Judge Agrees to Delay Hearing to Consider Lifting Bike Injunction

There’s word from the City Attorney’s office this afternoon that the hearing to consider lifting the bike injunction has been delayed. From the press release:

Though a hearing on the City Attorney’s motion to lift the injunction against the San Francisco Bicycle Plan had initially been set for Sept. 24, counsel for anti-bicycle petitioners "Coalition for Adequate Review" (or CAR) and local blogger and perennial political candidate Rob Anderson appeared before the court ex parte earlier today to seek a postponement. The City Attorney opposed petitioners’ motion to postpone. Nonetheless, due to the court’s vacation schedule, Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn agreed to continue the case for just over 30 days.

A hearing on the motion is now set for November 2nd but the judge could issue a tentative ruling October 30th, which happens to fall on a Critical Mass Friday. Even though the release mentions Judge Kahn, Matt Dorsey, the spokesperson for the City Attorney’s office, told Streetsblog the original judge, Peter J. Busch, is still likely to hear the case. He was just absent today.

  • Aaron B.

    Fuck.

  • For what reason was the delay granted?

  • Jamison, the press release doesn’t say, but Mary Miles, the attorney for Anderson, requested the delay so she can have more time to prepare her case against the City Attorney’s motion to lift the injunction. These kinds of delays are routine, but it is disappointing to have to keep waiting, though I don’t think anyone closely involved in the case was surprised.

  • I am sure we will look at her arguments and conclude only a retard would not be able to cobble her conclusions together in the original time allotted.

  • Apologies for my comment.

    I should not be insulting the mentally handicapped.

  • That’s pretty much what I figured (my roommate being a lawyer, I hear about how many delays and postponements he goes through), but wondered if they’d come up with yet another delaying tactic.

    Court delays won’t even effect many (if not most) the bike plan’s projects because they weren’t all going to happen on day one. The plan is city policy now and even by bumping the bike projects to the top of road improvement/repaving queue still means all the detailed design work, funding applications, bidding, and scheduling, that can take years to happen before any actual construction work starts.

    But since they wouldn’t happen for years anyway, all that work is already getting underway like the public hears we’re seeing happen already.

  • The funny thing is, Rob Anderson keeps quoting what impact the bike plan will have on traffic from the very same EIR, that “fails to disclose a number of the Project’s significant impacts,” and he describes as woefully wrong and inadequate.

  • “I should not be insulting the mentally handicapped.”

    This is from someone who, based on his many comments on my blog, knows nothing about the litigation. As someone who has read every document during the litigation, I think the “mentally handicapped” charge can more plausibly be made against the City Attorney’s office.

    “The funny thing is, Rob Anderson keeps quoting what impact the bike plan will have on traffic from the very same EIR, that ‘fails to disclose a number of the Project’s significant impacts,’ and he describes as woefully wrong and inadequate.”

    Those two propositions are not mutually exclusive. The EIR on the Bicycle Plan both shows that implementing the Plan is going to have “significant unavoidable impacts” on traffic and Muni even though it fails in a number of other ways. On Friday the representative from the City Attorney’s office started to give Judge Kahn—sitting in for Judge Busch—a rap about how it was so important to move quickly on certifying the EIR because of city concern about the safety of cyclists, but he cut her off, since the hearing was only about rescheduling the calendar, not about the merits of the issue. Interesting that the city’s own reports—available on the MTA’s website—show cycling accidents in a steady decline over the last ten years. Seems like the city also needs more time to get its case together.

    And it turns out that Judge Busch himself wasn’t going to be available on the previously scheduled hearing date of Sept. 24.

  • K.

    “Cycling accidents in a steady decline” correlates with the common knowledge that the SFPD will not follow up or prosecute these crimes.

    I’ve had 2 hit and runs that I could have reported but didn’t.

    The last one was where a bike lane should have been, if not for the injunction.

  • And Rob, you keep bringing up that there will be “‘significant unavoidable impacts'” on traffic” as if that were relevant to the case. Slowing down traffic will make it safer to cycle and walk on city streets. One of the benefits of the Bike Plan is it will likely lead to more livable streets as driving becomes more discouraged in favor of walking, biking and taking Muni.

  • Since Muni is the only realistic alternative to driving for most people in SF, why is it a step forward to make the Muni system even slower?

  • Since Muni is the only realistic alternative to driving for most people in SF, why is it a step forward to make the Muni system even slower?

    Encouraging driving is what makes Muni slower. Look at Paris, say, which improved surface transit speeds and reliability dramatically while fostering a bike culture by implementing a very successful network of bike-bus lanes.

    Why are there private cars tying up the Muni system on Market St.?, I ask myself every time I’m in SF. Why hasn’t anyone run an EIS on allowing private cars on Market St., since cars weren’t there originally?

    Or take London, which has seen vastly improved surface transit service since implementing the congestion pricing scheme while making the city much more bike-friendly (which frees up seats on the buses for those who are less able to cycle).

    Get the cars out of the way of the city and the city becomes more efficient, more sustainable, and more enjoyable. Right Mr. Anderson?

  • “Since Muni is the only realistic alternative to driving for most people in SF, why is it a step forward to make the Muni system even slower?”

    Since Rob Anderson claims to be so concerned about making Muni faster, the city should develop a plan to create a network of bus-only lanes all over the city.

    Then we will see whether Rob Anderson really supports faster Muni service, or whether he sues to stop bus-only lanes because they slow down automobiles.

  • Kevin

    Are anti-cycling “improvements” exempt from the injunction?

    Over the weekend at SF State there appeared anti-bike stencils, presumably installed by SFSU, but on City-owned property (the sidewalks). They have a picture of a bike with the words “Dismount.”

    I agree with their intent (no cycling on the sidewalk), but doesn’t the injunction prohibit any improvements to the physical environment?

  • Actually, Rob opposes projects that would improve Muni service including the Geary bus only lanes. In his comment he wasn’t stating his support of Muni though, he phrased it to assume that supporting the bike plan equates to reduced Muni service and negatively effecting those who ride it.

    It’s a false dilemma because Muni vehicles aren’t the same as the cars and trucks they share the road with. Slowing down moving traffic by adding bike lanes will reduce the speed of Muni vehicles while they’re sharing lanes with traffic, but that’s not where Muni service is being slowed down.

    Muni busses spend about 50% of their time stopped, not just the time spent boarding, but the time spent waiting to pull in and out of traffic. Slowing down traffic can actually make it easier for Muni busses to merge back into traffic.

  • patrick

    Rob likes to use the quote “significant unavoidable impacts”, but the word impact does not necessarily mean bad, it just means there will be a change to the existing system. Even if the impacts are that car traffic is slowed, that’s a good thing in my mind, cars drive way too fast on the city streets. Slower cars means fewer deaths and less serious injuries due to car crashes.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Judge Busch Could Block New Bike Lanes Through March 2010

|
Judge Busch could partially lift the injunction for now, allowing the city to paint sharrows but not bike lanes. Flickr photo: BikePortland.org The injunction that has hung like a pall over San Francisco’s efforts to improve bicycle infrastructure for the city’s growing number of bicyclists will remain for at least another ten days, and could […]

City Attorney’s Office Files Motion to Lift Bike Injunction

|
Staffers for City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office deliver the massive filing to the courthouse this afternoon. Photo by Marc Caswell. After more than three frustrating years without any major bike improvements in San Francisco, it appears what bike activists hope will be the final court showdown for the bike injunction is just weeks away. This […]