Saturday, August 19, 2006

NYPD Back Peddles on "Two is a Parade" Rule

The NYPD has backed off, for now, from the proposed rule that would have defined two or more pedestrians or bicyclists as a parade subject to ticketing or arrest under certain circumstancesmade. On Friday afternoon, the NYPD withdrew the proposal for a re-write and cancelled the hearing on it scheduled for Aug. 23. You might recall that opponents have been asking people to send emails and make phone calls about the proposed rule. And, on Thursday, there was a rally at St. Mark's Church against the proposal. Several City Council Members had also come out against the rule, saying that legislative oversight was needed.

The NYPD's notice said:
In view of comments already received on the proposed revision to Chapter 19 of Title 38 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York, the Police Department has withdrawn the proposed revisions regarding parade permits and will publish new ones in the City Record narrower in scope with a new hearing date. As a result, the public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2006 has been cancelled.
A coalition including the NYC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Transportation Alternatives, Times-Up!, the NYC Bicycle Coalition, FreeWheels and other groups and blogs were lined up against the proposal and remain engaged on the issue.

For more information on all of this, you can see AssembleForRightsNYC, a site to which we link.

Under the rules that were withdrawn, any group of two or more cyclists or pedestrians traveling down a public street, who violated any traffic law, rule or regulation could have been arrested for parading without a permit. In addition, any group of 20 or more cyclists would have had to obtain a permit and approved route from the NYPD, and any group of 35 or more pedestrians would have needed a permit and approved route from the NYPD.

The issue is coming back in some way, shape or form, but for now, it would appear that the broad coalition of opponents raised enough of a ruckus to force a rethinking of the proposal and an opening that could lead to some City Council review.

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