January/February 1998, p.2

Provocateur: Big Apple Motorists Stage Critical Mass "Drive"

For Immediate Release

December 10, 1997
New York City

Area motorists hit the roads en masse today, clogging streets and highways and paralyzing traffic in the New York metropolitan area.

"The nerve of these people! I have to get to work!" said Tom T., a bicyclist who struggled through three miles of the critical mass drive en route to his job in Midtown Manhattan. "Cars are in the bike lane and blocking the crosswalk. They are stacked so deep that ambulances and fire trucks are stuck with their sirens screaming."

Area motorists frequently hold critical mass drives and seem undeterred by presidential visits, building collapses and dire warnings by transportation officials to stop conducting the drives during peak travel periods. "I bike uptown at 9am and downtown at 6pm and it's clogged nearly everyday," reports Tom.

Tom wishes the motorists could show a little more courtesy when planning their mass drives. "I respect their rights to promote a transportation style that generates massive pollution, noise, creates general societal alienation and kills and injures thousands, if that's what they really believe in. But, you'd think they could respect those of us of who actually have get somewhere by staying out of our way! It's not like they stick to one street, they're everywhere! It really slows everybody down."
"I'm a pretty tolerant guy, but it does piss me off when it spills onto sidewalks," said Tom, noting that participants in the mass drive kill about 15 pedestrians a year on Big Apple sidewalks. "Really, I'm surprised that they can pull this off on such a regular basis, given their lack of organization and apparent bad feelings towards everybody - even each other!"

Road users, particularly bicyclists and pedestrians, are advised to use caution when using roads in NYC and its environs, until the mass drives are called to a halt.

NOWBike Memo, Preston Schiller and Michael Richardson

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