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Cyclists Calling for 'Project Civil Obedience' at Next Critical Mass Ride

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Photo by alexbcthompson via Flickr

Photo by alexbcthompson via Flickr
One of the key elements of large Critical Mass bicycle rides is that there's no official leadership, but with recent steps to improve relations between the LAPD, the cycling community and the public -- efforts that stem from a police incident caught on tape -- some cyclists are planning to step it up and lead by example. In the comments section of LAist's post about Friday's Critical Mass where the LAPD will be joining, cyclist Joe Borfo calls for "Project Civil Obedience." His comment:

To All Willing LACM Participants, At the ride start of the Critical Mass on June 25th, there will be a faction of people, including myself, who will be encouraging something we are currently calling, "Project Civil Obedience", in which all cyclists will demonstrate what it means for 1000+ riders to obey all road rules. That includes stopping at every red light. We will also be encouraging mass riders to cooperate in choosing a destination to ride to so that they can reunite if they get separated by red lights from the main group. The plan will be to get to the destination within 45 minutes (a reasonable riding time frame).

If everyone participates in this idea by consensus, the result will be that all participants will be free to travel in any direction they need to reach the destination. Some groups may get broken up by red lights. However, we will all be demonstrating that WE ARE TRAFFIC by following all road rules to the LAPD and the rest of the public. There may be some old school traditionalist Critical Mass veterans that may be opposed to this idea. However, CM was designed to be improved cooperatively. There are no leaders here, just a mass of riders who are working together to improve the image and effect that CM can have in our city.

Please pass this cooperative idea along, join in encouraging others at the ride, or contribute to the discussion here and on other forums.

See you at Los Angeles Critical Mass!

Sgt. David Krumer, who is charged with cyclist relations, is pleased with the efforts behind "Project Civil Obedience," but said he has one slight concern if riders decide to split off into smaller groups. "Fragmenting the ride into many smaller groups of 30-50 riders traveling in different directions complicates our oversite and facilitation," he said. "The LAPD is responding to many calls from Critical Mass riders to be more involved. Now that the LAPD announces its intention to be present the rules are being changed somewhat, and can be interpreted as an attempt to thwart our outreach efforts. Again, I applaud the message of Civil Obedience but the timing creates additional challenges."
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Critical Mass takes place this Friday at 7:30 from Wilshire and Western. By all appearances, Critical Mass riders and LAPD will likely have all the details worked out by then.

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