that doesn’t just sit idle when their elections are being contested but rather march 2 million people in the streets to shut down the downtown area. Although we will be on the beach sipping margaritas and hopefully not being too despised by the locals who are innodated with fat clueless tourists who spend their money in mega-resorts and not into the local economy. We will tell them we are from Canada..eh and Dos Cervezas Por Favor. Then I come back on the day of the public hearing and its off the 2006 North American Cycle Courier Championships. As you can see my plate is a little full right now. I know what your thinking…How can I get through my day without your important compilation of bike related material? It will be difficult…Especially in this harsh political climate against bikes as record breaking globally warm heatwaves plague us and thousands of innocent civilians get laser guided missiles dropped on them so our Hummers can get groceries at Walmart 10 blocks from our homes built with old growth lumber. All I can say is channel your fustrations against that damn blogger stopping his rants to go and marry the state into ACTION. Write your city council members and tell them they are being left out of the process of parade definitions because the crybaby police are tired of riding their little scooters into us and writing tickets with code violations that don’t exist. Tell them to represent you and to tell Bloomberg, Kelly and Smolka that the police are supposed to enforce the laws…not make them up.
Bike Blog will return to your regularly scheduled bike culture news in September…Bigger and Better on into the year 3000. (and maybe even figure out how to use html code)
Now let us all join in the words of the great spiritual hym…Still We Ride, Still We Ride…Thank God Almighty…Still We Ride!
Central park is all part of the Master Plan, to harass cyclists and discourage our ridership…How else can you explain cops now ticketing cyclists in Central Park? Why now is this an issue? The cops say it is because someone got hurt by a bike rider. Weather this is true or not…DId you hear anything about this? As a blogger I am pretty tuned into events involving bikes. But hey, If I’m wrong…send me the article.
Meanwhile, Alex reports on what is going on in Central Park…what a sham. Thanks Alex for the photo and the report:
I wanted to give you and your readers a heads up about recent ticketing tactics being employed by the park police in Central Park. This morning I watched the park police (green and white uniformed officers) writing tickets to two different cyclist on the park loop road near Delacorte Theatre. Additionally, I talked to a third cyclist who was also stopped by the officers. The third cyclist ultimately became tired of waiting for the officers to finish with the other two cyclists. So, she casually rode off. As an aside, I saw her ride past the officers about a half hour later without incident. I was only able to talk to one of the other cyclists who said he thought he was being cited for “running a red light”, but he wasn’t sure. I run daily on the Bridle Path in Central Park. I usually finish my runs around 7am. Since I returned from vacation around July 20th, I have noticed the park police setting up a barricade on the park loop. The barricade is situated between the Delacorte Theater and the Marionet Puppet Theatre. The park police place one officer in the bike lane at the light immediately downhill from the Delacorte bathrooms and have a couple more officers and vehicles on the bike path adjacent to the Marionet Puppet Theatre. In addition, near the second set of officers, there is a barricade set up so as to narrow down the vehicle traffic on the loop from 2 to 1 lane. The whole set-up looks identical to a sobriety checkpoint (if only it were…). The first officer tries to act as a traffic cop of sorts. When the light turns red for traffic, he then stands in (or on the grass adjacent to) the bike lane and holds out his hand for bikes to stop. I am assuming the cyclists being ticketed did not see this first officer and rode past him, only to be stopped about 200 feet down the road/bike lane by the barricade and several more officers. Being the naive citizen that I am, when I first saw this barricade set up around 7am July 20th, I thought, “Awesome, they are slowing down the taxi drivers who treat the C.P. loop like a nascar track.” I casually observed the set up of this barricade at about 7am nearly everyday for the past 2 weeks, and always conjured up the same praise of the park police to myself each time. Obviously, I am a dummy. Indeed the barricade is meant to slow down the speeding nascar-taxis of Manhattan, but not with the intended consequence of protecting the public. Nay, the officers appear to be creating the buffer in an effort to make their work environment safer, such that they can ticket cyclists without fear of being hit by a speeding yellow bullet (or SUV). Anyways, this is the first major and consistent effort at ticketing on the UWS I have seen in the past two years. In short, I watched several cyclists get ticketed for riding their bikes in the bike lane of the Central Park loop. The only reason I observed the ticketing today is because I started my run after 7am instead of much earlier. So, as a warning, the park police have been setting this barricade up consistently for the past 2 weeks. It would be a safe bet to assume that they have been nabbing about 10-15 cyclists (lowball estimate for sure) per morning at this “checkpoint”. I have attached a picture of the situation below. Be careful out there. Feel free to pass my email on to anyone who has questions.
