Federal Lawsuit Targets Bike Path as Anti-Environment
Friday, May 25, 2012
A proposed bike path in Los Angeles has provoked a lawsuit against federal and state agencies by a group of homeowners complaining the project will violate environmental laws.
Attorney S. Zachary Samuels sued on behalf of himself and a dozen neighbors who oppose the nearly 4-mile bike path that would run from Robertson Boulevard and Venice Boulevard to Santa Monica.
The plaintiffs are suing the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as California’s transportation department, the city of Los Angeles and its Metropolitan Transit Authority. They claim the bikeway—which would run behind their homes—could produce “adverse impacts” and that these impacts need to be studied further before environmental clearance is given to the project. Specifically, the homeowners say the paved bikeway will replace existing “green space” and that the addition of new crossing signals for bike riders and pedestrians could impede the speedy response of fire engines and ambulances.
Samuels filed a similar lawsuit against the project two years ago. That case was dismissed.
Meanwhile, another bike-related idea produced controversy in western Michigan, where high school seniors tried having some non-destructive fun before ending their days at Kenowa Hills High.
In the past, seniors traditionally celebrated their coming graduation by committing various types of school pranks. This year, more than 60 members of the Class of 2012 held a bike parade that included a police escort and the participation of the town mayor.
But school officials reacted negatively to the parade, complaining that they were not informed ahead of time about the event and that the students had backed up traffic and caused staff and other students to arrive late for classes. So first-year school principal Katie Pennington suspended the seniors on their last day of school, telling them to “get your butts home.” She also threatened to keep them from walking in graduation ceremonies scheduled for May 30. However, when her actions became public, she withdrew the threat and apologized.
To Learn More:
Angeleno Homeowners Fight Bicycle Path (by Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service)
S. Zachary Samuels v. Federal Highway Administration (U.S. District Court, Central California) (pdf)
Biking Kenowa Hills Seniors Punished (by Joe LaFurgey, WoodTV.com)
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