Despite a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge dismissing the lawsuit against the Prospect Park West bike lane, opponents are not giving up. We all hoped that the lawsuit’s dismissal would mean the end of the outrageous anti-bike lane media campaign by Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes (NBBL), but it doesn’t look like they are willing to let go and move on. Jim Walden, the attorney for NBBL and Seniors for Safety, the groups that filed the lawsuit against the Department of Transportation, has sent a formal letter to the DOT and Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan demanding that the bike lane be removed.
This may seem like a reasonable next step for the opposition, but the New York Observer notes that this seems more like an opportunity for Walden to drum up more bad press for the bike lane. The pink paper discovered that media outlets across the city were promptly emailed a copy of the letter, while the DOT was sent a copy via snail mail. When the Observer spoke to the DOT, the department had yet to even receive the letter.
The letter essentially said that the opposition is ignoring the dismissal of the lawsuit, and they will be pushing onward to prove that the bike lane was part of a pilot program that did not have sufficient community input. Walden will be filing Freedom of Information requests to gain access to DOT emails and documents that he believes will support his case.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, released an official statement condemning Walden’s letter and actions:
In their desperate quest for headlines, the opponents of the street safety improvements on Prospect Park West continue to ride roughshod over the wishes of local residents. These malcontents had their day in court, and their groundless case was dismissed. The people of Park Slope have endured this reckless PR stunt long enough. It’s time to move on.
Given the fact that the bike lane has lead to a 16 percent decrease in crashes and is supported by 68 percent of the local community, we couldn’t agree with Mr. White more.