Plaza hotel sues Citi Bike on behalf of “victimized” residents

From left: 768 Fifth Avenue and a Citi Bike
From left: 768 Fifth Avenue and a Citi Bike

A Lawsuit That The Plaza hotel filed against the city and Citibank is attempting to right the supposed wrong of Citi Bike racks dumped outside their front door.

The racks outside the landmark hotel and along Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza are, according to the suit, an affront to architecture and city drivers.

“The bicycle rack is not only an eyesore, stuck squarely in between two of the city’s most famous designated landmarks, but it came at the expense of a full lane of traffic,” the suit, cited by the New York Post, claims.

A bike rack across from the hotel’s main entrance has reduced the street from four lanes to three, causing frequent pileups and drawing litter, court papers say.

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In efforts to have the rack removed, Plaza hotel lawyer Steven Sladkus argued that the city failed to conduct the required environmental-impact review before installing the two-wheeled transport station. The suit, which names the city Department of Transportation and Citibank as defendants, also alleges that the city erred in featuring ads on a “piece of street furniture.”

“To place racks in between two of New York City’s iconic landmarks seems rather unnecessary when there are very viable other alternatives,” Sladkus told the Post.

Citibank declined to comment to the Post and Citi Bike did not respond to a request for comment.

As for the city Law Department, a spokeswoman said “we are confident that the installation was proper.” [NYP]Julie Strickland