Pelham Parkway south residents are not going to let a technical “dead end” deter them from moving forward.
After what looked like the end of the road for local residents calling on the city to rip up a sidewalk installed along Pelham Parkway South during a major parkway re-construction, they have decided to appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.
Supreme Court Justice Howard Sherman dismissed the lawsuit in early April, which claims the new sidewalk dangerously narrows the southside service road to emergency vehicles.
He dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was filed after the four-month filing deadline, noting in his written decision that petitioners “saw the actual construction commence, watched it proceed, and by April 2012, witnessed its completion. All the while, neighborhood residents collected petitions, and communicated with public officials, and met with various officials and met with various officials and the local community board, yet petitioners still waited almost six months before commencing this proceeding.”
But the 16 plaintiffs filed for an appeal on the basis that the judge made an error in finding the action was filed beyond the four month statute of limitations because “there was a continuation of communication with the petitioners and the elected officials regarding the sidewalk and the purported public hearing was never closed and was never actually held properly.”
Dr. David Stevens, one of the plaintiffs and owner of an orthodontist practice on the parkway, said although he is disappointed with the judge’s decision, the residents are keeping their legal options open.
“We have a bunch of months to enact the appeal, and we are still dancing around a bunch of different things,” Stevens said.
As for installation of a similar sidewalk on the service road of Pelham Parkway North, the city Department of Design and Construction said it is still unclear whether or not one will be installed there as well.
“The Pelham Parkway North project is still in design, and plans are still being developed,” said a DDC spokesperson. “After the plans are reviewed by various agencies, the plans will be made available to the community board and we’ll make a presentation. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2014.”
City lawyers first filed a motion to dismiss the case in January.
Work on the five-foot-wide sidewalk, running along the parkway service road from White Plains Road to Jacobi Medical Center, began in January 2012.
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394