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Critical Mass is free, but Houston police may begin charging riders for escort [bicyclists]
Houston Chronicle ^ | January 3, 2014 | Heather Alexander

Posted on 01/03/2014 4:19:28 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Houston police are considering a plan to charge the Critical Mass bicycle group as safety concerns draw officers away from their regular duties.

The event, which sees thousands of riders take to the streets on the last Friday of every month, has operated in cities across the world for over 20 years.....

Four officers in two police cars help riders through intersections, with officers driving ahead and behind to clear the path.

Houston police say they are now exploring the possibility of riders footing the bill for those services, as happens now for big funeral processions and for some busy valet parking.....

..."Even though we're a large group, it's a free event, it can be a challenge to get people to contribute," said [Critical Mass] spokesman Hector Garcia.

..."We do pay our taxes also, is it too much to ask that the city continue to do this?" Garcia said.

Garcia said the group will be looking to other cities for a precedent on the issue.

Following the recent video of riders running a red light, the group called for more public support.

"If the people who were complaining would just sit back and look at the faces of the people who were riding, they would see how much fun they were having," Garcia said.......

(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: bikes; criticalmass; houston; public; taxpayerexpense
Interesting how we always end up paying for their "protests." And when they are asked to foot their own bill - Whoa! Hold the Presses!
1 posted on 01/03/2014 4:19:29 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I think it’s reasonable to charge groups for civil services done by the police, fire, or ambulance, that isn’t the normal responsibility of them.


2 posted on 01/03/2014 4:22:05 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: All

Go to the site and look at the photos to get an idea of how disruptive this is.


3 posted on 01/03/2014 4:22:07 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Jonty30

There are enough of them to spread out the costs.

But they feel entitled since they’re “morally superior” and green.


4 posted on 01/03/2014 4:23:30 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

While virtually all of them have some sort of “Share the Road” bumper sticker on their other vehicle. There is nothing keeping them from going in packs of five or six with a separation between them so they can obey all of the traffic laws as well. Road rallies work just like that and offer no disruption to normal traffic.


5 posted on 01/03/2014 4:30:57 AM PST by mazda77
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To: mazda77

Yes. But from the photos it looks more like a (monthly) exercise in civil disruption than a rally.


6 posted on 01/03/2014 4:33:46 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It certainly is disruptive, and it is illegal.

Just because they say it is only one day out of 30 they do this, ostensibly to “provide an open, safe space” per their lead dog [whatever ‘open, safe space means], it is not their right to commandeer public roads.

Driving in most every state is a privilege and not a right. Drivers have to have licenses, safe cars and insurance. Why don’t these bicycle riders have to do the same?

They should have to register their bicycles, get license tags, pay ad valorem taxes, and obey all the rules like everyone else.

The only good thing is that these are likely liberals and won’t be packing, so when one of them gets run over, the rest will have to think dearly about beating up some driver who may be carrying.


7 posted on 01/03/2014 4:35:06 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Agreed. My point is that they do have alternatives, but as we see, that is too much trouble.

I agree with the other poster that if they desire to ride on roads designed for motor vehicles and want to share the road, tax them like the rest of us to use it, but all the rules apply just the same.


8 posted on 01/03/2014 4:41:19 AM PST by mazda77
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To: Gaffer

Many (most? all?) states, including Texas, have laws against obstructing traffic.

This obstruction is the primary purpose of Critical mAss.

These laws need to be enforced.


9 posted on 01/03/2014 4:41:20 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Fresh Wind

Can you imagine if all those Critical Mass participants tried that schtick in Houston?


10 posted on 01/03/2014 4:43:34 AM PST by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Gaffer

Especially in Houston...


11 posted on 01/03/2014 4:47:09 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

A taut, braided steel cable stretched across the road...say, about a foot a above standard handlebar height...would diffuse this critical mass.


12 posted on 01/03/2014 5:06:56 AM PST by moovova
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"If the people who were complaining would just sit back and look at the faces of the people who were riding, they would see how much fun they were having," Garcia said.

By this (sorry excuse for) logic, if psychopath flattens Garcia's tires while sporting a big grin, then it's perfectly OK!

13 posted on 01/03/2014 5:12:42 AM PST by Lonely Bull
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
..."We do pay our taxes also, is it too much to ask that the city continue to do this?" Garcia said.

I do too, can you send a cop to my house to drive me to the senior center? There's too much snow on the road......

