A U.S. District judge denied the city's attempt to make riders of Critical Mass, the monthly bike ride to encourage more biking and less driving, have permits. While Judge William Pauley said the issue should be decided in state court, Judge Pauley pointed out that the police "had not required permits for nearly a decade and had even aided the rallies by blocking cross-town intersections and letting cyclists run red lights." In other words, City of New York and NYPD, you can't have it both ways. Gothamist is excited, because this paves the way for what should be a rollicking New Year's Eve Critical Mass Ride - they'll be riding up to Belvedere Castle in Central Park for music, fireworks and more! We wonder if there's a designated biker rule on nights like that.

More about bicycle advocacy from Transportation Alternatives and NY Magazine's end-of-the-year piece on Critical Mass rides.