Vancouver's monthly Critical Mass is attracting more and more people these days... The Vancouver Sun is reporting that over 3000 cyclists are expected to turn out tonight, and that the police have given up on trying to contain it:
- Police took the unusual step this week of warning motorists away from the city’s downtown core Friday in an effort to ease tensions generated by a planned “Critical Mass” bike ride.
The ride — which takes place on the last Friday of every month — is expected to draw a record crowd of up to 3,000 cycling enthusiasts, and police say drivers are better off avoiding the area if possible.
Police say the ride has grown so large they have given up trying to rein in participants, even those breaking rules, such as riding without a helmet or blocking traffic...
Instead, McKenna said, police concentrate on targeting individuals who commit more serious criminal acts...
While the ride was originally designed as a protest over the lack of bike lanes, “Critical Mass has now morphed into a major celebration. Unfortunately, it has also morphed into a source of major conflict between riders and drivers,” he said.
Because of that, he said, “we are reminding motorists that this Friday evening they should try to avoid the city core if at all possible.”
Downtown traffic is expected to be snarled during Friday’s afternoon rush hour as a group of bicycle riders is expected to engage in a “Critical Mass” bike ride.
Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, Vancouver Sun