[*BCM*] reconsider routes to prevent public safety threat
jym at econet.org
Sun Sep 2 16:30:20 EDT 2007
=v= Good discussion. Traffic dynamics are often not what they
appear to be on the surface, so I'll just mention two more
things about that.
=v= During the course of the Critical Mass lawsuits and
countersuits in New York City, we got an expert to look at the
actual traffic impact of Critical Mass. Using a worst-case
scenario Critical Mass and a model of Manhattan traffic (itself
something of a worst-case scenario), Charles Komanoff calculated
the additional traffic impact to be in the realm of hundredths
of a percentage point.
=v= If you consider that Critical Mass *is* traffic, and that
bikes have so much *less* impact than cars, it's actually a win!
=v= The emergency vehicles concern keeps coming up, but this has
never truly been an issue. There have been a number of cases
where the police made this claim, only to have it refuted. In
the case of Portland, Oregon, the police actually had to issue
an apology for making this claim.
=v= IN FACT, emergency vehicles get past and through Critical
Mass faster than through car-dominated traffic. We make way
and we even cork stupid cars that don't get out of the way.
=v= In New York City again, during the same lawsuits, the police
tried to peddle this line in Federal court and could provide
nada, zero, zip, zilch, no evidence whatsoever that this ever
happened. In fact, between hearings there was a ride where the
police forced us onto a route of their own devising by posting
hundreds of cops at cross streets, then for some reason there
were emergency vehicles that kept criss-crossing this route with
their sirens going. We presume this was to spark an incident of
the sort for the benefit of their arguments in court, but lo and
behold, no such incident occurred, for the reasons above.
=v= There was no emergency. People followed these vehicles
to see where they were going: they were going back and forth
across the route. Incidentally, S.F.P.D. dispatcher records
show that they were readying a fire truck to do the same thing
to us in 1997, but were thwarted because the riders refused to
follow the city-imposed route.
=v= So, bottom line, this DOES NOT HAPPEN even when authorities
try to make it happen.
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass