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Marty Markowitz Chooses the Perfect Moment to Jump Into PPW Lawsuit
Posted By Ben Fried On July 19, 2011 @ 3:12 pm In Marty Markowitz | 9 Comments
How’s this for some impeccable timing? Less than 48 hours before the next scheduled court date in the Prospect Park West case, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is inserting himself into the proceedings in an attempt to keep the tenuous suit from being thrown out.
Yesterday afternoon LCG Communications, the PR firm representing bike lane opponents, alerted the local press: Markowitz had submitted an affidavit  stating that DOT “explicitly described the PPW bike lane as a trial.” (Streetsblog is trying to obtain the actual affidavit; for now we just have the press release [PDF ].) Markowitz has been fighting this project for at least two years, and the finality of the redesign has been a central legal issue for months, but only now, apparently, at the eleventh hour, did the borough president’s memory kick in.
For everyone who’s catching up on this story — we are deep in the weeds here. The permanence of the PPW redesign is a legal question with no actual bearing on the success, popularity, or legitimacy of the project. We are talking about an idea that was requested and approved by the local community board . A redesign that has slowed down speeding traffic, reduced crashes causing injury, and increased cycling while reducing sidewalk riding. It enjoys widespread  support  in the local community, and it’s attracting new riders , including kids who can now safely bike to Prospect Park on their own.
In a legal sense, however, the “trial” issue is important, because the plaintiffs missed their chance to file a lawsuit within the four-month statute of limitations following the permanent installation of a city project. Their case will get tossed unless the judge rules that the PPW redesign was implemented on a temporary basis.
The most pressing question raised by Markowitz’s affidavit is this: Why now? Why, with only hours to go until the next court hearing, did Markowitz come forward to share a recollection from 16 months ago? Given everything we know about Markowitz’s relationships with bike lane opponents and his deep involvement in the campaign to reverse the redesign of Prospect Park West, the sequence of events makes no sense.
Only now is Markowitz coming forward with this recollection of being promised that the PPW redesign would be a trial — a memory that would have served his purposes on several prior occasions. Perfect timing.
Article printed from Streetsblog New York City: http://www.streetsblog.org
URL to article: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/07/19/marty-markowitz-chooses-the-perfect-moment-to-jump-into-ppw-lawsuit/
URLs in this post:
 PlanetGordon/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetgordon/5585952895/in/pool-1690942@N22/
 Markowitz had submitted an affidavit: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/park_slope_bike_lane_was_only_trial_Bae70EtdW79kJPq3lqhMOK
 PDF: http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lcg_marty_release.pdf
 requested and approved by the local community board: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/03/lander-and-former-cb6-chair-file-amicus-brief-supporting-ppw-bike-lane/
 widespread: http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/10/21/hundreds-rally-in-support-of-prospect-park-west-bike-lane/
 support: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/04/01/jim-brennan-poll-finds-3-2-margin-of-support-for-ppw-redesign/
 attracting new riders: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/04/04/this-is-what-nbbl-and-jim-walden-want-to-sue-out-of-existence/
 came up with the idea of calling the bike lane a “trial” or “pilot” project: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/07/14/calling-ppw-redesign-a-pilot-that-was-brooklyn-borough-halls-idea/
 TV: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/02/14/have-you-seen-the-latest-marcia-kramer-segment-on-prospect-park-west/
 appearances: http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/10/20/three-myths-from-marty-about-the-ppw-bike-lane/
 an extensive interview to WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein: http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/apr/12/the-latest-skirmish-in-the-bike-lane-battles/
 PDF: http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/MarkowitzBikeHearingTestimony.pdf
 former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/21/for-nearly-two-years-ex-nyc-dot-chief-has-undercut-the-signature-street-safety-and-sustainable-transportation-agenda-of-her-successor/
 PDF: http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/pdf/PPWsuit1.pdf
 replied to the plaintiffs’ suit: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/16/citys-response-to-ppw-lawsuit-matter-of-factly-dismantles-nbbl-claims/
 asked Judge Bert Bunyan to adjourn the case last month: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/22/ppw-bike-lane-case-adjourned-until-july-20/
 he cited a New York Times story: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/30/nbbl-attorney-jumps-on-new-york-times-story-to-press-his-case-in-court/
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