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Miami Police Chief: Critical Mass Organizers Could Be Held "Liable" if Ride Continues

Categories: News

Photo by Michael E. Miller
Critical Mass cyclists wait for a drawbridge at a ride last summer.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa believes Critical Mass has become a "critical mess," warning reporters this morning that "anarchists" had ruined the popular monthly ride and that kids without helmets, beer vendors on bikes, and widespread civil disobedience were creating dangerous situations downtown. Orosa wants cyclists to plan with cops in advance and warned that anyone linked to organizing it could be held "liable."

"We want Critical Mass to come to the table so we can have some organized events," Orosa said, "not a surprise 'let's go party and ride together.'"

It's not clear yet whether this month's ride will go forward as usual on Friday or whether Orosa's officers will begin ticketing and fining riders if it does.

See also: Critical Mass: It's Time for Miami Police and Motorists to Respect Bike Riders

"It's a surprise. Maybe, maybe not," Orosa said when asked whether police would try to crack down this week.

Critical Mass began in the early '90s in San Francisco as a way to draw attention to making streets more bike-friendly. The rides have since spread across the nation and began in Miami in 2007. In the past four years, they've exploded in popularity, with celebs such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade joining in and crowds of 4,000 riders regularly pedaling through the streets.

But the rides are technically "spontaneous" and by their nature don't obtain permits or permission from the city. Streams of cyclists block traffic and roll through red lights. That has angered cops like Orosa.


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190 comments
chriskis1337
chriskis1337

Damn, you guys get really mad at people on bikes, huh? I heard they just banned biking in North Korea (really)- you might like it there. 

Hysterical though that the cops say they are concerned for people's safety... i thought I was reading The Onion for a second.

no thanks


jason.ibarra.seo
jason.ibarra.seo

The ride is NOT spontaneous. It happens on the same day every month and the route is published to the public. If the police really want to make it safer they can block the intersections along the route, period. 

lolacrayola
lolacrayola

Instead of creating awareness, Critical Mass is creating problems and an upset citizenry. One night, I couldn't leave Treasure Island for a very long time. There's just no way out of it. I was stuck. They day that cyclists respect traffic signals, that's the day that cycling deaths will be reduced considerably. Don't put all the blame on motorists. Cyclists on sidewalks endanger pedestrians. Cyclists should carry insurance, just like car and motorcycle drivers do. Critical Mass chokes Miami. This event should be stopped, unless they become responsible.


Bobwww
Bobwww

MPD and BSO will arrest you ALL.

John Smith
John Smith

some one should get these idiots off the road they swerve into traffic than blame the car drivers for their stupidity

Sue Ryan
Sue Ryan

Cyclists in Miami are the WORST. Cocky, assured and feeling entitled. Tonight I drove home from work down Biscayne Boulevard around 10pm and I nearly ran into cyclists on two occasions, neither was wearing a helmet and neither had lights of any kind. Had I not taken evasive action, I dread to think of the consequences. As for Critical Mass, those idiots behave terribly, criss crossing lanes, stopping outside of bike lanes in traffic lanes and generally behaving so badly. Get them off the road and banned for good! What a useless bunch they are, wasting a great opportunity.

Theresa Brewer
Theresa Brewer

think he is missing the whole point of the ride. this is offensive. Miami police should be working to protect cyclists, every day, riding legally and responsibly in bike lanes from the AGGRESSIVE AND UNSAFE DRIVERS

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

Miami rank in the 4th worst city ran in the United States, cops and officials are busy corrupting them self, now they want to publicly with no shame, behave as they do, all the time, and get away with it. Most of this cops are from countries where people got away from, because of this violations of basic human right. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? no different than police in other countries including Cuba.

Ride, and Ride, until they get the point, cyclist have to be respected and protected, or take your uniform off, and go back to your country of origin, this America, don't crap on it.

acockup
acockup

I hear Savannah Ga is welcoming all the young professionals that ride bikes. Police chief Orosa is fighting a losing battle, the city knows it will be under water soon. They have a secret report that shows just how soon the water will be rising. His  mission now is to save the cyclist. Ride for the hills, before its too late. Savannah Ga is 45 feet above sea level, you will be safe there. 

slipstreamx5
slipstreamx5

Can't wait for this Friday's Critical Mass.


