By Jefferson Siegel
November 9 – 15, 2007
On Saturday, the Timeâ€™s Up! Bicycle Clown Brigade celebrated New York Cityâ€™s first Copenhagen-style bike lane, on Ninth Avenue between 23rd and 16th Streets, with a Bike Lane Liberation ride.
In the new bike lane, cyclists are physically separated from motor vehicle traffic by a lane of parked cars.
â€œWe applaud the new DOT commissionerâ€™s commitment to improved bicycle infrastructure. Now it is up to the NYPD to enforce the law and keep the bike lanes clear of motor vehicles,â€ said Timeâ€™s Up! spokesperson Judy Ross.
The Bike Lane Liberation ride ended with a celebration on the new Ninth Avenue bike lane at 21st Street, where the brigade cut a ceremonial ribbon and danced. Afterward, they toasted the lane with apple cider in champagne glasses while eating homemade vegan peanut-butter cupcakes with soy chocolate icing.
They held a sign sign reading, â€œWe the Bike Clowns Proclaim the Ninth Avenue lane car-free! Long may it grow and flourish a whole bunch more.â€
Their day started with a ride through the Village and Chelsea, where they â€œticketedâ€ motor vehicles parked in bike lanes that violated NYC traffic law Section 4-08 (e). The law prohibits parking, standing or stopping in bike lanes and mandates a $115 fine.
The clowns wanted to draw attention to what they believe the NYPD should be doing, which is enforcing the laws that protect bicyclists.