Oh no! Two cops were injured at Critical Mass ride last night, and seventeen cyclists were arrested. The problems started when a line of cops on scooters attempted to stop the ride, and two of the cops collided with each other. The Village Voice's Power Plays blog has a comprehensive report:
Less than 10 minutes after leaving Union Square, a pack of about 100 bikers was moving south on Third Avenue when a line of 14 scooter cops patrolling alongside abruptly veered left to cut off the ride.
One scooter cop slammed into another scooter, throwing the cop several feet from his scooter. He landed hard on the pavement, hitting his shoulder and head, as the scooter cop in back toppled over. A cyclist who identified himself an EMT stopped to assist the scooter cops, who were sprawled out on the street, before ambulances came to take them away on stretchers.
...Cops on the scene were clearly pissed. "He landed straight on his head," said one scooter cop who asked not to be identified. "It's not fun and games any more."
Clearly, things have gotten way out of hand. Why can't the Bloomberg administration provide the necessary support for a safe, organized bicycle ride once per month, as the city governments in dozens of cities already do? Criminalizing the monthly ride produces a chaotic situation of cat-and-mouse, and encourages reckless behavior on the part of both the cops and the cyclists. This has to stop before someone gets killed. [Related: BikeBlog has some followup.]
Question: what impact will this have on today's Idiotarod, which begins at 2pm at
Kent and Metropolitan in Williamsburg? UPDATE: Probably in order to fake out the cops, the meeting is now at 2pm, at the monument in Fort Greene Park, which is between Myrtle and DeKalb Avenues, at St. Edwards or Washington Park. We're going to be on the scene, but we'd appreciate any mobile pictures you take- send them to photos(At)gothamist[d0t]com.
Image by Fred Askew.