NBBL Press Releases vs. NBBL

Former deputy mayor Norman Steisel, former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall, and former Brooklyn College dean Louise Hainline have won Streetsblog's coveted NIMBY of the Year award two years running and are making an early bid to threepeat.

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:

  • Neighbor for Better Neighbors

    Great timeline.  Can you please forward to NBBL HQ at 9 PPW?

    A few questions:

    1. Is Chuck Schumer powerless to stop Louise Hainline and Norm Steisel?

    2. Where’s Jim Walden? My theory is that after messing up on something as basic as the filing deadline for an Article 78 proceeding, he’s been reassigned and is now serving lunch to Randy Mastro in the Gibson Dunn dining room.

    3. Why no mention of this story in Trasportation Nation? Is it because Louise called Andrea Bernstein a “middle school newspaper” reporter?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, the problem with Bunyan’s decision was it didn’t swat these people down enough.  There was no chance to put Weinshall on the stand to contrast the public process and data analysis for this and other bike lanes with the standard under her administration and those prior.  The cop-out decision, no unusual in legal circles, was professional courtesy.

  • Anonymous

    Oh snap, I thought my favorite series had been cancelled, but a few more episodes are planned?  Excellent.  I hope the finale is better than “Lost,” though…

  • A Civil War has erupted

    NBBL vs. NBBL!!

  • IsaacB


    Is Chuck Schumer powerless to stop Louise Hainline and Norm Steisel?

    What is it about some of our prominent Democratic pols actively or passively running interference for “the road gang”?

  • fj

    IsaacB, Chuck Schumer has the power and has declared his opposition the Keystone XL pipeline

    http://www.350.org/en/about/blogs/valentines-day-sen-schumer

    NBBLrs must have caught the Republican disease.

  • guest

    Can we get NBBL’s appellate brief posted here?

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