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Lawyers speak out on NYPD crackdown

Here is a letter by lawyers Gideon Oliver, David B. Rankin and Steve Vaccaro on the current worsening situation between the NYPD and NYC cyclists. This is also an excellent timeline of the recent history of legal affairs and the crackdown on the biking community.

NYPD’s Ongoing Bicycle Crackdown
by Gideon Orion Oliver, David B. Rankin, and Steve Vaccaro

This is an overview of New York City bicycle laws and the manner in which the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has enforced those laws over time. These materials are for information only and cannot substitute for the advice of a knowledgeable lawyer familiar with the circumstances of a particular case. The authors have extensively litigated NYPD misconduct for issuing “bad tickets” to cyclists, and are available for an initial free consultation.

Read more here.

Class Action against NYPD crackdown against cyclists with no class.

The law firms of Oliver & Oliver and Rankin & Taylor, citywide defenders of civil liberties and bicyclists rights are now bringing a class action lawsuit against the NYPD. According to Gothamist the crackdown on cyclists by the police is riddled with false charges to the point where the cops aren’t even sure of the laws they claim the bikers are breaking.

Gothamist article:

NYPD’s Cyclist Ticket Blitz Booms, Class Action Lawsuit Looms
By John Del Signore on May 25, 2011

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(photo by: Adrian Kinkoch)

The NYPD’s citywide cyclist ticket blitz has yielded a record-breaking number of summonses so far this year, according to a report in the Post. The NYPD has issued 13,843 tickets to cyclists in 2011, up from 9,345 tickets written over the same period in 2010, and 3,708 for the same period of 2009. The tickets are for such offenses as running red lights, running stop signs, biking on sidewalks, speeding, not wearing a helmet, and hanging tote bags on their handlebars. Fun fact: only some of those things are actually violations in NYC! And that’s why a group of cyclists are suing.

Read more here.

WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE-NYC

The World Naked Bike Ride, NYC is June 11th.

Last year the pure nakedness shocked a BP gas station and has lead to their eventual closure…(Gothamist)
(photo by Bitchcakes)

They’ve got a tumblr page.

Get ready, to get NAKED! wiki page.

5/24/11-Bike Burlesque at South Paw

Nona Varnado and thebirdwheel.com along with Heather Loop, presents, Bike Burlesque at South Paw in Park Slope Brooklyn.

Facebook events page.

Survey on bikes across the Verrazano, on busses.

The only bikeable route to Staten Island (within the five boroughs) is the Ferry. Please take a minute to fill out this survey in the hopes of gaining bus access on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

More about this survey:
Staten Island is the only borough of NYC without a direct pedestrian connection to the rest of the city. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island with Brooklyn, is only accessible to cars and buses, though it is a key link in the bicycle network envisioned in New York City’s Bicycle Master Plan. While pedestrians can cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge by bus, bicyclists can’t do the same legally and must rely on personal automobiles.
This survey focuses on two strategies that could improve bicycle and pedestrian access accross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Find the survey here.

New bike coalition-localspokes.org

A group of nine environmental and bicycle advocacy/activist groups have formed a coalition to create more public space and bicycle infrastructure in the Lower East Side and Chinatown.
Local Spokes (www.localspokes.org) is comprised of the following groups:

Asian Americans for Equality
Good Old Lower East Side
Green Map System
Hester Street Collaborative
Recycle-A-Bicycle
Times Up!
Transportation Alternatives
Two Bridges Neighborhood Council

According to their website, the group strives to:

This NYC-based Coalition seeks to engage and understand the community’s various perspectives through multilingual outreach and a youth ambassadors program.

They are having an launch meet and greet BBQ,

Wednesday May 25th 5-8pm at El Jardin Del Paraiso – on East 5th Street just East of Avenue C.

Stairmaster Challenge Alleycat

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Stoned Tone of NYC messkings, wanted you to know he’s helping his friend Eli throw an alley cat on Saturday. That’s right…the end of the world. So grab your bike and join the stairmaster challenge. There will be lots of checkpoints with stairs so get ready for armageddon on your calves.

Black Hills Fat Tire Festival

I get sent emails all the time for bike events around the world. Here’s the upcoming Black Hills Fat Tire Festival, May 27-30th. Rapid City, South Dakota.

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From the website:
“But the star of the festival is the trail itself, located within the city limits. Nancy Busching, a 2003 Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame Inductee as Amateur Athlete of the Year, frequently races in the Fat Tire Festival. She thinks other riders are often surprised to discover the quantity and quality of off-road trails so close to the shops, hotels, restaurants and even residential areas of Rapid City.”

More info: bhfattirefestival.com

Community Board bike update

A couple of community board bike related updates:

Community Board 10 rejected a proposal for a new bike lane in Bay Ridge Brooklyn:

the L magazine.

And Community Board 7 voted 11-0 for a temporary ban on vehicular traffic in Central Park.

the Examiner.

Bike to work week

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(illustration by: Andy Singer taken from Urban Velo magazine.)

This week is bike to work week (May 16-20) which is just in time because Saturday, May 21st the world ends. On second thought, maybe you should ride somewhere more fun than work.

Here is an article from the Huffington Post about bike week and a chance to win a road bike.

The Health Benefits Of Cycling (Plus A Chance To Win A Bike!)

The average American spends just over 45 minutes a day commuting to and from work, according to one survey — but instead of the road-rage fueled car trips or shoulder-to-shoulder public transportation commute, what if you started your day off on a better, healthier note?
The League of American Bicyclists is the national sponsor of Bike Month — and this week, May 16-20 is the official Bike to Work Week. Biking to work can be a cheaper (no gas, tolls or public transportation fees), greener and, yes, healthier option.

Read and see where to enter: here.