After what the Miami Police Dept. had to say about Miami Critical Mass today (Story here:  http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2014/06/miami_police_chief_critical_mass_organizers_could_be_held_liable_if_ride_continues_without_police_in.php),I want to say that I am the Critical Mass Organizer.   Everyone is a Critical Mass Organizer who attends.
There is no one person who organizes the event - everyone is an organizer/rider/attendant part of the Mass.
It's not "John Doe's Friday Night Bike Ride," or "Mary Jane's Cycling Adventure" - no, it's a large group of people who want to enjoy a peaceful evening of cycling.
I agree with what June Savage has to say 100%.    
"June Savage2 hrs · Miami, FL · Edited

Lets Protect what we have . BIG KISS to you know who  for ALL he has done for cycling and awareness . He is NOT gonna be the "Fall Guy " for this ! I can promise you that ! He did not create "Critical Mass" .
Now :
I have received a call from the police chief office, I will meet with them and get a clear picture of where they are coming from , then we will see what we can do together. I urge everyone "Let it Ride" continue cycling. Lights are the law too so try and have at least one on the bike .

It is the law under 16 must wear a helmet. When I grew up this did not exist but it does now. If you see the police please think twice. We don't want to look like hooligans and get bad press . The object is to get GOOD PRESS and AWARENESS and have a GREAT TIME! Respect your corkers see my fav below ! "

Arianna Lucia
Arianna Lucia

"It's a bunch of assholes causing traffic and acting like douchebags just for their own amusemen" - you mean most drivers in Miami? As much as I dislike Critical Mass because most of the people there are not the people who actually risk their lives being cyclists in their day-to-day, let's be real here: they are at the same level as most drivers.

Dade Sokoloff
Dade Sokoloff

Frank, bikes do not have the right of way. They are supposed to obey the same lights and signs as drivers. Critical Mass is bullshit. It's a bunch of assholes causing traffic and acting like douchebags just for their own amusement. As for the police, Jose D. Duran, it's not a binary situation. They can investigate that murder and deal with this.

Arianna Lucia
Arianna Lucia

Want to make the people who take lethal machines out of the street, create less congestion, try to stay healthy and mentally stable, and cause less environmental damage out of the street, all things that benefit YOU and your children and EVERYONE while literally risking their lives for it "liable"? then hold those who murder people directly and indirectly every day liable. At least hold them accountable. Especially rich people. Hold them accountable for when they don't follow the laws meant to keep the roads safe for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. Keep them accountable for having illegally tinted windows that keep us from knowing whether the person behind the wheel is seeing us cross the street by foot or on a bike, keep them from being on their phones and being distracted and running stop signs and driving too close to other people, keep them from having their friggin high-beam on and blinding other motorists and cyclists. But they don't do shit. The only thing they ever stop anyone for is for bullshit reasons, not the stuff that could actually jeopardize someone's life.

Arianna Lucia
Arianna Lucia

Lorraine Costa what's hilarious is that Critical Mass started out as a very anarchist form of direct action for cyclists rights and now it's turned into a joke in every single city.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

fuck the police...critical mass is awesome and remember lookout for SCOOTER & MOTORCYCLES on the streets & PEDESTRIANS & BIKES have the 'right of way" miami car drivers are fucking morons especially cubans

Lorraine Costa
Lorraine Costa

Arianna Lucia this made me remember you, people throwing the word "anarchist" like crazy

mrcruzfl
mrcruzfl

Is about time they do something about these bullies. Hope they do the same in Fort Lauderdale

William James
William James

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elpflasa
elpflasa

I ride a bike (never at CM, though) and have no issue with the idea of promoting bike safety and awareness on the part of motorists for bike safety,  BUT, CM'ers ask yourselves this question: if you're riding in a group large enough to stop traffic for 30 minutes, how in the heck do you think you're changing any minds for the better?  Do you think motorists are spending that 30 min contemplating how to share the road and their responsibility to other people or do you think they are bitching about these damn bikes blocking their way and contemplating how to get away with murdering bike riders?

If you want to change minds, it's really not a good idea to start off by pissing off the person whose mind you're trying to change.

Just saying.

Tom Berry
Tom Berry

It just seems like CMers, or elements therein, are just trying to pick a fight; create a dramatic confrontation. I bet the cars win. If its about promoting "bike safety" then teaching kids to obey traffic laws would be a good start. Tensions will escalate as long as CMers refuse to share the road.

