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NYC To Require Permits For Large Cycling Groups

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A federal judge in New York City has cleared the way for the city to require bicyclists riding in large groups to obtain parade permits or risk being ticketed and arrested. The city has long struggled with how to manage rides like Critical Mass, which they say pose safety and traffic concerns as hundreds of cyclists routinely block traffic and run red lights.

The constitutionality of the city’s plan to require permits for groups of 50 or more was in question in the case that reached judge Lewis A. Kaplan, with cyclists saying that requiring permits for the group rides infringed on their First Amendment right to free speech.

Speaking to the New York Times, Mark Muschenheim, of the city’s administrative law division, said “the policing of Critical Mass rides was not based on any attempt to infringe First Amendment rights, but rather stemmed from Critical Mass bicyclists’ lawless behavior, which included intentionally blocking traffic, riding through red lights, and cycling the wrong way on both one-way and two-way streets.”

The ruling does not just affect Critical Mass; other groups like the Five Borough Bike Club, which organizes group rides around New York, will also be affected by the ruling. No word yet on appeals being filed against the decision.

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14 years ago

Will there be a reciprocal law for motor vehicles given motorists lawless behavior? I mean all the life threatening speeding? How about the runing of red lights? How often do most motorists actually stop when doing a right on red unless there is an imminent threat of collision if even then? And then all the California rolls at stop signs…

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