Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Judge Upholds Critical Mass Ruling

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A judge ruled Tuesday that the city has the right to require large groups of bicyclists to get permits before hitting the streets.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said it is constitutional to require groups of 50 bicyclists or more to get a parade permit from the New York City Police Department.

A coalition of cyclists had sued the city after the arrest of 260 riders during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The city had complained that cyclists were going out of their way to be disruptive, including running red lights, blocking traffic and going the wrong way down streets.

While the judge was sympathetic to their concerns, he said the city has an interest in ensuring public safety and traffic flow.

The City Law Department issued a statement saying in part, "The Court recognized that 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."

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