How can BikeNYC pressure NYPD to stop killer drivers?

Monday, November 2, 2015


photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

On the morning of November 2, 2015 a group of cycling advocates set out to address perhaps the greatest hindrance to safe cycling in New York City: cars illegally parked in bike lanes.  The City of New York recently celebrated installation of more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes, but they are often impeded by motor vehicles, all too often police vehicles, flouting the law.

photo by Brennan Cavanaugh
The cyclists with The Public Space Party met in Fort Greene Park, where they talked about this ongoing problem and what needs to be done to generate heat.  While the City has laid out a model of Vision Zero policing, lack of enforcement of traffic violations in bike lanes, many caused by vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes, impedes these steps forward, creating unsafe riding conditions.  The cyclists headed out to the busy corner of Hoyt and Schermerhorn in Boerum Hill, where multiple vehicles belonging to police were double parked in bike lanes across the street.  
photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

Carrying air horns and wearing colorful clothes, cyclists crashed into the cars parked in the bike lanes, holding out  signs declaring, “Warning: Cop in Bike Lane!”, giving police in bike lanes tickets, and calling 311 reporting bike lanes illegally blocked by NYPD vehicles, including outside of NYPD precincts.

According to the Rules of the City of New York, it is plainly illegal to park in a bike lane RCNY § 4-08 (e)(9) states that, “It is against the law to park, stand or stop within or otherwise obstruct bike lanes.” Yet, police vehicles are parked in bike lanes all over the city, from Schermerhorn Street, to Jay Street, to Coney Island, to Sixth Ave. On Schermerhorn Street, the police went as far as painting their own parking spots over the bike lane.

photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

Throughout the action, the Public Space Party (PSP) group drew attention to this illegal and dangerous practice by the NYPD, and how it relates to the greater culture of lawlessness in the City’s police department. Each car parked in a bike lane was given a PSP “Bike Lane Parking” “tickets” reminding them of NYC traffic rules.  Some 25 cars, six belong to police, were given tickets for illegally parking in a bike lane.

photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

At the corner of Hoyt-Schermerhorn in Boerum Hill, the police acknowledged that they were in violation of the law.  Asked why they were not informing the other motorists double parked there not to park in the bike lanes, they explained that it was a lot of work to do so.  The police there promised to do more in the future.  Other police were less interested in taking part in a conversation and walked off. 
Impunity is a key ingredient in the police violence and malfeasance being outed now in social media,” notes activist Owen Crowley, of the Public Space Party. “This is exercised in many different ways that I witness almost daily. Police cars running red lights without cause, personal cars parked illegally and encroaching into the street in front of police stations, police cars parked or standing in bike lanes. This creates hazards for pedestrians, cyclists and civilian drivers. On top of that, it is an exercise that reinforces a culture in which police are above the law.”
photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

“With climate change looming, New York needs to move toward sustainability,” notes Benjamin Shepard, of Public Space Party. “A simple first step is safe, non-polluting transportation. Cars in bike lanes create dangerous conditions on the streets, discouraging cycling. Getting cars out of bike lanes is an essential first step in Vision Zero policing.”

photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

For tweets, photos and videos of the action follow @ourspaceparty & @critmasspanic
Join PSP on Facebook for future actions
Check out Benjamin Shepard's blog for more info about the action
photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

photo by Brennan Cavanaugh

Monday, January 7, 2013

spirits born the streets

a spirit
of creation born
from chaos
of humans
of machines

dancing to death
night and morn'
some laws
some not

riding the seasons
casting small spells
weaving short tales
with kindred spirits
sowing seeds
meeting needs

rolling together
community's fertile ground

our mass
bodies and bikes
safe and unsafe
we must act direct
to direct our fates

we do what we like
and we won't
the future
is ours
ride till you drop

so come
roll with me
safe as you see
in this year
two zero one

Thursday, April 5, 2012


This happened:

Streetsblog has been ignoring this story for a long time, but I am glad they picked it up.

Kudos to Time's Up for putting together the footage and getting it out there. Kudos to all Critical Mass participants who still dare to ride.

But dont' worry...the end is near. CHECK IT!! BIKE CHECK!!!

