Extra Police Enforcement For 'Critical Mass'
Apr. 28 - KGO (KGO) -- Last night's Critical Mass bike ride happened under the critical eye of San Francisco police and city hall, and it made a difference.
There was a little trouble with cyclists stopping traffic at least three times in the Panhandle area and the Haight, but no major problems, no violence like last month and no arrests.
A few hot spots sparked friction between motorists steamed over traffic delays and cyclists determined to stake out their slice of the road, including one at Oak and Stanyan and one on Haight Street.
Sean Flores, Critical Mass Rider: "Yeah, there's people that probably aren't doing the smartest thing but I'd hate for that one or two people to muddy the whole thing. There's a lot of people that just want to come out and have a good time"
A more representative picture had drivers cheering on their fuel-free counterparts.
Jason McCarthy, Driver: "I feel a little guilty being in this minivan but I normally commute to work on a bike, so this is great. I love it."
At 10th and Howard, one cyclist pleaded for patience with an irate driver while 1,000 riders streamed though red lights. Both driver and rider ran out of patience.
From a different car a flying fork pitched into the fray. Police stepped in.
Gavin Newsom, S.F. Mayor: "Are we encouraging it? No. Are we concluding that it will continue in spite of our efforts? Yes."
Mayor Newsom says it's hands off for now, but if Critical Mass gets criminally ugly again, he hinted, he's willing to rethink that.
San Francisco police doubled its usual force, with cops on bikes and motorcycles accompanying all phases of the ride.
There were no arrests and no property damage along the 19-mile route, even if there were frayed nerves on both sides of the street.
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