2007-03-27 NYC Drops Lawsuit

For Immediate Release
March 27, 2007

NYC CONCEDES DEFEAT AND DROPS MAJOR LAWSUIT AGAINST TIME’S UP!
Another victory for Time’s Up! and the bicycling community.

NEW YORK CITY -- The City of New York quietly dropped a major lawsuit against TIME'S UP! after two years of legal browbeating at taxpayers’ expense. In the lawsuit, filed March 22, 2005, the City claimed that cyclists riding together in a group are required to apply for a parade permit. The lawsuit against TIME'S UP! and four of its volunteers sought to inhibit their right to free speech and to freely assemble in public space.

“The City of New York went after an all-volunteer, non-profit environmental group whose only crime is successfully promoting sustainable environmental solutions resulting in increased non-polluting transportation over the last two decades,” stated Bill DiPaola, director of TIME’S UP! and one of the defendants named in the lawsuit. “With the tremendous support of our lawyers and the bicycling community, we were able to get through this unlawful harassment and financial burden.”

The dropping of the lawsuit marks the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the NYPD in its thirty-month campaign against Critical Mass and the cycling community. The City’s ongoing harassment of Critical Mass riders has been documented as costing taxpayers over $1.3 million. On February 15, 2006, New York State Supreme Court Judge Micheal D. Stallman issued a decision soundly rejecting the city’s argument that the Critical Mass ride requires a permit.

“Apparently undaunted by this string of failures in the courts of law, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, one of the plainpngs in the lawsuit, has responded by making up new laws.” said Time’s Up! volunteer Barbara Ross. “Under the NYPD’s latest parade permit rules, groups of 50 or more law abiding cyclists need police permission to ride on the public streets. Bicyclist who ride together for safety will be subject to arrest, resulting in more unnecessary taxpayers costs.”

Despite the harassment, each year has seen a surge in the number of people using bicycles and other non-polluting forms of transportation. It is our hope that the mayor, police, and new DOT Commissioner will encourage, rather than revile, non-polluting forms of transportation, and recognize that such transportation is not “blocking” traffic; it is traffic.

 

 
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TIME'S UP! is a non-profit environmental group that has used educational outreach and direct action for the last 15 years to promote a more sustainable, less toxic city.