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Judge Busch Delays Decision on Lifting SF Bike Injunction

1:09 PM PST on November 2, 2009

A San Francisco judge today delayed a decision on lifting the city's three-year-old bike injunction, and instead ordered both parties to submit briefs by November 12th on his authority to lift the injunction, and then reverse it, if he later determines at a separate hearing that the exhaustive 2,000 page document is not adequate, although that seems unlikely.

"The rule is the public entity goes ahead while the review goes on," Superior Court Judge Peter J. Busch told a courtroom filled mostly with MTA representatives, reporters, SFBC staff and Rob Anderson. Busch's concerns were mostly procedural: Can he dissolve the injunction and then order the MTA to reverse bike projects if he later sides with the plaintiff's weak contentions the EIR doesn't comply with CEQA?

Deputy City Attorney Kristen Jensen argued passionately that the injunction needs to be lifted as soon as possible to make the city's streets safer for "bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists."

When pressed by the judge on what projects the city intended to go forward with immediately, the City Attorney's office replied that the MTA plans to move on painting sharrows and installing bike racks. Deputy City Attorney Audrey Williams Pearson said the MTA has determined it can paint 20 sharrows, install 5 bike racks and do 400 feet of striping per day.

The city was ordered to submit a brief on what projects the MTA plans to implement between now and when a final hearing is held to determine the adequacy of the EIR in March.

We'll have more coverage soon.

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