Despite being slapped down in court a couple of times now, the NYPD is proposing yet another set of rules to restrict public gatherings aimed primarily at the bicyclists who meet for the monthly Critical Mass ride. According to yesterday’s Times:
The department is moving to require parade permits for groups of 10 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than two city blocks without complying with traffic laws. It is also pushing to require permits for groups of 30 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who obey traffic laws.
So, for the NYPD, thirty cars and trucks clogging up two city blocks is "traffic." Thirty bikes rolling freely down those same two city blocks is "an illegal, un-permitted parade." (I suppose the entire city of Copenhagen needs to be arrested immediately).
OnNYTurf reports that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is, sadly, throwing her political weight behind the new rules. You wonder what sort of horse-trading went into this one. In a statement released yesterday Quinn said:
The New York City Police Department’s proposed regulations for when and what activities will require parade permits are a substantial improvement over regulations proposed earlier. We are very pleased that the NYPD was receptive to our suggestions for a practical approach to traffic and public safety issues.