The NY Times looks at the festering squabble between the NYPD and bike riders who participate in Critical Mass by way of the police's unusually aggressive tactics to try to stop the rides. The big question seems to be, why are the police using SUVs and patrol cars, driving them onto sidewalks even, to pursue bikers? The NYPD's line seems to be that the bikers are creating a traffic mess with potential dangers for motorists, but with the renegade, almost Bullitt-like manuvers of police vehicles, who's kidding who? The Times has video and stills from observer John Hamilton that show how police cars chasing after bikers (Gothamist couldn't see it, as our connection to the Times seemed to time out). Which makes Gothamist wonder what would happen if the police used their new Dodge Chargers during Critical Mass rides.
What do you think of the police stance about using SUVs and patrol cars to "control" Critical Mass? When we hear the NYPD's statement that they'd gladly help map a route for Critical Mass, we imagine it'd be on Governor's Island. At the last Critical Mass ride, two cops on scooters were injured when they tried to intervene. And earlier this month, a judge ruled that Critical Mass rides cannot be barred by the city.
Photograph of last month's Critical Mass accident by Fred Askew