JSK Counters Markowitz Affidavit; No Decision on PPW Bike Lane Case Today

Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has submitted an affidavit countering Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s assertion that the Prospect Park West bike lane was installed as a trial. The rest of the news coming from today’s hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court once again centers on procedural maneuvering. There was no decision on the Prospect Park West case.

Brooklyn families will have to wait a bit longer before they know this won't be snatched away from them. Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Here are the major takeaways from today’s hearing:

  • Sadik-Khan has submitted an affidavit stating that the Prospect Park West project was not installed on a trial basis. Her statement counters an affidavit from Markowitz, submitted before the hearing at the eleventh hour, in which the borough president said Sadik-Khan told him the project would be a trial. The “trial” question is relevant insofar as it affects the standing of the plaintiffs’ case. Their suit will be dismissed if Judge Bert Bunyan determines that the PPW redesign was installed as a permanent project, because the clock ran out on the statute of limitations months before opponents sued the city.
  • The city believes that the case might be resolved faster if Judge Bunyan rules on the merits instead of the statute of limitations argument.
  • The next hearing is slated for August 3, where Bunyan will decide whether subpoenas served by the plaintiffs’ attorneys should stand. Subpoenas are unusual for this type of case, but the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jim Walden, is seeking to compel Sadik-Khan, City Council Member Brad Lander, and four NYC DOT staffers to appear in court, in what would surely be the media spectacle of the summer.
  • It is hypothetically possible that Judge Bunyan could decide the case before August 3.

Just a reminder: Community Board 6 approved this project two years ago, and it has made Prospect Park West a safer street, with less speeding, fewer injuries, shorter pedestrians crossing distances, more biking, and less sidewalk riding.