Friday, July 28, 2006

NYPD to Peds: Two People is a Parade

The NYPD is trying to get a new rule passed that would limit how many people could legally walk down the sidewalk or ride their bikes together. Under the new rule, if two or more people ride or even walk in a way that doesn’t follow every traffic law, they would be a “parade” and would have been required to get a permit before setting out. Civil rights attorney Norman Siegal notes that this means a family out for a bike ride would be considered lawbreakers and subject to arrest. Cyclists say new rules ride roughshod on liberties [The Villager]

Transportation Alternatives points out that these new rules would mean that anyone who walks to the park with their child, friend or neighbor and jaywalks could be arrested; school teachers who walk their classes to the park would have to get parade permits; any two cyclists who do not have bells on their bikes, do not ride in bike lanes or take their feet off the pedals (violating NYS VTL 1232) could be arrested. I'm sure you can think of many more examples.

In a really disgusting measure of who supports the NYPD's new rule, New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy says “The cops have finally gotten the go- ahead to bust the political pedal pushers who under the radar call themselves Critical Mass and arrogantly claim they own our roads. But the cops aren't going far enough.” Dunleavy urges the city's cab riders and motorists to throw open their car doors in front of "pedal punks" riding their "maiming machines" and "take back the streets" from bike-commuting "kamikaze jerks." [NY Post]
Inebriated Columnist Issues Fatwa Against Kamikaze Jerks: Response and fact-checking of Dunleavy’s rant [Streets Blog]

What can you do? There is a public hearing on August 23rd at 6pm at 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan. Go to it and make your voice heard, or write them a letter. Read the text of the proposed rule. More on this from Time’s Up and TransAlt.

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