Mayor Bloomberg announced today that starting April 1st, all parades must shorten their traditional routes by 25% and keep the festivities under five hours. The Daily News reports that this is a cost cutting measure, which would save the police about $3.1 million and keep them from cutting counterterrorism measures. Plus we're sure anyone living on 5th Avenue will be glad for some peace and f&#*ing quiet.
Of course this restriction won't affect this year's St. Patrick's Day parade—of which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is Grand Marshal—but the rest of the city's parades will have to cut back. The Gay Pride March, the Puerto Rican Day and the West Indian Day parades are all known to last over five hours, and though the Thanksgiving Day parade usually clocks in at around two, they'll still have to shorten their route.
Queens Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr. told the New York Times "It sounds like a reasonable attempt to cut overtime costs at an agency which has no place left to cut," but of course there are plenty who think the move is shortsighted and unnecessary. City Councilman Domenic Recchia told the Daily News "If you look at the Macy's [Thanksgiving] Day Parade, that is such an economic engine for the city, that pays for itself. We're making money off this!" And Madelyn Lugo, a spokeswoman for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, told the Times "It’s going to be hard because of the amount of participants we have...I don’t think we can accommodate those people in five hours.” Most likely it will just lead to more street congestion, which we're sure is exactly what the NYPD is looking to deal with.