2006-01-20 Bike Lane Liberation

For Immediate Release
January 20, 2006

Bicycle Clown Brigade clears Manhattan bike lanes to make them safe for cyclists
Cyclists dressed like clowns brave the onslaught of Saturday double parkers to defend the lane reserved for bicycles in honor of Bike Lane Liberation day

When: Saturday, January 21st at 2pm

Where: The ride starts at the Arch in Washington Square Park.

Route: The route will be uptown on the Sixth Avenue bike lane to Herald Square then downtown the Broadway & Fifth Avenue bike lane to Washington Square Park.

NEW YORK CITY — At 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 21st, a Clown Brigade made up of bicyclists and volunteers with TIME’S UP!, an environmental and bicycle advocacy group, will be ticketing motor vehicles that violate NYC traffic law Section 4-08 (e), which explicitly prohibits parking, standing or stopping in bike lanes and holds a $115 fine. The clowns will draw attention to what they believe the NYPD should be doing: enforcing the laws that protect bicyclists.

“On my daily commute this morning up 6th Avenue, from 8th Street to 42nd Street, I encountered 16 motor vehicles either obstructing or double parked in the bike lane. They made turns into the lane, cutting me off 7 times, and I was almost “doored” 3 times,” said Clown Brigade member Barbara Ross. “There were even 2 blocks of the bike lane filled with police barricades that were clearly there for no pressing reason. I was nearly killed 26 times this morning.”

“In my 10 years of cycling I have never seen a policeman ticketing a motorist for this extremely common offense that puts bicyclist’s lives at risk every day.”

The Clown Brigade hopes to make motorists realize that besides being illegal, blocking bike lanes is hazardous both to bicyclists and motorists. Cyclists are often forced to swerve into traffic to avoid crashing into the obstructing vehicle and risk being struck and even killed by inattentive or aggressive drivers. The bottom line, the clowns point out, is that parking a vehicle in the bike lane makes transportation by bicycle dangerous, discourages people from bicycling and encourages more people to drive, which further clogs our city’s streets and taxes our country’s oil resources.

Photos of clown brigade & “parking” tickets issued on last months ride can be found at Bike Lane Liberation.


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