Smith says it’s not about just beefing up numbers of police, it’s a matter of “meaningful enforcement.”
“We get comments like, ‘we can’t enforce people standing around with red cups full of whatever it is they’re drinking,’ and ‘we don’t want to confront these large groups because we don’t want to start a riot,’” says Smith. “I mean, if you’re worried about starting a riot, you’re admitting to a much bigger problem.”
Smith’s threats to campaign against the bike race entirely seems almost blasphemous to some, even to fellow organizers in the coalition.
“We have to solve our problems no doubt, but canceling the race? No,” says Jane Lipton, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corporation. “I couldn’t be party to that.”
It’s tradition versus tradition, really. After 27 years, the International Cycling Championship cutting through Manayunk and Roxborough is tradition. But like any good time taken over by the rowdy piggyback partiers—see the Stroll, Mardi Gras on South Street and Greek Picnic—so is putting the kibosh on the party. Philly: This is why we can’t have nice things.