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Prospect Park West Bike Lane Lawsuit Is Somehow Still a Thing

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A judge has reversed his decision regarding the bike lane, opening it up for an attack on its legality

Because there aren't any more pressing issues plaguing the city, let's return to the fixture bike lane along Prospect Park West which, as of yesterday, is being looked into again for being unlawful. After five days of testimony, Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Bert Bunyan has ruled that lawsuits against the bike lane in 2011 were filed before a statute of limitations on the issue passed and therefore anti-bike lane folks' lawsuit against the lane can move forward, says Gothamist. After all this time, the bike lane just might still get ripped out.

The Prospect Park West bike lane opposition is a saga, but here's the long and short of it: in 2011, anti-bike lane activists filed a suit in court alleging that the Department of Transportation put out misleading information regarding the bike lane, and failed to correct press and officials like Councilman Brad Lander when they referred to the bike lane as temporary. The suit also accused the DOT of conspiring with pro-bike lane people to shut down the opposition which, admittedly, is not great.

The suit was officially dismissed in August of 2011 by Bunyan, who ruled that the suit was filed too late under the state law that allows challenges to "arbitrary or unfair" government actions. But that wasn't the end of it, because here we are now debating the bike lane's merits.

Streetsblog says that Bunyan's reversed decision probably means that there will probably now be a trial to rule on the actual benefits of the bike lane. Shortly after the lane was installed, one anti-bike lane activist took the time to count lane users who passed by her office with a handheld ticker, and found that far fewer people were using the lane than the Department of Transportation forecasted, which was a 30-percent uptick in traffic. Not that one person with a trigger finger and time to kill is the end all be all here, but it does exemplify how deeply this issue is (somehow still) dividing the community.

Anti-bike lane activists are presumably calling for the two-way bike lane to be ripped out and for the traffic lane sacrificed in its building to be reinstated.