Federal Judge Upholds NYPD Restrictions

District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging New York Police Department rules requiring groups of 50 or more bicyclists to obtain a parade permit before embarking on a group ride. While the rules apply to groups of bicyclists of any sort, it’s widely assumed they were implemented in reaction to Critical Mass. The lawsuit, filed in March 2007 by the Five Borough Bicycle Club in conjunction with several other affected parties, challenged the constitutionality of the rules.

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9 Responses to “Federal Judge Upholds NYPD Restrictions”

  • Gussy says:

    I read the article and watched the video. The police didn’t seem to have any reason to pulling people over. They allowed people to ride against traffic. In the comments someone suggests a single file line of people riding. Legal and would cause more traffic disruption. I like this image from copenhagenize.


  • Graham says:

    If the bicyclists involved in the Critical Mass rides had actually obeyed traffic laws, there probably wouldn’t ever have been a problem. While I think the new law is rather silly, I can totally understand where it came from. Just because there are a lot of you, doesn’t give you permission to break the law.

    If the Critical Mass people wanted respect for bicycling as a legitimate form of transportation, then wouldn’t their time have been much better spent bicycling to the store for more beer and chips?

    Of course, if this law was enacted in response to some other really large group of cyclists who were disrupting traffic to make a point, then I apologize to the organizers and participants of the Critical Mass rides.

  • Paul says:

    Why doesn’t this apply to groups of 50 or more cars? Scratch that. Since 1 car takes up the space of 10 bikes, it should apply to groups of 5 or more cars.

  • Nloewen says:

    If you try to drive a group of 50 cars while ignoring traffic laws, you’ll need a special permit, too.

  • Paul says:

    Really? One, every weekday evening we have hundreds of speeding cars on the interstates leading out of the city. Two, whether or not the group is ignoring traffic laws isn’t a condition for the permit.

  • nloewen says:

    I’ve never seen a parade stop for red lights. And I wouldn’t call those cars on the interstates a group. They are all traveling together, but not as a group. But doesn’t Critical Mass intending to use their mass as a way to overwhelm traffic?

  • Paul says:

    What difference does it make if a parade stops for red lights? That is irrelevant. If the issue is cyclists running red lights, give the violators a ticket. Critical Mass is different things for different folks, for me it’s a civil rights march. To require a parade permit solely because there are 50 bicycles is a trampling on “the right of the people [to] peaceably to assemble”. Again with the cars, I’m certain you could get 50+ cars together and go down the interstate at 5+ MPH over the speed limit without anyone noticing. How could you know this is never the case currently?

  • Paul says:

    Footnote: I wish law enforcement would dole out tickets at Critical Mass (and every group ride). We (cyclists) are traffic and not above the law.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » A Kinder, Gentler, Critical Mass? says:

    […] what kind of future it has, wondering whether it’s run its course. In New York we have new police department rules requiring that groups of 50 or more bicyclists obtain a parade permit before embarking on a group […]

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