Last night, euphoric cycling advocates celebrated a judge's dismissal of the lawsuit against the Prospect Park West bike lane. (Read it in full below.) One biker, seen here, raised a big middle finger outside the home of Senator Chuck Schumer and his wife Iris Weinshall, the former DOT Commissioner who has been a major critic of the bike lane. Another cyclist tweeted, "I am on #PPW bike lane right now with bike radicals. It's like Tahrir Square up here. Come sue us!" But Supreme Court Justice Bert A. Bunyan didn't dismiss the suit on its most important merits, instead simply ruling that the plaintiffs had filed their lawsuit after the statute of limitations had passed. The plaintiffs' core argument remains unsettled: that the DOT misrepresented data about the bike lane's impact.

The plaintiffs had argued that the deadline had not passed because the DOT had promised them this was a pilot project, but the DOT has emphatically denied ever saying that the PPW bike lane was a trial, and Judge Bunyan saw no credible evidence to the contrary. Jim Walden, the attorney for Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, has said his clients are reviewing their options. But these are people—especially those who live in fancy homes on Prospect Park West—are used to getting their way, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them double down and take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a statement, Walden blasted the decision, saying:

The Judge had a very different and very independent view of the facts - different, in fact, than either party. He dismissed our Petition without prejudice to us, held that DOT never made a decision concerning removal of the bike lane, invited us to demand that from DOT, and then re-file if DOT refuses to remove it. At the same time, he granted our long-standing demand for public documents, which DOT wrongfully withheld. Although we respectfully disagree with the Court's determination on the statute of limitations, we will need time to review his comprehensive analysis before deciding on our options.

Judge Bunyan also ordered the DOT to release documents sought in a FOIL request filed by the plaintiffs, who argue that the DOT skewed data to make the bike lane seem safer and more successful than it was. If the DOT won't provide the data and other documents regarding the bike lane analysis, officials must explain why not, Judge Bunyan ordered.

Still, the ruling is a major victory for DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who has greatly expanded bike lanes across NYC, and endured a hysterical media backlash in the process. In a statement, she said, "This decision results in a hands-down victory for communities across the city. The plaintiffs have been dead wrong in their unsupported claims about the bike path and DOT’s practices. This project was requested by the community, they voted repeatedly to support it, and their support has registered in several opinion polls. Merely not liking a change is no basis for a frivolous lawsuit to reverse it."

The Prospect Park West Bike Lane Ruling