Plaza hotel’s Citi Bike suit may have legs

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

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.

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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