Iris Weinshall on Marty Markowitz: “He’s a Creep… Always Has Been”

Marty Markowitz and Iris Weinshall

So today we’ve been reviewing all the cynical ploys that former DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall, former First Deputy Mayor Norman Steisel, and former Brooklyn College dean Louise Hainline used in their attempt to reverse the public planning process that produced the Prospect Park West bike lane. The lawsuit that’s back in the news today is the centerpiece of their sweeping body of work, and right now, the centerpiece of the lawsuit is an affidavit that Borough President Marty Markowitz submitted at the 11th hour in the summer of 2011.

In case the details of the case have faded from memory, here’s the quick recap… In order for the bike lane opponents to get a judge to rule on the actual legal arguments in their case (which are incredibly flimsy), they first had to prove that they filed their lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired. To do this, they had to show that the bike lane was installed as a “pilot,” not a permanent redesign. The problem was, there was no record of DOT ever calling the bike lane a pilot or a trial. In fact, DOT’s Josh Benson explicitly said at a public meeting in April, 2010, that the bike lane was not a trial, and the opponents themselves acknowledged that they’d never come across an instance where DOT said the project was provisional.

Enter Markowitz and his affidavit, in which he alleged that DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan described the project as a trial in a closed-door meeting between members of Markowitz’s staff and DOT’s staff. Sadik-Khan refuted Markowitz’s version of events in her own affidavit.

Basically, the opponents have been able to drag out the case based on this one dubious piece of testimony from Markowitz. So it only seems fitting to share this assessment of Marty Markowitz from none other than Iris Weinshall herself.

When Steisel wrote to Weinshall in October, 2010, worried that Markowitz’s commitment to their cause might be wavering, Weinshall replied: “Not surprised about Marty… he’s a creep… always has been… he’s not burning any bridges with Bloomberg!”

Well, she was wrong about the burning bridges part.

  • Guest

    How charming of Iris.  She’s actually made this advocate feel bad for Marty now.  NBBL was using the poor clown, not that it’s any surprise.  The man even demonstrates a tiny shred of integrity in some of these emails, refusing to do every piece of Steisel’s bidding.

    I’m sure Iris & co. will throw Marty under the bus if and when the court finds he lied about the content of his meeting with JSK.

    Good luck, Marty!

  • Gary Reilly

    What’s truly ironic is that these emails would never have seen the light of day had it not been for Jim Walden’s obnoxious, aggressive discovery efforts.

    Subpoena Streetsblog and the bike lane advocates, will you?  Well, turnabout is fair play.

  • I don’t get it.  

    Even if JSK told Marty it was a trial, does that make it a trail?  

    Doesn’t something have to be in writing.

    If the bike lane were a trail, wouldn’t we all know that.

  • kevd

    Marty is right about one thing – the city’s desire to not disturb the elite of 5th ave., 79th St., etc.  Maybe he’d be in favor of helping get some in place there.
    Some SBS lanes on 5th Ave and Madison might be a good move, too.Imagine the s***-storm of lawsuits from the connected and entitled old people who live there. It would make NBBL would look like a tea party.

  • Nemo

    These FOILed emails are highly entertaining.

    In light of the renewed court case, could Streetsblog simply upload everything they have onto the web?

  • Such a charmer, ain’t she

  • Walker

    Norman admits that only the “stalwarts” showed up to the October 2010 rally, while 300 “bikers” showed up.  (We’re all bikers to him, whether or not we bike.)  They were outnumbered “8-fold.”

    Let’s hold another rally. The few remaining members of NBBL would be outnumbered 80-fold.

  • Savage burn.

  • Creepella

    Two creeps in a pod.

  • moocow

    Look at all the time this band of bullies spent on this!  I love the realization that the public does not believe they are “guardians of safe streets”. 

    And McClure got named by these sad, sad people, I am so jealous.

  • Anonymous

    The witch! She’s the Emanuel Goldstein of Streetsblog.

  • Bolwerk

    Bedfellows borne of politics. Like evangelical Christian supremacists and randroids in the GOP, Markowitz and the Weinshall are both essentially parasites without many shared interests besides depending on the same host for survival. Much as they need each other, they must resent each other, especially as the host’s blood is drying up.

  • The main takeaway from this: what a bunch of insular twits. Norman Steisel can’t understand why the community board he attacks over and over doesn’t follow his advice? He thought that meeting where the anti-bike-lane crowd showed themselves to be deeply paranoid and deluded went “reasonably well”? I mean: *Marty Markowitz is the voice of reason in this exchange*. Think about that.

  • vnm

    Lost in all of this is that elite Central Park West actually has a (non-controversial) bike lane.

  • Anonymous

    This series of articles exposes so much about how politics works in this town: city agency strategy, elected officials’ agendas and allegiances, the influence of connected elites, organizing citizen advocacy, the politics of community boards, abuse of the legal system, manipulation of the press – it’s all there. They should teach this story as a case study to NYC polisci students

  • moocow

    Also, thanks for another great year Streetsblog, when I was reading this I realized I was overdue tp donate.  Not only do you all research these topics that are important, but you put out what you find succinctly, and thankfully, very LOUDLY. 
    I really appreciate that.

  • Eric McClure

    @twowheel:disqus 🙂

  • MD

    I haven’t had a chance to read all the refreshers.  Could someone remind me why it matters whether or not it was a “trial”.  Why can’t the DOT announce that the trial is over and the lane is a success?

  • Legal Expert


    DOT never said the PPW redesign was a trial. This is NBBL’s invention. NBBL needs the project to be called a trial because their idiot attorneys missed the four month deadline to file their law suit. Before they can even argue their case, NBBL needs to convince a judge that the four month clock never should have started ticking until the trial ended and the PPW redesign was called “permanent.”

  • Pengel

    Now I finally understand why Senator Chuckie continues to do those lame, pointless Sunday press conferences when he’s not in DC on “Meet the Press,” etc. If I were married to that sour punim, I’d spend as much time as possible out of the house. ‘

    Seeing how these creeps operate is a revelation. Marty Markowitz made actual sense explaining political reality to them. Now I half-sympathize with him! 


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