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Court Puts Brakes On Massive 'Broadway Bomb' Skateboard Race

By Julie Shapiro | October 18, 2012 9:10pm | Updated on October 18, 2012 10:39pm

NEW YORK — The city has put the brakes on a massive skateboard race that was slated to take over Broadway on Saturday.

The "Broadway Bomb" planned to send nearly 2,000 longboarders zipping 8 miles down Broadway from 116th Street to Bowling Green Saturday at noon, which the city feared would snarl traffic and endanger both the skateboarders and pedestrians.

On Thursday evening, the city won a temporary restraining order against the annual race from the New York State Supreme Court, barring it from taking place without a permit.

"It is imperative that people abide by the city’s parade permitting requirements, especially in a race of this nature," Christina Hoggan, the city's attorney, said in a statement. "It enables the New York City Police Department not only to ensure the safety of the race participants, but of the public at large."

Race organizers officially canceled the race in response to the restraining order but urged skateboarders on the event's Facebook page to turn out anyway.

"In order to avoid being prosecuted, Ian Nichols must officially cancel the Broadway Bomb and relinquish all responsibility," the Facebook post said. "However, We are going to flash mob 116th Street and Broadway at 11:50AM and Start the Race at 12:00PM exactly…. See you there."

A video announcing the cancelation of the race on the Broadway Bomb website ended with the letters "Y.O.L.O." flashing on the screen, meaning, "You Only Live Once."

Nichols, 43, an East Village resident who launched the race in 2002 as a way of promoting longboarding, acknowledged that there were so many participants in last year's event that they effectively stopped traffic on Broadway.

But Nichols denied that the skateboarders posed any threat.

"I definitely tell people to be as safe as possible," Nichols said.

Nichols said he is not involved in the plans to go ahead with the race on Saturday, but he hopes to receive permits for future races, so that more people can enjoy the thrill of longboarding through Manhattan.

"It's a wonderful way to get around, [and] it also calms the mind," he said.