Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cost to the city for Critical Mass: $125,000

Hey! Get out of our way!
Jim Swanson

Joe Vazquez did a piece for KPIX on Critical Mass that at least mentioned the cost to the city for the police escort of the monthly event: 20 officers and two Sergeants, $125,000 a year.

Supervisor Mirkarimi provided Vazquez a typical flab-gab soundbite: 

Any kind of traffic enforcement, especially when it's mobile and rotating like that, costs the city money for a police escort...So the police department needs to provide us their budget to determine if that is an applicable use.

An "applicable use"? The cops are now escorting Critical Mass every month, so obviously the money for the escort is already being spent. The question for Mirkarimi, who supports Critical Mass, is whether either the demonstration or the expense can be justified.

Four years ago, Mirkarimi had this lame defense of the bike people's traffic-snarling demo: "Critical Mass gets my support because of the attention they've brought in influencing the City to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly."

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