City on PPW suit: Bring it on!

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city will fight the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit on its merits, instead of seeking its dismissal on a technicality, lawyers told a judge on Wednesday.

“We want to get to the merits of the case,” said city lawyer Mark Muschenheim. “We’re prepared to drop the statue of limitations defense to expedite the case.”

Muschenheim’s comment came just days after Borough President Markowitz swore under oath that Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told him the bike lane had been installed last year as a trial — a claim that, if true, would have allowed the case to go ahead.

Before Wednesday, the city had been fighting the notion that the bike lane was a “trial” project because opponents’ lawsuit against the bike lane had been filed too late to challenge a permanent city fixture.

Though they’ll now get a chance to argue their case, lawyers for Neighbors for Better Bike lanes, the opposition group that sued the city over the bike lane, slammed the city’s decision to move the case forward, saying that it has less to do with the merits and more to do with covering up foes’ primary contention that the city has fudged bike lane data to make the lane appear more successful than it is.

“Big lies are being told to cover up smaller lies,” said Jim Walden, the group’s lawyer said after the hearing at Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, which was filed in March. Subpoenas were issued calling for testimony from longtime bike lane supporter Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), Sadik-Khan and Markowitz.

This week, Markowitz — famous for his opposition to the Prospect Park West bike path — said in a sworn court statement that the city had lied to protect the controversial path. He testified that Sadik-Khan told him the lane was simply a “trial” project, not permanent one, as the city originally claimed in court.

In the three-page document, Markowitz says he met with Sadik-Khan more than a year ago to tell her he believed the lane would clog traffic on the busy street.

“In response to my concerns, Commissioner Sadik-Khan told me the bike lane would be implemented on a trial basis [and] that if the study proved her wrong, the Department of Transportation would modify it or even take it out.”

Sadik-Khan countered in a sworn statement this week that she had never characterized the lane as temporary project.

Neither the Markowitz nor Sadik-Khan was in court on Wednesday. Norman Steisel — a member of Neighbors for Better Bike lanes, who worked with Sadik-Khan when he was Sanitation Commissioner — said afterwards that he doesn’t believe city lawyers simply want to speed up the case.

“There’s been an effort to intentionally misinform,” he said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Posted 12:00 am, July 21, 2011
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Reasonable discourse

VLM from Park Slope says:
The only person in this case telling big lies to cover up smaller lies is Jim Walden. It's embarrassing to the legal profession that he's taken this case pro bono, particularly after he ruined St. Ann's Warehouse last week, and this whole NBBL thing is a joke. End this farce, Mr. Walden or else I hope you get disbarred.
July 21, 2011, 1:54 am
mike from GP says:
Wow, another article built around a NBBLer press release.
July 21, 2011, 2:02 am
Resident from PPW says:
It will be interesting to find out (if possible) who is telling the truth.
July 21, 2011, 7:35 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I don't think it matters who is "telling the truth". If the bike lane were a trial there would have been documentation describing it's "trail period" and criteria for it's continuing or removal.
July 21, 2011, 7:41 am
Steve from Park Slope says:
“There’s been an effort to intentionally misinform,” he said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

You said it, Norman. The ways in which you and NBBL have misinformed the press, your own group members, and others is astonishing. I can't wait to learn how deep your iceberg goes.

Perhaps CUNY wants to start looking into how Iris Weinshall and Louise Hainline used their positions, office resources, and emails for political lobbying in order to squash a popular and life-saving Brooklyn community-driven project?

Or maybe Boro Hall staff members would like to be questioned about the meeting Markowitz had with Sadik-Khan so we can find out if the affidavit he signed is honest?

I'm sure the iceberg is very deep, indeed.
July 21, 2011, 8:22 am
boof from brooklyn says:
"Lawyers for Neighbors for Better Bike lanes, the opposition group that sued the city over the bike lane, slammed the city’s decision to move the case forward, saying that it has less to do with the merits...."

