The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Time's Up for a Chat

Every month on the last Friday evening a group of these people meet and decide to travel to together around the city. They slow down traffic wherever they go. They happen to ride bikes and belong to a group called Time's-Up. They also make a lot of noise because no one listens to their plight. Last Friday, 34 of them were arrested by the NYPD.

Imagine a group of people who go a little against the grain. They want to change the world one step at a time. They want to set a good example for sustainable transportation for others to follow. However, everyday they risk their life and limb navigating NYC's car clogged streets without the protection of even basic traffic safety lines. They have their property impounded because of inconsistent policies on parking. And they can't even voice their displeasure by riding together on New York's streets without getting tackled while in motion by the police.

I think it is high time that the city actually listened to some of the very reasonable demands from the cyclist community best summed up in these lists by Time's Up and Transportation Alternatives. They really aren't asking for a lot that would cost much money and would do much to improve the quality of life for the thousands of New Yorkers who bike to work, thus reducing traffic congestion and making room on mass transit for more riders.

Please write to your local city council person and Mayor Bloomberg to tell them to start a dialogue with the cyclist community now.

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At 1:50 PM, Blogger Public Takeover said...

Critical Mass is a spontaneous, unorganized monthly ride that takes place once a month in over 200 cities worldwide. The purpose is to promote alternative forms of transportation. The critical mass calls attention to the unfriendliness of most cities towards bicycles.

The critical mass has been taking place in NYC for 12 years.

Last Friday, July 29th, I was arrested -- along with about 33 other riders -- within about 15 minutes of the start of the ride.

We stopped at the red light at 14th Street on Seventh Avenue. When the light changed and we started moving forward again, a bunch of police officers charged into our group and one of them grabbed me and said, "You're under arrest. Get off your bike."

"What?" I said.

"Get off your bike. You're under arrest."

"What for?"

Then he delivered the punch line: "Parading without a permit."

My hands were handcuffed behind my back (for the next 4 hours). I was made to sit down in the street, then loaded into a paddy wagon and finally marched to a police station downtown.

They never booked me. For some reason they released me, gave me my bike back, didn't issue me a summons, didn't fingerprint me, nothing.

So I was detained and brought into custody for no reason. Was this intimidation? I don't know why I was let go. I think everybody else got charged, fined, printed and had their bikes confiscated. I rode home and made it before 2:00 AM.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger peakguy said...

Thanks for your post liberal elite. We all appreciate the sacrifice that you have made to get this issue on the table. There has to be a more sensible approach to biking policy.

Perhaps critical mass should be even more spontaneous and catch the cops unprepared - although this stupid policy goes well beyond the cops.

I'd love to start more conversation on this board so please everyone join us and let's keep the conversation going.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Ianqui said...

Hope you get comments by email, since this post is kind of old...But this gothamist post about federal funds to alleviate traffic in NYC is relevant to your comments here.

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urban congestion pricing and its effectiveness and ramifications have to be considered before rushing in to it.

For instance, London's results have been mixed.

Now NYC Mayor Mike 'The Nanny' Bloomberg is all excited about it, while he wasn't just a couple of years ago.

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

It's true, Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg?

It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

Check out the map!

Check it out!


Little Blue PD


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