Thursday, December 20, 2012

Prospect Park West Bike Lane Lawsuit Reinstated

Prospect Park bike lane

Opponents of Prospect Park West's bike lanes Brooklyn’s will be heading back to court after an appellate panel overturned a lower court ruling.


The fight over a Prospect Park bike lane has peddled its way back into court.

An appellate panel ruled Wednesday that a lower court improperly tossed a suit brought by irate opponents of the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane trying to force the city to rip out the cyclist path, according to the New York Daily News. 

They charge that the city lied about figures on the Park Slope lane’s benefits-and improperly plotted with pro-bike groups to stymie opposition.

The opponents of the lane are a politically-connected bunch that includes former Department of Transportation commissioner Iris Weinshall-the wife of Sen. Chuck Schumer-and former deputy mayor Norman Steisel.

They say the lane clogs traffic, reduces parking and makes it hard to cross the street safely.

But last August a state Supreme Court judge dismissed the case, arguing it had not been filed in time to meet strict statute of limitation regulations.

The opponents challenged that ruling and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in their favor, setting the stage for a hearing on the controversial lanes.

“We are gratified by the court’s decision and we look forward to forcing the truth from the Department of Transportation,” said Jim Walden, the lead attorney for the opposition groups.

City officials have scoffed at the suit, citing data that car crashes have fallen substantially since the lane was installed.

“We're confident that the Prospect Park West bike lane is here to stay,” said a DOT spokesman, adding the judges’ decision was based on a technicality. “In the meantime, local residents will continue to enjoy the safety that this community-requested and supported lane has provided every day for the last two and a half years,” the spokesman said.  

An appellate panel ruled yesterday that Supreme Court Judge Bert Bunyan erred in August 2011 when he dismissed a lawsuit seeking to remove the two-lane path. Bunyan tossed the suit on the technicality that it was filed late.  The case returns to Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Read More:

Foes of controversial Prospect Park West Bike path win appeal to block the lane, new 
hearing planned  - Appellate panel ruled lower court improperly tossed suit 
New York Daily News - December 19, 2012 - Reuven Blau

The Brooklyn Blog - December 19, 2012 - By Rich Calder  

Bike ruling KO’d
New York Post - December 20, 2012 -  By Rich Calder

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