A judge rules that Critical Mass, the monthly bike ride organized by bicyclists who wish to encourage bikes as a means of transportation, can bike tonight, despite the city's attempt to block the ride. The judge also prohibited police from seizing riders' bicycles, "as long as the owners have not been charged with anything and unattended bikes do not block vehicles or pedestrians." The rides have been taking place on the last Friday of every month without permits, and the City was contending that Critical Mass needed a parade permit. Many think the NYPD's overly hawkish attitude was spurred by the huge turnout for the ride right before the Republican National Convention, when over 200 riders were arrested and traffic was snarled around the city. Federal Judge William Pauley said that Critical Mass and the NYPD should try to coordinate together to ensure people's safety and prevent traffic obstructions.
And Mayor Bloomberg's statement? "That's not a ways to express yourself. It's just a ways to stop economic activity and hurt everybody in this city."
Gothamist expects tonight's Critical Mass to be full of Halloween fun! Any riders dressing up? And our posts on Critical Mass.