The Broadway Bomb is a nearly 8-mile Manhattan race for longboard aficionados who skate from West 116th Street by Riverside Park all the way down to the Charging Bull in the Financial District. This Saturday's event lists nearly 2,000 people registered on a skateboarding site and just as many listed as "Going" to this Saturday's Bomb on a Facebook page. Of course, that freaked out NYC authorities, and the city won a temporary restraining order against the permit-less race—as well as any similar race or flash mob version of the race. Another of course: The longboarders are NOT STANDING FOR THAT.
The race started over ten years ago—legend has it, three skaters dared each other to skate the full length of Broadway to the Bull, and not get killed in the process— and has been growing steadily each year. As we know from the Critical Mass crackdowns that escalated with the 2004 Republican National Convention, the city now has a rule that any gathering over 50 people requires a parade permit, which the Bomb—planned for Saturday, at noon—didn't have.
The NYC Law Department notes, "According to internet postings, the race, which touts as its slogan 'You Could Die,' seeks to see who can navigate through New York City traffic the fastest through approximately 150 intersections and lights, including Columbus Circle and Times Square. As seen in videos of past races at the Broadway Bomb website—http://www.broadwaybomb.com—during past races, the riders have skated in massive group formations taking up the entire roadway and sidewalk, not leaving any room for vehicular traffic or pedestrians to pass." Here are some videos (and this is 43 minutes of unedited footage from one participant):
The Law Department added:
The riders have also engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior such as failing to stop for red lights, cutting off and weaving through moving vehicles and pedestrians, grabbing onto passing vehicles and bicycles so as to be propelled by the vehicles and bicycles, and instructing vehicles which have the right of way to stop so they can pass through intersections. None of these past events sought or were granted a City "parade permit."
This year, the City, having learned that nearly 1,800 people were registered to participate in the race, scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 20th at 12 p.m., sought injunctive relief because the race violates the City’s regulations which require, among other things, that there be a "parade permit." As explained in the City’s papers, parade permits enable the New York City Police Department to assess planned events and protect the needs of event participants and the general public.
The Court, in granting the City’s application, has required the race organizers to notify the participants that neither the Broadway Bomb race, nor any substitute race and/or flash mob, will occur and that the participants in any such event will be subject to arrest.
The city had contacted organizer Ian Nichols and the NY Longboard Association on Wednesday to inform him that it was seeking to stop the event, and later on that day, this message was posted on the event's Facebook page:
Attention all Skaters! Ian has received a summons from the City of New York. In order to avoid being prosecuted, Ian Nichols must officially cancel the Broadway Bomb and relinquish all responsibility. However, We are going to flash mob 116th Street and Broadway at 11:50AM and Start the Race at 12:00PM exactly. Get the exact time from your cellphone. Please don't show up until 11:50AM because there may be a police presence. Please share this post with everyone in order to keep us all safe. See you there.
Still, the temporary restraining order says that anyone participating in anything resembling a longboard race is subject to arrest, so forewarned is forearmed. (Maybe bring rollerblades as backup?)
Today, someone posted on the Facebook page this message from Nichols: "It is true that the City has filed for a temporary restraining order to stop me from conducting the Broadway Bomb race this year. I will be ordered to officially cancel the race, and this will be reflected on my website and email. I don’t control the Broadway Bomb Facebook page, but that’s where you can see what’s going on. Of course I will be at the barbecue at 2PM for which we have a permit." (The BBQ is in East River Park, East 10th and the FDR on Saturday.)
Only one question remains: Does Hipster Cop shred?