David Lizama
David Lizama

never understood critical mass...looks like a giant clusterfuck...its the palmetto expressway, but with bikes. gives a new definition to the term 'sheeple'

Diane Warner
Diane Warner

I know I have been trying to read this I was considering on going but maybe not now.

Zack Brookes
Zack Brookes

Ride Sunday mornings. Or go out to the Everglades. Plenty of space.

toddschenck
toddschenck

Do you complain when you have to wait for a train to pass? Or an ambulance? Or an old lady? And what about the cars that are stuck BEHIND the mass, stopping at red lights would certainly make it a longer ride for them. Not to mention that stopping at lights would break the ride up into multiple groups (4,000 people aren't getting through 1 green light), and then you'd be complaining about all the different "masses". Get over it. If you have to wait for a marathon or 5k to be run every weekend, you can wait for a bike awareness ride to pass you once per month.

toddschenck
toddschenck

Wow- because I'm sure there's nothing better for the police in Miami to be worried about...

Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez
Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez

Its really pathetic when u feel so socially deprived that you have to join a mob of mfs JUST to ride a freakin bike...as if you cant just ride your bikes on your own..fckn losers

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

go back to your country if you don't like Cubans, that is north of miami -dade county, why do you think cops there are from, and why do they behave that way? by the way, I was born in Cuba, I do not live in Miami for that reason 

davidtriana911
davidtriana911

@elpflasa Yet, you will get stuck at a train track or bridge and not complain? Will you murder the bridge operator? The train conductor? 

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Bad analogies. Try another set that makes more sense.

toddschenck
toddschenck

Do you go to the park and play basketball by yourself? When you're doing something "socially", don't you prefer other like-minded people to be around? Just because you don't like something doesn't make it wrong. Fckn loser.

elpflasa
elpflasa

Drivers are annoyed by them as well, but the bridge is not trying to convince the driver to be more mindful of other bridges.  The train conducter is not tying to justify his actions as making a political point, he's just doing his job driving the train.  Again, like I said, I don't disagree with your goals, but you are being silly to pretend that you are achieving any of them.

toddschenck
toddschenck

@HarryTheHandyman How about a boat? They're not on a schedule, don't have to permit to block the roads, and can often make you wait 20-30mins to pass. That a better analogy?

Akill8
Akill8

@toddschenck What makes it wrong is the lack of permits and coordination with the police.  Just because you think it is cool does not make it right.  

toddschenck
toddschenck

@Akill8 @toddschenck - I still don't think you get it, and it has nothing to do with "being cool". The point is that it's NOT organized, so that permits and coordination with the police is NOT necessary. In many other cities the police actually HELP this ride, and will ride alongside the ride to make sure that people (both cyclists and drivers) don't cause any issues. But as this isn't an organized event, they have no right to intervene into the time or place that the ride is held.

Akill8
Akill8

@toddschenck No one is buying your semantic tap dance.  Planned activity?  Yes.  Members like Todd?  Yes.  Epitome of the new thought process where words mean what I need them to mean to win an argument, not what the words actually mean?  Check!!

rmcarral
rmcarral

@toddschenck @Akill8 The Police...have no right to intervene...because its not organized.

Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? Besides, I thought the POINT was cycling awareness? Evidently the reason you're there is the reason critical mass is catching heat in the first place.


toddschenck
toddschenck

@Akill8 Same two haters replying to all my comments. (Akil and RMC).

Yes, we skirt around the need for permits and police involvement by making this a non-organized ride - THE SAME WAY THAT EVERY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD DOES IT.

I don't even live in Miami. I'm telling you that you will not win this fight though.

Akill8
Akill8

@toddschenck @Akill8 There is no fight jackass.   You skirt the law to have anonymous fun.  You take no responsibility and prefer to act without accountability.  I think that is wrong and weak.   You already lost bud and don't even know it. One day you will.  


And the fool is not even in Miami, too funny. Cheers kid.  

toddschenck
toddschenck

@Akill8 - Fight/battle/whatever the police are trying to bring. They won't win. This has been attempted before and failed in every city. Why don't you read about when San Fran (which routinely gets 3-4,000 riders) tried to shut down their CM ride... It turned into a 5-7,000 rider event. And the police had no recourse...


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