Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
Janette Sadik-Khan Subpoenaed in Brooklyn Bike Lane Suit
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 06:45 PM
Opponents suing New York City over a bike lane on Brooklyn's Prospect Park West have made good on their threat to issue subpoenas, and they want a host of city officials - including New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Brooklyn City Council member Brad Lander -- to appear in court.
Jim Walden, the attorney representing Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes/Seniors for Safety, sent out an email on Monday that read: "The City is trying to avoid litigation on a technicality, which is based on a lie. After having told the public and various elected officials the bike lane was a trial project, the City now makes the incredible claim the lane was permanent all along, and that our suit was filed too late. The City is desperately trying to avoid litigating the merits of our suit because it cannot justify its misuse of data and failure to conduct a proper safety study."
The New York City Law Department confirmed the today that the DOT commissioner had been subpoenaed, along with four other people at the agency: Jon Orcutt, Christopher Hrones, Ryan Russo, and Josh Benson.
The city's attorney, Mark Muschenheim, said in a statement that "an evidentiary hearing is not warranted in this type of case. We will move to quash the subpoena, and are confident that our motion will be granted. Moreover, the documents filed with the court provide ample information for a decision to be made on the lawsuit's merits, and we believe that after a review of this record the court will support the City's actions."
The statement went on to say there's a chance the judge in the case, Justice Bert Bunyan, will forbid testimony.
Walden had previously sought a delay in court proceedings so he could receive and review documents from additional Freedom of Information Law requests. The justice in the case denied Walden's request. The next date in the court case is July 20.