Judge Poses Questions to Attorneys on Eve of Final Bike Injunction Hearing

2750642534_8de4bbb17f.jpgAll eyes will be on the courthouse tomorrow for some hint of when the bike injunction will be lifted. Photo: Mansley

On the eve of what bicyclists, advocates and SFMTA officials hope will be the final hearing to consider fully lifting the city’s bike injunction, a San Francisco judge issued a list of questions for the attorneys involved in the four-year-old case without giving any indication of how soon he’ll rule.

The questions to the City Attorney’s office, and Rob Anderson’s attorney, Mary Miles, were part of an "inconclusive" tentative ruling Judge Peter Busch issued today in which he asked the following questions in advance of tomorrow’s 9:30 a.m. hearing:

  1. What other alternatives or mitigation measures does plaintiff contend respondent should have analyzed or considered?
  2. Was respondent required to include data underlying traffic LOS and, if so, did it satisfy the requirement?
  3. Did respondent abuse its discretion by using six-minute threshold to analyze transit impacts?
  4. Is respondent’s feasibility analysis sufficiently supported?

The injunction should have been lifted last November after the city completed an exhaustive environmental review (FEIR), and had it certified by the Board of Supervisors, but Miles challenged its adequacy and convinced the judge not to discharge the writ until her concerns were heard.

After tomorrow’s hearing, Busch will have 90 days to issue a ruling.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition issued a press release today saying it’s anxious for a ruling lifting the injunction so the city can "start catching up with the widespread demand for
biking improvements and add bike lanes to busy streets like Townsend,
Portola and North Point."

“We are eager for the City to be able to catch up on the backlog of
projects and once again make San Francisco streets safer for everyone,”
said Renée Rivera, the SFBC’s acting Executive Director.

We wanted to provide updates from the courtroom tomorrow, along with photos and audio, but Judge Busch denied our request for media coverage, as he has for previous hearings. Still, we’ll have updates here and on our Twitter feed and Facebook page.

  • Nick

    It’s gonna happen, sooner or later, whether they like it or not.

  • these seem leading – in the wrong direction…

  • Bicycles already ply San Francisco roads, lanes or not, in numbers that have grown most rapidly during the injunction years. Whatever the judge rules in this four-year farce, he can’t put the genie back in the bottle–bikes are traffic.

    The design and management of our shared roadways must shift accordingly, to more safely accomodate the thousands of San Franciscans who now ride bicycles–and the thousands more who will do so in the future. The judge must either assist that necessary shift or get out of the way.

  • Remarkable. He STILL has questions? And he gets 90 more days. At this rate we’ll finally see bike plan 1998 completed in maybe 2012-3?

  • Can anyone tell me the name of the courthouse? (It is an interesting building, and I would like to look up the architect and year built.)

  • The judge needs to be taken on a trip to Copenhagen to assuage any thoughts he has that bike lanes cause pollution.

  • ZA

    Certainly annoying, but ultimately the Court is doing it’s job: exhausting *every* avenue of argument. What we’ll get in the end is not only a Bike Plan, but a record of decision in common law that will secure this Bike Plan, and future bike infrastructure for San Francisco, California, and possibly elsewhere in the country if that record of decision can be used in their court.


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