Haha. Now they are arguing that their own case has no merit.
July 21, 2011, 8:42 am
Steve from Park Slope says:
boof, exactly!

Wouldn't a review of the "merits" also include a review of the data and whether or not it was manipulated in order to achieve the desired results? Isn't that what NBBL told us they wanted to explore? Or do they simply want to keep us mired in FOIL requests to figure out if it was a trial or not?

If NBBL is so confident in their case, let it be heard on the merits. But thanks to Natalie O'Neill's revealing turn of phrase, we have confirmation that NBBL knows their case has always been utter garbage and nothing more than a political stunt.
July 21, 2011, 8:51 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
announcement: all bikers stop with all the crap its about time get a real job will ya....... fact the must of bikers are just looser cant effort to drive a nice car etc........
July 21, 2011, 9:56 am
Alternate Side from Park Slope says:
When is Brooklyn paper going to start representing the people of Brooklyn, not just the interests of a couple of bitter former city employees who have a personal grudge against the mayor and the transportation commissioner? That's all this is: Wieshall was discraced after the tragic SI Ferry crash, and Steisel has failed out of one city job after another. They can't stand the success of the current team, and rather than just living their lives and let New Yorkers enjoy the city, they are taking their personal grudges out on the entire community. They are psychopaths who don't care if you lie or die, they just have to win at all costs. There will be a nice spot in hell reserved for their enablers, Jim Walden and Linda Gross.
July 21, 2011, 10:30 am
mike from GP says:
Uh, Ken, I can't speak for anybody but myself, but I do have a real job.

And yeah, I can't afford a car, nor would I want one if I could!
July 21, 2011, 10:54 am
ilovebrooklyn from PPW says:
I live on PPW. The bike lane works well; people for the most part like it or have accepted it. NBBL should move on and not make the city waste its money during a time of financial stress on this idiotic lawsuit.
July 21, 2011, 11:42 am
Jen from Greenpoint says:
Ken, can you "effort" a real job with english like that?


The word you're looking for is "afford." Maybe your car is making it really hard for you to "effort" an education.
July 21, 2011, 11:45 am
Jym from PLG says:
=v= Lawyers for Bitter Bike Lanes is basically who they are.
July 21, 2011, 12:18 pm
Rogrman from Park Slope says:
We don't need lawyers and bike lane combatants, we need courteous bike riders and laws that mandate that bike riders follow traffic regulations. We also need lights installed that bikers can see so that pedestrians, particularly those with small kids and those walking dogs don't killed maimed or killed by thoughtless, entitled, privileged bike riders.

The problem isn't bike lanes, it's bike riders. This is all misplaced legal mumbo-jumbo!
July 21, 2011, 1:14 pm
S from PS says:
You're right, Rogrman! Next up, maybe NBBL can sue all the bikers!
July 21, 2011, 1:44 pm
Josef from downtown says:
Alternate Side has it right. Why any news organization gives NBBL the time of day let alone a shred of credibility, is beyond me.

I had an email exchange with Mr. Markowitz about this begging him to see reason, but Schumer and spouse must have something over him.
July 21, 2011, 1:55 pm
DNH from Park Slope says:
It's remarkable that Brooklyn Paper continues to provide hired-gun litigator Jim Walden and hired-gun political consutlant Norman Steisel with a platform to spread lies, smears and misinformation about a project that is important to our community and that a lot of good, solid people in the community worked on for years.

The pre-Rupert Murdoch Brooklyn Paper never would have given so much ink to Walden and Steisel. It's really sad what this newspaper has become since NewsCorp purchased it.
July 21, 2011, 2:54 pm
jj from brooklyn says:
Surely bike lane supporters are not suggesting that Marty Markowitz is a liar?!?

In any event, Bloomberg's DOT hack tries to give the impression that the administration is "people" (instead of auto) friendly. The truth, tho, like in places like Atlantic Yards and Downtown Brooklyn. It's business first. People last.

The PPW fuss, ignited by Bloomy's hack, is a pointless sideshow.
July 21, 2011, 5:28 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Rogrman, many bicycle zealout websites such as Streetsblog, Critical Mass, and Transportation Alternatives are against cyclists following the rules. To them, they see as if they are being made part of the system that they are fighting against. Also, they have fought againt allowing bicycles to be licensed and registered, because they were afraid that they can be tracked. I say no more bike lanes until they start agreeing to follow the rules. Reguardless, I know that Hainelines camera will give the proof on who is really using that bike lane. Honestly, you can draw a lot of parallels on the PPW bike lane to the AY, and NBBL is getting attacked just like DDDB just for seeing the truth.
July 21, 2011, 6:15 pm
Steve from PPW says:
Yes, I'm sure NBBL and DDDB have a lot in common. For example, they both are acronyms with four letters.
July 21, 2011, 7:27 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Are you really suggesting that the City of New York stop making its public streets safer until some variety of organizations "agree to follow the rules".

But, does it matter what Streetblog says, you don't believe it anyway.

BTW, have you seen the PPW Bike Lane yet?????
July 21, 2011, 7:50 pm
mike from GP says:
I don't know what a "zealout" web site is, but I sure do know that "Critical Mass" is not a web site, but a global, loosely-affiliated movement. And "Transportation Alternatives" is not just a web site, but an organization run by real people and volunteers, and they certainly are for bicyclists following the rules, as anybody could tell if they bothered to look.

As for zealot profile names like "Tal Barzilai", I think they are fighting against using their brains.
July 21, 2011, 7:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It seems as if ignorance knows no bliss comming from the bike zealouts. Where I come from, we don't use personal attacks, we use facts otherwise you are too childish to participate in this debate. So far, no proof has been given to where the data is not fudged, and there is a person who is part of a group that is using a camera to look at this place all the time. Just go over to her apartment when she is there, and she will probably let you. On a side note, at least I use my real name unlike the rest of you, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of those names could possibly be the very same person.
July 21, 2011, 8:23 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
When NBBL loses, they ought to be required to reimburse the city for tying up resources to deal with their frivolous, spoiled BS.
July 21, 2011, 8:27 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Why should I want to look at the bike lane through a camera. I can walk over an see it when ever I want.

I have not seen any proof that you actually exist, yet I must ask again HAVE YOU ACTUALLY SEEN THE THING YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT?????.
July 21, 2011, 8:45 pm
S from PS says:
I'm sure Louise Hainline would happily let anyone named Marcia Kramer who wants to see the camera footage see it.
July 21, 2011, 9:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Is every article done by Natalie O'Neill, epsecially on bike lanes, going to get personal attacks by bike zealouts? It seems as if some only like the news when they agree with them. If she is biased by taking the side of NBBL, then I can equally say that Streetsblog is biased by suporting Bloomberg and JSK. Either way, she does not deserve a personal attack. Be glad that you are allowed to comment on this, because she can always tell the main editors of the paper to deny it such as Mike Lupicia does on the Daily News. Speaking of the Daily News, there were some letters that said that bike lanes are bad as well as on the NY Post as well. Regaurdless, there is a person who watches that bike lane from the camera that is used to look at 24-7, so she does know who is using it.
July 23, 2011, 5:16 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
So Tal

When is the last time you actually looked at the PPW Bike Lane.
July 23, 2011, 10:37 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Did you ever actually see the PPW Bike Lane or are you basing all this complaining on 30 seconds of video that Louise Hainline gave to Marcia Kramer?
July 24, 2011, 6:26 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, I suggest you make an appointment with Dr. Sigmund Freud, because you can't seem to control the balance between your id and superego.
July 24, 2011, 11:36 am
Resident from PPW says:
I would appreciate if someone can clarify?

Are Tal's opinions being discounted because he lives in Pleasantville and not in Brooklyn?

Does this mean because I have read about Bloomberg's plan to ruin the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and don't live in the Bronx my opinion is discounted? What about the "brilliant" Bloomberg/Sadik-Khan proposed plan to close off or limit transportation along 34th Street? Even though I rarely travel in that area of Manhattan, shouldn't my opinion count?

Even though I am not a fan of the bike lanes, I do find it interesting to be informed about both sides of the argument.
July 24, 2011, 12:58 pm
G from PPW says:
Tal's opinions are discounted because they are often contradictory and rarely make sense. Read his comments long enough and even the most rabid bike lane hater wouldn't want his support.

Resident, I think anyone who is interested in learning more about an issue, regardless of where he lives, is entitled to an opinion, but there does get to be a point where, if willful ignorance is the game, the opinion can and should be disregarded.
July 24, 2011, 8:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Resident, many of those who support the bike lanes are from Streetsblog, and only like to hear their opinions, but not anyone elses'. Why do you think they attacked the editor on this very article? The answer is because she is against their veiws. I have seen them attack others who didn't share their veiws, and some of them do live in Brooklyn. As for G, I don't mind if anyone wants to disagree with me, but calling someone ignorant just for taking the opposite side is uncalled for. I didn't call anyone who disagreed with me ignorant or anything else insulting, but I can cite where many of you have done that to me. I have said similar things on the City Room on this, and nobody has said such words to me, but here, you guys get so bent out of shape when someone like me comes here and disagrees. Finally, nobody is forcing you to respond to me if you choose not to, so cut it out with the personal attacks.
July 24, 2011, 8:30 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I am not calling Tal ignorant because I disagree with him. I am calling him ignorant because he is ignorant.

He is, of course entitled to his opinion. In as much as I would tell them how to grow rice in china.
July 24, 2011, 9:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, I take that as a personal attack, and I expect an apology on you right now. As a matter of fact, you and your Streetsblogger friends have a long history of attacking anyone who doesn't agree with you. The internet is not private, and anyone can come here no matter where you live. Just because you live there, doesn't mean that your comments can outweigh others. I am a nerdy leftist, and my information is hardly something I just come up with arbitrairly. Where I come from, only the most ignorant resort to personal attacks and other ad hominems. It's not like I am hitting below the belt as you are. Don't like what I say, then simply don't read it. I have commented on other topics here, and I haven't seen anyone attacking me on this. Why is it when it comes to bike lanes and other road infrastructures, your kind gets so hostile on this? I can see why Streetsblog is such a discredited website made by anti-car fanatics who believe that only right ideas are the ones that they make, while shouting non-believer alert at anyone who isn't on their side.
July 24, 2011, 10:06 pm
Reva Cooper from Park Slope says:
This whole lawsuit is unbelievable. NBBL cannot cite one actual case of danger from the new bike lane, so they're relying on a technicality. It certainly isn't going to lower their property values, so what is their case? A statement from their lawyer like "They can bike but they can't hide" is totally moronic -- I bike and have no intention of hiding. These people should spend their efforts on protesting to far-right Republicans who are holding up a budget deal!

I ride on the PPW strip and love it -- there are no bicycle racing clubs to side-swipe me or Parks Dept. trucks to get out of the way of as there are within the park, it's peaceful and flat and good exercise. I also drive a car down PPW a few times a week, and don't notice any slowdown in how long it takes to get from one end to the other -- and there are also less double-parkers lately, too. The great urban philosopher Jane Jacobs said that when you diminish the amount of lanes for cars to get through, the traffic lessens.

