NEW YORK, AUG. 26 -- -- More than 150 bicyclists formed a giant caravan and marched on the sidewalks and through the intersections of midtown Manhattan today, snarling traffic and trying to prove that the best way to protest the city's new bike ban is to obey it.
The bicyclists -- messengers, young professionals and even several businessmen in suits -- lined up at 2 p.m., then began their procession south along Fifth Avenue to the consternation of thousands of motorists and pedestrians.
Cars honked, drivers shouted in frustration and the bicyclists cheered and chanted.
"Give us back our streets," members of the group chanted as they walked one-by-one with their bicycles.
"Move it! Let's move!" numerous stalled motorists shouted back as the protesters went slowly through crowded intersections.
The demonstration was peaceful, and there were no arrests.
The recently enacted bicycle ban prohibits bicycling on Park, Fifth, and Madison avenues from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays. Authorities have been issuing warning notices this week but say they will begin handing out summonses on Monday.
Charles Komanoff, president of Transportation Alternatives, a bicyclists' advocacy group, said the protest was held to show authorities the ban is unworkable.
"What we want to show is that bicycles don't belong on the sidewalks. We belong on the streets and we are asking the city to give them back to us," Komanoff said.
The protest came as Transportation Alternatives prepared to become the second group to file suit in state Supreme Court in Manhattan against the ban. A hearing was scheduled Friday on a suit filed Monday by a coalition of messenger services.
Police issued no tickets today as the line of bicyclists moved through several red lights. The officers waited patiently for the bicyclists to clear the intersections despite the frenzied pleas of motorists.