In July 1987, then-mayor Ed Koch stood on the steps of City Hall and announced that no cycling would be permitted on 5th, Park, and Madison Avenues between 31st and 59th streets on weekdays from 8am to 4pm. Cyclists responded almost immediately, organizing regular protests that had them riding around the city in droves, blocking off streets. A month later, the ban was overturned.
That was 25 years ago. Now, the bike-friendly environmental organization Time’s Up! is celebrating the anniversary with a massive organized ride, retracing the route of the original protest. The event coincides with the 20th birthday of Critical Mass, a monthly organized bike ride that began in San Francisco in 1992 and has since grown into a nationwide phenomenon.
The ride is open to the public and begins at 6:30pm on the SE corner of Houston and 6th Avenue. A discussion of continuing impediments for New York cyclists and a screening of a film about the 1987 protests will be held at 9:00pm at 7 East 7th street, where the ride will end.
Check out a trailer for the film, Fifth, Park, and Madison, below.
(Photo: Alex Thompson/Flickr)