I hope y'all can come out. STRIKE EVERYWHERE! BIKE EVERYWHERE! #A27 and #M1GS

BUT until then, why not enjoy some leisurely, family-style Critical Mass in south-central Brooklyn?

Ditmass <3 Rides is a local, grassroots Mass that happens nearly every Friday 7pm in front of the Cortelyou Branch of the Library in Ditmas Park.

Of course, tomorrow is also 1st Friday, so cyclists are free to meet at Union Square North at 7pm and ride somewhere together. I am not sure what I am doing yet, but I am feeling the leisure of staying in Brooklyn. Perhaps 1st Friday Critical Mass can meet us at Grand Army Plaza in Brookyln at 8???

Bike Safe, Bike Love, Bike Everywhere, Strike Everywhere! But especially, my bike love, ride with all due care!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Post #M17 arrest inital reflections

Spring is here!

Of course I can not yet divorce my perspective from my privilege as a white, educated, cis-male from this experience, but I hope these sincere words fall upon open ears & hearts. My apologies if anyone is offended. There are many complex nuances to be processed.

WATCH! Livestream of events leading up to what might be considered a police riot

Myself and 17 others were inexplicably released with our charges dropped at 3 am on Monday. Dozens of others remain in custody and are only just now seeing a judge, including people seriously injured who were denied medical attention and placed in solitary and/or highly abusive conditions for much of our 27+ hours of detainment in the "justice" system. Please do what you can to offer support in jails, courts, and show solidarity in the streets and your communities.


Down with Bloomberg & Kelly!
Demolish the prisons!
All out May Day! No Work, all play!

Everyday since has been utter magic, spiraling outward, into the streets, spiraling inward, into our hearts.

All I can really say at this moment is I am humbled by the place and moment in time I exist. And I am not likely going to give up.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


R.I.P. Mathieu. And too many others.

NYPD fall guys, claiming they don't have the resources to enforce traffic laws/

Susan Petito, Assistant Commissioner (to absent Ray Kelly) reaches down to snatch your civil rights with legal mumbo-jumbo and take away any chance at justice through sheer incompetence!

February 2012 Critical Mass NYC: 13 NYPD motor vehicles, 5 cyclists. Police were present for two hours at a minimum, did not give chase to the cyclist horde. Number of foreign tourists who came to check out Critical Mass: 3. WELCOME TO NEW YORK!

Friday, February 24, 2012

#FTP #CriticalMass #BikeNYC #OWS 7pm tonight

Okay, so I am finally posting. I was having trouble expressing myself on in 140-or-less on my Twitter account (@critmasspanic). Also my pathetic plea to my facebook "friends" to accompany an "invite" for "F*ck Ur Cliques & Ur Scenes - Lets ride!" (Critical Mass, obviously) just was not coming together right. Lastly, I promised myself I would at least drop a mass e-mail to let folks know the cool shit going down. Or potentially going down, with a little participation in creating the world we want to see, from you, dear readers. So without further ado, a brief rant, and some suggested events you might attend.

The NYPD have been in the hot seat a lot lately, especially following last week's city council hearing on the utter failure to hold anyone accountable for traffic "accidents." I tried (but mostly failed) to speak eloquently on the record about the utter waste of resources, the (further) corruption of police culture, and the failure of NYPD leadership, as the embodied by Critical Mass. I kinda just rambled for a spell (as I am clearly wont to do), instead of stating the facts: On February 3rd, 9 NYPD vehicles were deployed to follow 7 cyclists. One week earlier on January 27th, 15 NYPD motor vehicles were deployed to Union Square to intimidate 5 cyclists.

Yet NYPD can't muster the resources to take murdering motorists off the streets. It is revolting.

Trying to depict the inner beauty of the NYPD at the hearing.

So what can we do to it? The Critical Mass story is no longer noteworthy. Its normal. Just like the racist stop & frisk, racist unconstitutional spying, senseless murder, brutality, rape, lying, ticket fixing, kettling, etc etc etc. I for one, refuse to accept it as normal. Fuck this creeping facism.

