Judge Rejects More NBBL Subpoenas in PPW Case [Updated]

Here’s the latest on the Prospect Park West bike lane case: Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bert Bunyan has again rejected an attempt by NBBL attorney Jim Walden to issue subpoenas without approval from the court.

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Last week Bunyan urged Walden to withdraw a round of subpoenas issued to several people, including members of Community Board 6 and Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White. Today Bunyan recommended that Walden withdraw subpoenas he had issued last month to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, City Council Member Brad Lander, and DOT officials. Walden complied and agreed not to issue more subpoenas unless the court decides to allow them first.

While the rejection of those subpoenas was undeniably a setback for NBBL, remember that the very act of issuing them produced all these headlines in the first place, so you can’t really say the whole gambit was a loss for bike lane opponents.

“We are pleased with today’s developments, which will go a long way toward ending the harassing theater that has surrounded this case,” said attorney Karen Selvin of the NYC Law Department in a statement. “We look forward to the judge’s decision and are confident that we will prevail on this important New York City project.”

There is no date scheduled for the next hearing in the case. Judge Bunyan may issue a decision at any time. It’s also still possible that he may decide to allow discovery in the case, which would open the door for subpoenas again.

Meanwhile, Park Slope residents and other Brooklynites will continue to reap the benefits from a project that was requested by the local community, approved by Community Board 6, and has met its goals of slowing traffic, reducing dangerous crashes, and encouraging cycling.

The post has been updated with a statement from the NYC Law Department.