Like a reanimated corpse, the PPW bike lane lawsuit is stumbling on a little while longer, as NBBL appeals Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bert Bunyan’s dismissal of the case. The surreal part of the spectacle this time around is that bike lane opponents are basically repeating what they said last year, even though their own correspondence has since revealed that they knew claims in the lawsuit had no merit. Who needs merit when you just want to wage a political attack against DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan?
If you’ll recall, NBBL has to argue that the bike lane was a “trial” when DOT installed it in June of 2010, or else their March, 2011 lawsuit was filed too late to have any standing. Here’s Gibson Dunn attorney Georgia Winston (apparently Jim Walden couldn’t be troubled) in a NBBL press release yesterday:
“The lawsuit clock started running only after the Department of Transportation made a final decision to permanently install the lane, in January 2011. Before that—throughout the summer and fall of 2010—the lane was repeatedly described as a ‘trial,’ including by the lane’s most fervent supporters.”
Not only is this the same argument that Judge Bunyan rejected last August, but Streetsblog reported in October that NBBL leaders knew better all along. Here’s NBBL member Jessica Schumer in a July 1, 2010 email to bike lane opponents:
“The NY court’s are very strict in their applicaiton of statute of limitations in Article 78 proceedings. We need a lawyer to start drafting the motion ASAP.”
And here’s NBBL leader Louise Hainline in an August, 2010 email to Marty Markowitz’s chief of staff, Carlo Scissura:
“Can you fill me in on what was said or not said by DOT about the matter of this installation being a trial? I’ve look at everything I can find Sadik-Khan or her people have said about this bike lane and can’t find anything that indicates they publically said the installation was only a trial.”
If you’d managed to put this whole sordid affair out of your mind and forgotten the byzantine sequence of events, here’s the handy timeline to help orient yourself: