The Real Deal New York

Plaza hotel’s Citi Bike suit may have legs

Plaintiff’s argument focused on bike-share rack’s aesthetic impact

April 22, 2014 06:35PM

From left: 768 Fifth Avenue and a Citi Bike

From left: 768 Fifth Avenue and a Citi Bike

The same Manhattan judge who threw out two lawsuits angling to remove Citi Bike racks may view a complaint from the tony Plaza Hotel in a different light.

“This one actually has different arguments — a different approach from the other two,” Justice Cynthia Kern said before a proceeding in the Plaza’s 2013 suit, according to the New York Post. “Clearly I’ve been going a certain way with the last two,” she added.

The first case, she explained, was tossed because it claimed the rack, set upon a sliver of green space in Soho, constituted improper park use. The second, brought by a Greenwich Village co-op Cambridge House at 175 West 13th Street, argued that the bike-share violated Department of Transportation rules with its driving lane location.

This time, the argument is that the 147-foot rack is an eyesore. Steven Orel, the Plaza’s attorney, also said the city violated the law because it did not perform a mandatory environmental review on the aesthetic impact of the rack before placing it between West 58th and 59th streets.

Citi Bank, the bike share sponsor and a defendant in the case, did not appear for oral arguments, the Post reported. [NYP]Julie Strickland

  • An

    The bikes in that area also cause a traffic issue because black suv’s used to sit in that spot and wait for guests and now they double park narrowing the already narrow street.

    • AnoNYC

      Narrowing that street is a good thing. Calms the speed at which some of these idiots drive through there. There is no traffic backup in that area because the street is not typically used by through traffic. It’s a pickup point for hired cars.

  • GM building tenant

    Police should be out ticketing the cars illegally waiting. More cash for the city and the hotel’s argument crumbles.

  • AnoNYC

    Such a silly argument. What of all the hired cars idling at the same location? Are they not an eye sore?

    Why should an amenity like Citi Bike be moved from a public street adjacent to a plaza when the DOT could designate the lane in front a loading zone calming traffic and kill two birds with one stone?

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