As there is on the last Friday night of every month, there was a Critical Mass ride last night. It doesn't seem to have been the worst CM, by far, but it still wasn't exactly a walk in the park. While we haven't seen any confirmed reports of arrests, it is still early... Suckapants reports (we loved typing that):
Critical Mass was an odd one last night. the cops were in full form, helicopters, mad-dash pursuits, lying in wait, the usual shenanigans. except this time they weren't arresting people (although i did hear of a couple). this time they were handing out $200 summonses, plus 1 point against your license. mostly for running red lights, although apparently they would give you one even if you didn't, it just depended on whether or not they could catch you. it is definitely a sign of de-escalation, but perhaps a double-sided one. you no longer have to go spend your friday evening and saturday morning in the tombs. . . but now you're saddled with a $200 fine and marks against your driving record. and that's just on a first offense, next time you ride and get a ticket the fine is much larger. sort of making Critical Mass something only the very wealthy can afford. and i could be wrong, but that doesn't really seem to be the ecomonic bracket most riders are coming from.
So now it's all about the money, eh Bloomie? We'll see how this tactic goes. Though honestly, there has to be a better way for the City to be dealing with this. There just has to be.
Anyway, were you there last night? How'd this CM go for you?
More photographs are on flickr here, a recent Villager story on the current legal situation of CM is here, and some idiots recently vandalized some Brooklyn Industries over their co-opting of "Bike Culture".
Update: The editors over at the Daily News don't care much for Critical Mass.
Photograph from everyday_i_live's flickr stream.