Citi Bike “racked” up legal violations in Soho, Village: lawyers

Citi Bike and Petrosino Square
Citi Bike and Petrosino Square

Lawyers for residents of Soho and the West Village made their case to a Manhattan judge over why the city skirted the law by installing Citi Bike racks in Petrosino Square park and outside the Cambridge House co-ops, respectively.

In the Petrosino Square case, lawyer Jim Walden argued that the city Department of Transportation and the city Department of Parks & Recreation did not seek approvals from the state legislature before taking up space in the park. In response, Sarah Kogel-Smucker, a lawyer representing the city, said legislative action was not necessary because the rack serves a recreational use for park visitors.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge House’s lawyer, Steven Shore, contended that the rack placed outside the apartment building should have been installed on the quieter south side of West 13th Street as planned on an initial DOT map. As it stands, the rack interferes with emergency vehicles and garbage trucks, he said.

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However, city lawyer Mary O’Sullivan responded that the rack “does not interfere with ingress or egress with the building.”

The Cambridge and Petrosino Square lawsuits were filed in May and June, respectively.

Suits have piled up over the Citi Bike program. The Plaza hotel alleged that the racks out front and along Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza are an affront to architecture and city drivers, as reported yesterday. [NYDN]Mark Maurer