"Critical Mass" of Bicyclists To Take Park Ave.

Demonstration For Safe Streets and Fewer Cars

ON THURSDAY, JULY 29, hundreds of NYC cyclists will mass on Park Ave. to claim their place on city streets and protest lax NYPD traffic law enforcement, which leads to hundreds of bicyclist and pedestrian deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year in NYC, and City transportation policy, which has produced daily gridlock throughout the five boroughs..

Hundreds of bicyclists will gather at the Washington Square Arch at 5:30PM, then proceed slowly up Park Avenue * taking the entire roadway * to Central Park. The group will arrive at Central Park at 6:30PM, and prevent cars from entering the park via the 6th Ave. and 59th St. entrance. The demands of the CRITICAL MASS RIDE is for safe streets and policies to reduce dependence on cars. "NYPD and DOT, DO YOUR JOB" " NYC is Carsick" will be the protesters' cry.

  • SAFE STREETS: 282 pedestrians and 17 bicyclists were killed by cars in NYC in 1992. At current rates, 1993 could be even worse. The NYPD enforcement of traffic laws on city streets is non-existent: the speed limit is not even posted. Recent news revelations * coming amid several weeks of well-publicized bicyclist and pedestrian deaths at the hands of unlicensed motorists * show that the NYPD has thrown in the towel on catching scofflaw drivers and enforcing basic traffic safety standards on NYC streets.
  • Demands
    • Recriminalize driving after license suspension or driving with no license. Include confiscation of cars and/or license plates for repeat offenders.
    • Dramatically step up on-street enforcement of speeding, reckless driving and red-light laws.
    • Add a NYC surcharge to moving violations * dedicated to the NYPD budget * to increase NYPD incentive for traffic law enforcement.
  • REDUCED CAR DEPENDENCE: New York City should be a cyclists and pedestrians paradise. With its high density, huge public transit system, and low levels of car ownership, NYC could avoid the gridlock which marks every U.S. city. But transportation policies which have bent over backward to accommodate private cars have sold out the promise of NYC's compact layout and superior infrastructure. Now it's time to return to planning for people, not for cars.
  • Demands
    • Ban cars from Central and Prospect Parks as a first step toward more car-free areas in NYC.
    • 3% of City transportation funds be allocated to bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs.
    • Pilot "traffic calming" projects including wider sidewalks, bikeways, physical barriers to fast driving and 15mph speed limits begin now.