14 posted on 01/03/2014 5:14:05 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Miss Muffit suffered from arachnophobia.....)
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To: moovova
"Barney's Sidecare" [Andy Griffith Show]

".........[Andy] You know, I have a great mind to take the motorcycle away from him and leave him with the side car and fill it up with sand and give him a bucket and a shovel and let him play in it on weekends.

Aunt Bea: I saw in a war picture once these nazis riding around on their motorcycles.

And these guerrillas strung a wire across the road so high and when these nazis came roaring through

[Andy] We don't want to kill him.

Maybe hurt him a little but we don't want to kill him.

[Anut Bea] Well, you have to do something.

[Andy] I wish we had a psychiatrist in town.

Barney'd be a real study......."

15 posted on 01/03/2014 5:24:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: moovova

“Barney’s Sidecar”


16 posted on 01/03/2014 5:25:18 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Gaffer

Bingo, these ‘massers’ as we called them have been an eyesore and plague here in Austin for years. The problem is that Austin’s liberal city council and militant bike culture has allowed them to get away with it for a long time. I was listening to one of these Houston ‘massers’ on the radio just yesterday and this guy had the balls to say they were not breaking any laws then in the same breath confess to running red lights. They believe that they have as much right to roads as cars, yet they believe that road rules and laws don’t apply to them. Well things are changing here in Austin, in a couple months the liberal city council will be gone, replaced with a representative council covering 10 districts which should finally get some more conservative voices in city hall. Second, with more and more people moving here, there is less tolerance for bikers disrupting traffic.


17 posted on 01/03/2014 5:37:07 AM PST by LoneStarGI (Vegetarian: Old Indian word for "BAD HUNTER.")
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To: moovova

Taut like a tiger!

If these people really wanted to change things for the better, they could be promoting diesel engines for cars as they burn so clean now that most of the exhaust is water vapour.


18 posted on 01/03/2014 5:44:05 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If they’re breaking the law the police should just start writing tickets - It’ll pay for itself with the red light violations alone.


19 posted on 01/03/2014 5:49:52 AM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
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To: LoneStarGI

Good points. However, one nit-picky thing.....

I prefer to call them ‘bicycle riders’ instead of bikes, ten-speeds, 2 wheelers. I think the ‘bicycle’ term put them in the same class with children riders, as well as pissing off more than a few of them.

To me, there is nothing more ridiculous than a guy in homospandex pants, Aliens Helmet, on a two or three thousand dollar bicycle out riding in traffic at rush hour.


20 posted on 01/03/2014 5:55:37 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer
A couple of years back, I took my grandson's bicycle to a bicycle shop to buy a new tire and have them change it. $16 which I did not consider to be unreasonable but while waiting I looked at their new bikes.

The first one I came to had a price tag on it for what I thought was $29.00 and I thought, "Wow, that's cheap", closer examination revealed a lack of a decimel point - it was $2900 and that was by no means the most expensive one they had.

21 posted on 01/03/2014 6:11:50 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58

The last bicycle I bought, I paid $20 for at a pawn shop, racing bike three years old and the new sticker price was over a grand.


22 posted on 01/03/2014 6:31:24 AM PST by Anton.Rutter
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To: Graybeard58
A former roommate of mine had a penchant for making himself feel better about life by impulse buying "stuff". This stuff, like camping gear, his and hers snowshoes, and a multitude of hip and trendy gadgets was just about all of questionable utility. Alton Brown would call them "Uni-taskers".

Then he decided he needed a road racing bike... he bought the thing with the clip in pedals and spandex outfit and the thing say in the damned dining room (upside down because of the lack of a kickstand) until I moved out. He used it ONCE. That bike was a $3000 monument to his ADHD as far as I am concerned.

Last I saw, his new wife made him move it out of her dining room, and now it sits in the basement along with all the clutter of a collection of ADHD-driven purchases.

23 posted on 01/03/2014 9:20:38 AM PST by Rodamala
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To: Graybeard58

It’s ridiculous considering there is maybe one out of 10,000 or 100,000 people for which these super bikes would make any difference with respect to competitive sporting.


24 posted on 01/03/2014 10:11:27 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Next to come: billing the Tea Party for “security” at their rallies.


25 posted on 01/03/2014 10:33:06 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: Gaffer; Anton.Rutter; Rodamala

In 1967, I bought a new Ford Fairlane for $2700.


26 posted on 01/03/2014 10:39:39 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58

After returning from overseas in 1971 while in the military, I bought a new 1972 350 3-speed 2 door Chevy Nova for $2300. A sergeant with 4 years service; not one effing civilian bank would loan me the money. The credit union ended up loaning it to me.


27 posted on 01/03/2014 10:42:31 AM PST by Gaffer
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