Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Another Bronx Judge Bows Out of Morris Park Ave. Vision Zero Case

11:11 AM EDT on June 10, 2019

Well, recuuuse me (and me, and me, and me, too)!

A fourth Bronx judge has declined to participate in a lawsuit brought by a group of Morris Park Avenue business owners and the local Council member to stop a street redesign project, citing “community ties.”

Judge Alison Tuitt is the fourth judge to recuse herself in the so-called “road diet” case. Tuitt herself did not appear in her Bronx Supreme courtroom on Monday but sent out her court attorney Alicia Gerez to deliver the bad news that the case had again been delayed for questionable reasons.

“Some of the judges have community ties,” Gerez told lawyers from the Morris Park plaintiffs and the city Law Department, who’ve heard it all before.

Three other judges have recused themselves in the case, which was filed last month and argues with thin legal basis that the city has no right to convert the neighborhood’s main strip from a dangerous four-lane speedway where scores have been injured into a three-lane roadway with a center turning lane and a painted bike lane.

That configuration has proven successful in other neighborhoods, but has consistently been decried by a small group of business owners and Council Member Mark Gjonaj.

A handout from DOT shows how many crashes have occurred on the notorious speedway.
A handout from DOT shows how many crashes have occurred on the notorious speedway.

All the parties are waiting in the courthouse this morning to hopefully get another judge who will hear the case, which seeks to put Mayor de Blasio and his Vision Zero initiative on trial.

“They’re recusing themselves because they’re afraid to go against the city,” said Al D’Angelo, one of the plaintiffs and a member of the local community board.

A judge has grounds for recusal only if there is an “actual or perceived” conflict, a Law Department spokesman said. In a small county with an entrenched political machine, one could find perceived conflicts anywhere.

There have been six judges overall, including the four who opted out, one who was “unavailable,” and the judge who issued a temporary restraining order last month that prevented the city from beginning work on the project.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Analysis: Everyone Agrees — Less Parking Means More Housing

Let's take a second-day look at Mayor Adams's "City of Yes" zoning proposal to do away with mandatory parking in new developments.

September 25, 2023

What is the Life of a Dead Pedestrian Worth?

A cop laughed that a normal person is only worth $11,000 — and that figure was partly due to his racism, but also how little we value the lives of people on foot.

September 25, 2023

Monday’s Headlines: ‘What is Up With All These Flip-Flops, Mayor?’ Edition

It's the same old story with this mayor and his chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin. Plus other news.

September 25, 2023

Why Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Long COVID

Covid-19 transformed many U.S. cities' approach to sustainable transportation forever. But how did it transform the lives of sustainable transportation advocates who developed lasting symptoms from the disease?

September 24, 2023

Analysis: ‘Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program’ is a Failure By All Measures

The Department of Transportation wants the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program to simply expire in part because it did not dramatically improve safety among these worst-of-the-worst drivers and led to a tiny number of vehicle seizures.

September 22, 2023
See all posts