alex (email@example.com) ï¿¼
“Man’s humanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad, it is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good.” — Rev. Martin L. King Jr.
You know when you break a vase in the house by playing nerf football and your parents make a RULE about not playing football anymore in the living room…Well the NYPD is trying to make new rules about parading.
This roughly translates into: The NYPD have been unsuccessful in stopping the critical mass bike ride since the RNC in 2004. No matter what they have tried, stealing bikes, arresting people, using orange netting, infiltrating the ride with undercovers, using domestic spying, ramming us with their scooters, tackling us off our bikes, dooring us with their squad cars, handing out false information that the ride is illegal, using thousands of dollars of our tax resources to scare us by their massive presence, using emergency vehicles to try and prove we don’t pull over when we do, raiding our fundraisers, smashing our video cameras, ticketing us on our regular commute, lying to us about helmet laws and the speed of our bikes, ticketing us in Central park and illegal bicycle inspections. STILL WE RIDE. The police have lost in court, they had no argument against critical mass so now in a desperate final messusre they are trying to come up with a RULES so we can’t play nerf football in the house.
If you think this is a ton of BS and not an appropriate response for the NYPD to be taken against Freedom loving bike riders who should be rewarded with bike lanes and encouraged to ride…Then TELL THE CITY WHAT YOU THINK….
TIMES UP SUGGESTS THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
+++TAKE ACTION AGAINST NYPD’S PROPOSED PARADE RULE!+++
NYPD has issued a proposed rule that would dictate how many people could legally ride their bikes or walk down the sidewalk together without a permit. The rule would actively discouraging cycling and make it more difficult for cyclists to ride together for safety. See the full text of the rule
Actions you can take to oppose the rule include:
1. Testify at the August 23 public hearing and attend the rally outside Police Plaza in opposition to the changes. Send notice of your intent to testify to:
Assistant Deputy Commissioner Thomas P. Doepfner New York City Police Department 1 Police Plaza, Room 1406 New York, NY 10038
2. Attend a People’s Public Forum on the proposed rule change. Thursday, August 17 at St. Mark’s Church (2nd Avenue and 10th Street) at 7 p.m.
3. If you are involved with these groups, tell them about the proposed changes and urge them to attend the August 23rd hearing.
4. Write Mayor Bloomberg and ask him to withdraw the proposed rule. (City Hall/New York, NY 10007/Fax (212) 788-2460/ email: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html)
5. Urge your councilmember to testify against the rule at the public hearing and at the People’s Public Forum. (Find your councilmember at http://www.nyccouncil.info/constituent/contact_member.cfm.
6. Pass along this information ————————————————— We must use our representation and our voices and stop this from happening. Forget the War in Iraq or the Massacre of the Lebanese people in the name of OIL…the war is here at home! If we can’t even defend our own constitution…forget about what is happening in the bigger front.
This is not just about a bunch of bike riders who are having their fun spoiled…This is the OIL EMPIRE tightening its grip!
August 2nd, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Will, of Onnyturf.com, has a report on the last NYC critical mass…
“The ride started brilliantly. A few hundred cyclists, 250 to 300 had gathered at the north end of Union Square. Rather than starting by heading south down Park Ave to Broadway, the ride broke out at the North West corner, heading across 17th street toward 5th Ave. It was about 8pm. 20 Police scooters had lined themselves up on the West Side of the park, and they were a little slow getting to 17th street.—
Please read carefully, this is a great detailed description about how the NYPD effectively creates more blocked traffic than the people do and then lie to us about how the bikers are the real problem to motor vehciles and the general flow of the streets.