Bike Club Files First Lawsuit Challenging NYPD “Parade Rules”

Announced on the Five Borough Bicycle Club's website:

On March 27, the 5 Borough Bicycle Club and several other affected parties filed a lawsuit in Federal court, asking a judge to stop the NYPD's new rules that would let the NYPD ticket or arrest any "recognizable group" of 50 or more cyclists that ride together without first obtaining a parade permit from the Police Department.

Suing city government is not one of the ordinary roles of the 5BBC. But organizing group bicycle rides is. The NYPD's parade rules essentially outlaw large bike rides, under the dubious claim that bicycle rides are a danger to public health and safety.

We looked into applying for permits for our rides, but found that it was a bureaucratic nightmare. The rules for parades are totally inappropriate for bicycle rides. For example, 5th Ave. on a Sunday is prohibited, even though most of 5th Ave. is an official NYC bike route. The width of every roadway in the route must be listed in the permit, and the 5BBC would have to appoint a "Chief Officer" for each "parade" who would be "Responsible for the Strict Observance of all Rules and Regulations of Said Permit."

You can download the case files and keep track of the 5BBC's progress on their website.

Photo: Justin Shockley/Flickr