Skip to comments.Critical Mass is free, but Houston police may begin charging riders for escort [bicyclists]
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 ...
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.
Go to the site and look at the photos to get an idea of how disruptive this is.
There are enough of them to spread out the costs.
But they feel entitled since they’re “morally superior” and green.
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.
Yes. But from the photos it looks more like a (monthly) exercise in civil disruption than a rally.
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.
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.
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.
Can you imagine if all those Critical Mass participants tried that schtick in Houston?
Especially in Houston...
A taut, braided steel cable stretched across the road...say, about a foot a above standard handlebar height...would diffuse this critical mass.
By this (sorry excuse for) logic, if psychopath flattens Garcia's tires while sporting a big grin, then it's perfectly OK!
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......
".........[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......."
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.
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.
If they’re breaking the law the police should just start writing tickets - It’ll pay for itself with the red light violations alone.
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.