Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

NBBL Lawyer Jim Walden on Brian Lehrer This Morning

Update 4: Second caller is Michael Freedman-Schnapp from Brad Lander's office, and the third caller is a mother of three, Megan, who feels safer crossing PPW now that it's not a three-lane speedway. And that's it for the callers.

Lehrer pops a "pro bono" question. Walden says he took the case pro bono because it's "good government" work, and he wants to "hold the Bloomberg administration accountable." So there you have it: Jim Walden is holding New York City government accountable for listening to neighborhood requests to calm speeding traffic, acting to make streets safer, and not backing down when powerful people try to circumvent the public process. Think twice before you try that again, Bloomberg administration.

Up tomorrow: Howard Wolfson.

Update 3: First caller is plaintiff Lois Carswell. Lois says there's no good reason to have a parking-protected bike lane, and mistakenly says that the city took away B69 bus service on PPW. The MTA did that, in large part because the state legislature stole $143 million from transit, and three people now under federal indictment -- and Ruben Diaz, Sr. -- wouldn't put a price on driving across NYC's free bridges. Imagine if Lois's friends in 9 Prospect Park West, the Schumers, put all their political muscle into overturning those decisions.

The WNYC switchboard seems to be jammed.

Update 2: Walden is up next and they're taking phone calls -- 212 443 9692.

Update: It's 11:35. If Walden is going on today, it'll have to be soon.

Jim Walden, the corporate litigator at white-shoe law firm Gibson Dunn who is representing the well-connected opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane "pro bono," is going to be on the Brian Lehrer show this morning. It looks like Walden is scheduled to appear on the second half of the broadcast, sometime after 11 a.m.

Expect Walden to hit his main talking points from the plaintiffs' complaint. If there's an opportunity to call in, here's some previous Streetsblog coverage of the lawsuit's core allegations that you may find helpful:

    1. Selective use of safety data: The plaintiffs say the PPW project evaluation "deviated from DOT’s usual approach in reporting its crash statistics," but this is not true. Gary Toth, a 34-year veteran of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, told Streetsblog: "It is the opponents’ lawyers who are grasping at aberrations and doing the very thing they accuse the DOT of — selectively picking data to stack the deck in their favor."
    2. Public process: The plaintiffs allege that the Prospect Park West bike lane was a DOT experiment foisted on the neighborhood, but in fact local civic groups had been asking DOT to calm speeding traffic on PPW for years, the community board asked DOT to study a two-way protected bike lane on the street in 2007, and the board later approved the project in 2009. Local support for the redesign continues to overwhelm opposition.
    3. Strictly legal substance of the lawsuit: An NYU Law School professor says the complaint is "largely public relations, with no more law behind it than is minimally necessary to avoid sanctions for frivolity."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Opinion: Connect the Dots of Manhattan’s Missing Bike Lanes

Only a few miles of missing protected lanes stand in the way of a robust bike network.

April 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Thanking the Academy Edition

We would be remiss if we didn't offer some photos and copy about Friday's George Polk Awards ceremony, plus other news.

April 15, 2024

Civic Panel Pushes For (Some) Atlantic Ave. Safety Upgrades

Brooklyn Community Board 2 stopped short of calling for a more aggressive redesign of a street where drivers have killed six pedestrians in the last decade.

April 15, 2024

Vandals Commit Mass Arborcide Near the Greenway in Kissena Park

Hundreds of young trees were ripped from the ground — some stolen, some just left for dead — near the greenway in Kissena Park in Queens.

April 14, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: The Polk’s on Us Edition

This afternoon, our reporter Jesse Coburn will journey to Midtown to accept Streetsblog's first George Polk Award, one of journalism's highest honors. But before that, here's the news.

April 12, 2024
See all posts