Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Is it time to ban critical mass?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) March 2nd, 2010

Some cities want to end the event because it causes major traffic disruptions and because of the violence associated with it.

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13 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

No. Police the groups that need it and leave the rest alone.

davidbetterman's avatar

Is this like a Sturgis kind of thing?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What is Critical Mass in the context you use it in?

mrrich724's avatar

I just saw one two days ago in LA. I think it should stop (contrary to my previous belief b/c I’ve seen this a few times in LA) for one reason. Last time I saw it happen, a police officer turned on his sirens to get through and he couldn’t . . . for like 5–6 minutes. Because there was just no way someone could have moved there vehicle without hitting someone.

If an ambulance or an officer needed to assist someone and they were stuck, it would just be impossible, especially with the evident lack of organization, for the bikes to clear out.

I got mad thinking, “What if my girlfriend were walking around downtown and needed assistance (especially with all the wierd crap that happens downtown). That cop would have been the nearest person and unable to do anything” all so these bicyclist could have a joyride?

It should either stop, or become a sanctioned event. With blocked off roadways, etc.

YARNLADY's avatar

Why are people always so ready to ban activities they don’t approve of? This activity was invented specially to bring the plight of bicycles to the attention of the general public. Rather than rush to ban it, why not become involved in solving the issue behind it?

Zaku's avatar

Ya let’s ban banning.

andrew's avatar

An old girlfriend of mine used to be a bike courier in SF. She made her living biking in traffic. I’d ridden in a critical mass and I asked her what she thought of it.

She laughed, and said that once upon a time it used be and interesting political thing, but now it’s just a nuisance. ‘A joke’ I think is what she said.

And having done it, I really agree with her. It’s just an excuse to get drunk and not pay attention to traffic signals while you listen to someone on a custom-made tryke blast music. It’s like convincing yourself that pirating music is activism.

There are far more productive things to do if you truly care about bike advocacy (like joining a bike coalition and lobbying for more bike lanes and lockups).

Ban? No. Organize formally? Yes. Roll eyes at those who do it? Definitely.

Kraigmo's avatar

I don’t think Critical Mass should be banned, and most of its members are innocent.

But then again, I do have a problem with the Angry Cyclist… the ones who purposely ride far out into the lane, ostensibly to “prevent danger by blocking cars from even having the chance to dangerously pass” ( <—- a B.S. meme heavily spread amongst uppity cyclists)

And the ones who ride double-file, arrogantly blocking traffic.

But these are rude behaviors exhibited outside of Critical Mass.

And it would be wrong to ban Critical Mass for the problems caused by individuals. Yes, Critical Mass itself blocks traffic, but it’s a temporary, and relatively fast moving, and unavoidable event.

The wide-laners and the double-filers both have alternatives: to ride single file, and hugging the curb at a reasonable distance.

The Critical Mass event has no alternative… it is what it is. And its goals are good. When I am in the Netherlands, I’ve noticed, they’ve reached Critical Mass… and cars there are secondary to bicycles. One can travel anywhere in the cities without a car. The bike lanes and subway/train systems are intricate, fast, and easily available.

In some cities of America, this will occur too some day.

Response moderated
12_func_multi_tool's avatar

I have not heard of violence, I only read about it right now. It should be apparent that road rage is already a given. Throwing another new element into traffic will cause a disruption but this is what CM’ers have said -“We’re not blocking traffic, we ARE traffic!”
As a protest to bring awareness, it’s only so-so to me, as a lifestyle I think it is very positive and adds to a metropolitan feel to any city.

Cruiser's avatar

I have not heard of violence at all and I the couple times I have been in the Chicago mass have all been happy fun times. I am trying to get one started out in my area.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Just another reason I refuse to live in an urban area. Cyclists and motorists coexist nicely in northern New England. Only the logging trucks are evil incarnate.

CMaz's avatar

I try to leave critical mass in the bathroom.

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