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Bike Club Files First Lawsuit Challenging NYPD “Parade Rules”

10:48 AM EDT on March 28, 2007

Announced on the Five Borough Bicycle Club's website:

On March 27, the 5 Borough Bicycle Club and several other affected parties filed alawsuit in Federal court, asking a judge to stop the NYPD's new rulesthat would let the NYPD ticket or arrest any "recognizable group" of50 or more cyclists that ride together without first obtaining aparade permit from the Police Department.

Suing city government is not one of the ordinary roles of the 5BBC.But organizing group bicycle rides is. The NYPD's parade rulesessentially outlaw large bike rides, under the dubious claimthat bicycle rides are a danger to public health and safety.

We looked into applying for permits for our rides, but found thatit was a bureaucratic nightmare. The rules for parades are totallyinappropriate for bicycle rides. For example, 5th Ave. on a Sundayis prohibited, even though most of 5th Ave. is an official NYC bikeroute. The width of every roadway in the route must be listed in thepermit, and the 5BBC would have to appoint a "Chief Officer" for each"parade" who would be "Responsible for the Strict Observance of all Rulesand Regulations of Said Permit."

You can download the case files and keep track of the 5BBC's progress on their website.

Photo: Justin Shockley/Flickr

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