City Spends Millions to Suppress Critical Mass
THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION SPENT MORE THAN $1.32 MILLION TO SUPPRESS CRITICAL MASS FROM SEPTEMBER 2004 - AUGUST 2006.
In 2006, Time's Up! collaborated with Economist Charles Komanoff to do a cost analysis of the money the city had spent on suppressing the monthly Critical Mass bike rides. The findings of the analysis showed that during the period between September 2004-August 2006, the Bloomberg administration and the Manhattan District Attorney's office spent more than $1,320,000 harassing lawabiding cyclists on Critical Mass bike rides.
Time's Up! held a press conference at City Hall on November 16, 2006, to announce the results of the analysis and to inform New York taxpayers of such wasteful expenditures by the city and state. Speakers included Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel, Charles Komanoff, Marquez Claxton from 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, and Mark Taylor from Assemble for Rights NYC.
The $1,320,000 figure is a conservative estimate of the amount spent by the NYPD, Manhattan District Attorney and NYC Corporation Counsel during that time period to suppress and litigate a bicycle ride that lasts 2 hours a month. During the press conference, Time's Up! called on NYC Comptroller, William Thompson, to verify its calculations of these expenditures of taxpayer dollars.
"The use of helicopters, scooters, cars and hundreds of NYPD personnel is simply overkill and contributes to the unnecessary, hostile climate fostered by the NYPD toward Critical Mass bike rides," said noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, who has represented Critical Mass riders. The goal should be to create an alternative climate that respects the rights of New Yorkers to ride their bicycles freely and simultaneously be respectful of NY traffic rules and regulations.