Author Topic: Parkour Banned in NYC  (Read 40736 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

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Parkour Banned in NYC
« on: August 21, 2010, 02:09:08 PM »
Sha has just sent this message. I am working to contact him to find the actual legal code and more information so we can take an organized and meaningful approach to solving this.


Hey guys, don't know if you've heard yet or not, but Parkour, by name, has been banned in parks in The Battery area, and the immediately surrounding downtown area with a 300$ fine. Naturally, I fear this escalating into both a city-wide lockdown on parkour in NYC, as well as what can turn into a less than desirable relationship between traceurs and the authorities for reasons I'm sure you all can imagine. I'm currently pulling strings, speaking to connections, and starting dialogs with the city at this point, and have a pretty solid handle on that, but it'd be great just in general to know that I have the support of you guys, and the communities you represent, and as this process moves forward, hopefully begin to unite our minds towards a progressive direction that expresses a positive image of parkour to the city, and allow us to reach some form of common ground.

Perhaps at this point, you guys could begin to spread the word on this, and perhaps get the beginnings of what could be some form of petition started, and things of the like. There is an event happening at the end of the month that was planned prior to the ban, that will be taking place in The Battery area. It will bring in the neighborhood of 150 traceurs to the location, and I'm pretty much racing to put as much legitimacy behind the gathering as possible, lest it become a riot of jacked teenage ninjas vs armored soldiers with tear gas grenades. I'd much rather have it be some form of organized protest, or pretty much anything people don't throw tear gas at. Any support you guys could provide would be much appreciated, and I like to see this as an opportunity to be the first step towards parkour being appreciated and respected in the city, as opposed to an insane ninja posse riot.

Like I said before, I've got a firm hold on communications with the city right now, but if you guys could just inform your communities so that we can all move forward on this as an organized whole, that'd be awesome! I'd love for NYC to be the city that sets the example for a progressive relationship between Traceurs and the city they inhabit. First things first though! I hope to hear back from you guys ASAP, as I'm more or less on a one week time limit. If anyone you know has any specific aid they can offer, such as a connection, or simply wants to provide some sort of media coverage, you can direct them to me as well. Thanks a ton guys!
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Offline Jeremy H

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 02:24:15 PM »
Best of luck to everyone.  I hope that we can move towards a progressive, positive relationship with the areas we train in.  I hope that traceurs can behave in a responsible manner, in order to build a mutual respect between themselves, people in the areas they train, and any authorities.

Offline Scott Berson

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 02:27:55 PM »
MAN THE HARPOONS!

We need to get this resolved. If one city does it, it will spread, unless we can present a good image. I'm sure you have the entire community's support 100% on anything, M2.



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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 02:34:07 PM »
Thanks Scoot, it will take more than support - it will sure take effort and action - we'll just have to see what Sha finds out and what the appropriate action is.
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Offline David Jones

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 02:47:56 PM »
It's a bit out of reach, but I want to try and make this to support the cause... Find transportation from Philly and I might make it...

Offline Hopefulpilot

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 02:54:59 PM »
There must be a reason for the ban... Was there too much damage to public property happening? People complaining about it? Trash getting left behind, etc.? Is it something Traceurs/euses can fix to make it legal again?

Offline Stephen Klukas

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2010, 03:00:47 PM »
I'd like to know a bit more about the reasons behind the ban as well. If we can understand their reasons, perhaps we can prevent other cities from following suit.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 03:02:40 PM »
I'd like to know how they define it, is there now no running in parks? no jumping? No handstands?
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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 03:02:56 PM »
There must be a reason for the ban... Was there too much damage to public property happening? People complaining about it? Trash getting left behind, etc.? Is it something Traceurs/euses can fix to make it legal again?
No damage or trash...probably just old people complaining that we're being obnoxious. This whole fine thing seems like a huge deal to our community, but in the eyes of NYC it was probably just something they did to shut up an influential member of some local PAC or something lol. Honestly, I think that as long as we (people training in NY) don't train stupidly in the area it won't have a huge effect. On the other hand, it could start a cascade of "No Parkour" signs appearing all over NYC and most of the other major cities in the States. Guess we'll just have to wait, and in the meantime try and be as discrete about our training as possible. :-X

Offline Timothy Chen Allen

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 03:14:54 PM »
...it could start a cascade of "No Parkour" signs appearing all over NYC and most of the other major cities in the States.
A new candidate for "most stolen sign". (I discourage stealing signs, of course.)

