In our own words: Reminds people that we have a right to the road. · I enjoy it for all its elements--as celebration, as protest, as ritual, as city happening. · Gives a wonderful feeling of security on roads where that feeling would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. · I'm angry, as an urban cyclist, that I feel so vulnerable when I bike, and CM gives me an opportunity to feel safe. Cars are destroying our environment and our urban quality of life. These are political and social issues, some of which can be dealt with through legislation. Critical Mass highlights these issues/problems in a direct way--it takes over the streets, disrupts the "routine", and asks us to reconsider the way transportation in this city is imagined. Cars are not a necessity but a luxury--there are better solutions to the problem of getting around. · It's a taking back of our city, just for a couple of hours--a very liberating and inspiring time. It gives a sense of what could be possible. I also maliciously enjoy giving it back to the car drivers one night a month, though I reckon they still get the better end of the deal. · A celebration of the bicycle. It's an opportunity for the exchange of ideas, new ways of thinking, making new friends with similar interests and letting drivers know that there is a positive alternative to driving. At least one evening a month cyclists can take to the streets with reasonable safety. · It makes the presence of bicyclists impossible to ignore. It's like "here we are, like it or not, but Deal with it."
--all comments taken from a survey distributed
at the March 1996 Critical Mass
|Roads cost us all 6.5 cents per mile traveled by car, yet motorists pay only 2.3 cents per mile in gas taxes, registration fees, etc. The difference is paid for by the general public (mainly through property taxes) whether or not they drive a car. 31% of San Francisco households do not use a car, but they still cover most of the cost of maintaining the roads used and abused by cars.|
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