media punk

Today, 1st of May, many inhabitants of Riga took part in the annual Critical Mass event. I was one of them. Riga is still a pretty unfriendly city for cyclists. That is a shame, because biking would definitely improve the quality of our lives. There are way too many cars in the streets of Riga.

Unfortunately, police is still seeing Critical Mass as some kind of unwanted public disturbance. Of course, things have changed in a positive direction since the first event took place more than five years ago. At that event all participants (!) were taken into custody. Now it’s different, but there still is massive, exaggerated presence of police (10 buses, 5 cars and 8 motorbikes). Moreover, instead of regulating the trafic to help the crowd of cyclists move onwards, they try to regulate the cyclists. Numerous protocols for violations of traffic rules and regulations were registered by policemen today. Well, why not simply close the car traffic on some routes for half an hour or so? Why not turn off the traffic lights and regulate the traffic manually, for the benefit of the cyclists? These are things that police should definitely consider in the future. Just a day before there was a huge motorcycle event in Riga, and the traffic was closed in many places, causing disturbances even in the public transportation. Still, one person was hit by a motorbike. I don’t see any reason why cyclists’ needs would get less attention and benefits from the authorities. We didn’t hurt anybody. But we were pushed and squeezed to the sides the whole way, with sirens screaming and policemen often yelling at us where to move or when to stop.

Anyway, enough talking. Here is a bunch of my photos. Enjoy! Let’s see how the Critical Mass turns out next year… Fingers crossed.

Didzis Melbiksis

Multilingual citizen. Europe, Sweden, media, politics.

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