Just one small point, re any danger: I also believe in bicyclists following traffic laws, and want there to be signs up along the bike path saying "Look left and right before crossing, for bicyclists" -- sometimes I have to yell out to people who cross without looking because they're not fully aware it's a bike path. But otherwise, great.
July 25, 2011, 12:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just to set the record straight, I have nothing against those who like to ride bicycles. It's the attitude that I am against. Also, why do they need special lanes just to ride when those before them didn't? A big irony is that bike zealouts demand for the rights to the road, but don't want to pay to use it just like everyone else does. If they truly want to be treated like vehicles, then they must act the same way like others who drive vehicles do and follow the rules of the road. Another irony is that they demand for those of us who drive actual vehicles to always be subject to the laws, while they act as if they get a free pass and act above them all the law all the time as if it never applies to them. In the words of Confucious, "Respect is something one must earn, not demand," I can remember hearing on the City Room about places throughout the city that only got traffic after the bike lanes were placed, but not before. How is it traffic calming when it's really creating more traffic? Perhaps this is the way to help promote congestion pricing by creating the very gridlock itself. Overall, NBBL has every right to have this lawsuit especially since the data tends to be fudged and the bike lane is claimed to be hardly used except when TA brings their flash mob there just to make it look used a lot.
July 25, 2011, 5:08 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I am not apologizing, because I am not "attacking" you. I am just stating a fact. YOU ARE COMMENTING ON SOMETHING YOU HAVE NO FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF.

I will continue to point that out because if you words have any effect on the people who make decisions then it will be a real danger to me and my family.

If you have a problem with bike zealots. Ask for laws to be enforced, I would like to see that too.
July 25, 2011, 5:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, the members of NBBL live in that area as well, yet you slam them on this. Either way, it doesn't a special insider to know what's going on. Pet projects are pet projects no matter where they take place. Just because I don't need to live there or happen to see it on a daily basis to know what's going on. Even if there was enforcement, you Streetsbloggers will be crying foul and demand that it would stop despite how much you want the laws enforced on everyone else. On a side note, I did see a cyclist riding on Columbus Avenue by the American Museum of Natural History, but was not using the protected bike lane that was there, showing how much they are sometimes being treated as decorations by your kind.
July 25, 2011, 8:41 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

At least come and visit if you are gong to complain so much.

Have you seen it at all? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE PPW BIKE LANE?

So, you saw A bike on the sidewalk on Columbus Ave and decided there should be no safety improvements to the roads in Brooklyn.
July 26, 2011, 5:54 am
R from PPW says:
The cyclist Tal saw near the Natural History museum was 7 years old and is allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
July 26, 2011, 9:31 am
Cee from PS says:
Leave the bike lanes. it's the only legal way to kill off the yuppies and hipsters.
July 26, 2011, 12:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
R, that cyclists I saw on Friday by that museum was not a child, it was an adult, and I saw him with my own two eyes that day, plus it was on the opposite side of the street where the bike lane wasn't.
July 26, 2011, 6:35 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I saw a driver talking on his phone today. Lets remove roads
July 26, 2011, 8:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just saw this on the Voice of the People on the Daily News today about bike lanes.
July 27, 2011, 5:42 pm
Mike says:
Wow, if some crazy person writes a letter to the Daily News, then whatever they say must be the truth!
July 27, 2011, 10:54 pm
DMC from Brooklyn says:
Tal Barcrazily and the Brooklyn Paper: You guys are perfect together. You deserve each other.
July 28, 2011, 8:54 am
boof from booklyn says:
Haha maybe it's spelled Barcrazilai.
July 29, 2011, 10:12 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, boof and DMC (likely psudonyms), cut out the personal attacks on me. I don't know how things are done in Brooklyn, but here in Pleasantville we separate the argument from the person and refrane from personal unwarrented attacks. I never said I didn't like bikers, only that I dislike Bike Zealouts. In all this, where is the concern for the tax paying car driver? Not all of us want to subsidize roads for bikes exclusively. If bikes can ride on car roads, then the reverse is also true. Seems to me that it is a waste of money when there is something being biult that is already replecated in the form of a car lane. I will patiently sit by and debunk the fallasies and stick up for the silent majority.
Aug. 23, 2011, 11:32 am

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