Wide Net of Subpoenas Withdrawn in Brooklyn Bike Lane Lawsuit

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 05:29 PM

The plaintiffs in the case seeking to remove a 1.1-mile two-way protected bike lane along Brooklyn's Prospect Park have withdrawn a set of subpoenas to community activists and civic leaders ssued as part of the lawsuit. Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman, Transportation Alternatives Chief Paul Steely White, and others were subpoenaed late last week. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jim Walden, of the powerful law firm Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher had also subpoenaed a number of city officials earlier this summer.

But city lawyers went to court today to seek a temporary restraining order on the wider lists of subpoenas.  Instead, the plaintiffs withdrew these subpoenas. "Petitioners Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher agrees to withdraw, without prejudice, its subpoenas served on or after July 20, 2011 and returnable August 03, 2011." A copy of the "so-ordered" stipulation is below. The parties are expected to be back in court next week.PPW Judge Subpoena


Comments [4]



Craig Hammerman is not a volunteer. He is a paid nyc employee. He is not a member of the board but the district manager. He doesn't make the board's decisions but is paid by the city to ensure the smooth operation of the board's business and that of the district's service delivery.

Aug. 16 2011 05:06 PM

I'll give you Paul Steely White, but it's a bit of a stretch to call Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman an "activist."

If volunteering your services to weigh in on things like liquor licenses, sewage disposal, land use, libraries, public housing, senior centers, and all the other things community board members discuss makes Craig an activist, then I guess he's an activist.

I'm really disappointed that you've somehow swallowed, perhaps subconsciously, the Jim Walden-fed idea that the PPW fight pitted neighborhood "activists" versus concerned residents and senior citizens. Far from it. Supporters of the traffic calming project, much like community board members, represent a wide spectrum of the community, unlike the narrow cohort of wealthy people who are suing and harassing by subpoena well-meaning, hard-working neighborhood volunteers and civil servants. Iris Weinshall and Norm Steisel have a lot more in common with each other than anyone on CB6.

Andrea, in your efforts to not seem too pro-bike, I think you are erring too much on the side of simply printing dumb Jim Walden quotes while giving short shrift to the other side. No quote from community members at all today? Come on.

You also need a clarification in your post. The petitioners -- NBBL and SFS -- withdrew their subpoenas at the judge's urging. The plaintiffs didn't suddenly see the error of their ways...they ticked off the judge who is deciding if their case will ever even see the light of day. Your description of the events is misleading.

Jul. 26 2011 09:41 PM
Eric McClure

Brooklynites fed up with the slash-and-burn tactics of bike lane opponents and their attorney pushed back today:

Jul. 26 2011 07:31 PM
Hans Monderman

Let me see if I've got this straight: When Linda Gross Communications sends out a press release from Jim Walden of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher telling DOT, "You can bike but you can't hide," you guys will go right ahead and publish that garbage along with a blaring headline about whomever Jim Walden happened to subpoena that day. You'll happily assist Walden and friends in their little smear campaign.

Yet, when Walden rampages through a neighborhood serving subpoenas to anyone who was even tangentially involved in the community process that brought about the redesign of PPW; and the Judge rebukes him and his clients' "harassing strategy," compelling them to withdraw their subpoenas; and a plucky band of Park Slope residents put themselves together as Neighbors for Better Neighbors and Seniors for Civility and send out a snappy press release -- they don't even get a measly quote? None of this is put into any kind of context to help readers understand that Walden and his clients are totally abusing the Article 78 process?

At least there's Streetsblog...

Jul. 26 2011 06:49 PM

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