I'd like to know how they define it, is there now no running in parks? no jumping? No handstands?
There would be some bored cops if they had to watch me training to see if I were doing parkour; I spend 90% of my time doing QM and Precision Jumping between marks on the sidewalk.  Yawn.

Actually, this will make for some interesting lawsuits.  Was the defendant doing parkour? Or was he just a 46-year old poser?  Does running with a "Parkour Beast" shirt constitute parkour?  What if I'm out running and spontaneously kong a barrier?  I'd bet that the only thing they could make stick would be arrests made during an actual parkour event... like the one mentioned in this thread.  Maybe they were specifically targeting that jam.
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Offline Brandan Mendenhall

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2010, 03:15:22 PM »
I'd like to know how they define it, is there now no running in parks? no jumping? No handstands?

That's what I was about to say.

I'm really curious to understand how they're going about "banning" Parkour. I'm eagerly awaiting details.
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Offline Sha Mualimm-Ak

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2010, 03:19:06 PM »
Initially, they're complaint was "The obstruction of public walkways". Obviously we weren't, as traceurs are courteous to bystanders and passerbyers, but that was the direct law they were citing whenever they'd ask us to leave. That had been going on back and forth for over a year, and we're literally acquainted with the park police in the battery by face with a sort of "We train for a while, you come through and ask us to leave, we go quietly. See you tomorrow" kind of relationship, as it is with most spots in the city. Only now is it suddenly banned. But as traceurs we make a special effort not to hurt any one or any thing, and in NYC we certainly succeed at that. There is no legitimacy behind this ban, I just need to persuade them to UNDERSTAND what parkour is and who traceurs are. That's the hard part, but once that's complete, i don't think it will be so hard.
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2010, 03:43:40 PM »
Thanks a lot for your work M2!  I'm totally behind you.

It's a good thing I do rage froobling and not parkour.

Offline alleycat_2003

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2010, 03:46:00 PM »
It almost seems like its too hard to define parkour to enforce this. What if right before you did a kong, you did a backflip? Could you say, "I wasn't doing parkour, I was free-running. Didn't you see the flip?" Or what if you have little children running around and jumping off of things? Would the police tell them they needed to stop? Its a very fuzzy line between parkour, and just jumping and playing.

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2010, 03:46:21 PM »
Thank you for your work and effort in this, M2.

I'll spread the word to the PA community about this and ensure we all continue to strive to practice our art in a way that truly reflects the community.

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Offline Zak_Auwalu

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2010, 03:46:53 PM »
blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh f#ck THE AUTHORITIES

Just kidding that would be quite counter productive we need to work together to help people understand what we do and why we do it

Offline hfksla

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2010, 03:53:18 PM »
Oh shit, what can I (or we) do to help? This is a problem for me (and for everyone else in the parkour community) if it spreads. I'm not that far from the city.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2010, 03:59:30 PM »
Guys, dont thank me, I haven't done a thing yet except let people know about the problem. Be part of the solution!!

Sha - who is "They?" have you been to city council meetings??
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Offline David Jones

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 04:00:12 PM »
I'll spread the word to the PA community about this and ensure we all continue to strive to practice our art in a way that truly reflects the community.

This is something I have kept in mind since I first started, and everyone else should to. What's going on in NYC just goes to show that even with responsibly practicing and representing Parkour, there are misconceptions from outsiders.

Offline Ryan Nicolai

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Re: Parkour Banned in NYC
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 04:26:34 PM »
While I find this ban to be a slippery-slope given the nature of Parkour, I just want to toss a little advice out there for anyone reading;

Be calm. Stay calm. Often times things like this are simply from people's ignorance on a given subject. In this case it's Parkour. I'm glad to see that it's being handled in a civil and mature way by Sha. That is the best way to handle this. Please don't do anything counter-productive that would hinder their work and cause a negative ripple effect throughout the US and abroad.

It's just another reason to watch my P's&Q's as I start to organize a group in my area.


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