We are now well into the fifth month of the attack on street safety improvements known as the Prospect Park West lawsuit. There was no conclusion in court today, so the Jim Walden media tour will go on at least a little while longer.
Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White had this to say in a statement released this afternoon:
By any reasonable measure, this charade is over. The City set hard data against fact-free grandstanding to defend commonsense street safety improvements that the vast majority of neighborhood residents love and asked for in the first place. Any concerns about these improvements have been exhaustively addressed and it’s time to move on. The people of Park Slope deserve better than to have their time wasted by a puffed-up PR stunt.
For those following the legal developments in the case, here’s the affidavit submitted by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, claiming NYC DOT told him the PPW project was installed on a trial basis [PDF] — and our analysis of Markowitz’s impeccable timing.
And here’s the response from DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, explaining that adjusting the construction timetable and evaluating the project does not make it a trial [PDF].
Regardless of how the judge interprets the two statements, the multi-year process leading up to the PPW redesign — and the safety benefits it has produced — should withstand the assault by opponents who are trying to circumvent all the public meetings, hearings, and votes that preceded this project.
Said city attorney Mark Muschenheim:
The Prospect Park West project is not a pilot — and never was. However, we won’t let this issue be used as a sideshow to delay this case from being resolved on the merits themselves. The key issue is whether there was a rational basis for this project, and the record is clear that the community requested the project to improve safety, and the data show that it’s done the job it was intended to do. Thus, we are willing to forego the statute of limitations defense if it means speeding up the resolution of this case on the merits.