But how can we get accountability from Bloomberg's private army? If we keep waiting for the Mayor or Governor or the Feds to fix this, we are gonna be waiting a long time. Lets take a cue from OWS and make our own media, tell our own story, until it can no longer be ignored. Many dedicated folks have documented NYPD at Critical Mass over the years, but we can push it even further. I know we can make this effort massive. In solidarity with the communities of color, with the families of victims of traffic violence, with the Muslim community, with women. I am ready to say fuck the bikes, lets just get masses of people. Everyone is welcome to Union Square on the last Friday of the month, because everyone deserves to be safe in New York City. OUR CITY.

Which is why tonight is a time to come out. Its gonna be a little rainy. Its not gonna be a bunch of people ready to ride bikes. It will, however, be a bunch of NYPD goons wasting our money to serve and protect the flow of automotive traffic. Let's highlight this disproportionate use of force. Lets document the shit of this waste. Keep hitting that blue wall until it finally cracks and breaks.

That, or lets ditch the pigs and ride and have fun.

NYC Critical Mass - 7pm Union Square North

Okay, well I am glad I got that off my chest. Here are a few other happenings I would highly recommend you bring bike, body, and buddies to.

Sunday 2/26
Occupy Town Square III: Tompkins Square Park - 11 am to 5pm WE MAKE IT TOGETHER!

Monday 2/27
Seed Ball Bike Ride - 2pm Zuccotti Park - Will definitely be a fun part of F27: Occupy the Food Supply!!

Wednesday 2/29 LEAP DAY!!!
Shut Down Corporations on #F29 with #OccupyWallStreet - 9am Bryant Park - This day will see actions across the country. Bike Bloc definitely encouraged.

Follow me on twitter for the latest from all these happenings @critmasspanic, use hashtags #F27 #F29 #BikeBloc

Alright that is plenty. Ride with love in your heart, solidarity in your mind, and courage through your whole body!

Mellow Yellow

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well it has been forever, but I am finally bored enough... update this blog. I hope you voted using my fancy new widget at the top of the page. It is some hot fresh, free code courtesy Google and Princeton which will no doubt further aid in our quest to #OCCUPY our future. If you are curious about what the hell I have been up to I would reccommend getting out of the stone ages and getting on twitter, or at least google @critmasspanic to see what I have been up to. My youtube channel has gotten a few uploads and hella views as I #OccupySanJose...

There is so much I want to tell you, dear internet: about my creative desperation while working with my father at the start of the year, or about how awesome bike month was in NYC, the WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE in NYC (, or about how that shit got postponed, then pwned by NYPD, but we fuckin outlasted them until they had to give us permission to run the red lights. Or about how nuclear radiation is killing us all more quickly now, despite Time's Up!'s massive banners. I'd love to go on and on (with pics and video) about my amazing bike tour with @nyctimesup volunteers down to North Carolina which was pretty much the best way to spend August without a doubt. OR HOW OCCUPY WALL STREET and the subsequent globalrevolution ( has eroded my cynicism and given me hope in the future. I won't really get into how Bike Party has basically replaced CM in the Bay Area as the awesome place to smoke pot and ride with a thousands of other cyclists, but I can confirm that I LOVE DUBSTEP now because of it. I wish I could mourn the lives unneccesarily lost to automobiles in NYC. But all I can say is Fuck the NYPD. Don't let Ray Kelly become our next mayor or FBI director. See the widget above to learn how you can help without leaving your couch while the internet porn or the fucking episode of Gossip Girl buffers. Or get down to wall street. Anyhow. The future continues to become the present which continues to be incredibly fun and interesting if you just decide to stop being a tool and a fool sometimes, so I probably wont get into detail on any of the above until I retire at age 35. Buy my book!

Lastly, I should mention that the biggest fucking Critical Mass that NYC has seen in 7 years is happening this Friday 7pm Union Square north. Scary costumes, scary masses, scary cars, and of course, over-worked, scary police, followed by a crowded and scary after party at C-Squat by Times-Up! Be there with mask and lights, and know your rights we will occupy the streets like nobody can do business.

On a final note, if you are a billionaire, (corrupt) politician or (abusive) cop, be sure to gaze into your future and check out the sad fate of Muammar Gaddafi on the YouTube!

OMG i almost forgot I sold out and you can friend me on FACEBOOK now. Just decode this hippy song to find out my name!