CHICAGO — The Lakeview Divvy station that launched a lawsuit from residents who feared it would bring in too many strangers has been moved by the city, although a city official says the lawsuit didn't play a role.
Last August's lawsuit claimed that residents of a three-unit condominium in the 3500 block of North Pine Grove Avenue weren't aware the Divvy station would be installed near their building until workers were seen preparing for the station a day earlier.
On Thursday, city crews moved the station a block north, near Waveland and Pine Grove, so they could expand it from a 15-bike rack to a 23-bike rack, said Pete Scales, spokesman for the city's Dept. of Transportation.
Scales said the move was unrelated to the suit, which he said was settled with an agreement to move the station slightly at the old site. Instead, he said the station was busy enough to warrant an expansion, and the city needed a new spot for a bigger bike rack.
"We wanted to expand it a bit because it's so popular," he said, noting the station averages 32 trips each day, ranking it in the Top 30 citywide.
Condo resident David Kolin, who brought the lawsuit against the city, said initially CDOT was not receptive to residents' concerns but came around after months of discussions.
"It took some time, but you know, they've listened and they've been receptive," he said. "Ultimately, I think we're very pleased."
Kolin said Thursday he did not fault the city, saying officials were following the "criteria they had" for stations and were very busy rolling out the program.
"I think again, they did a lot of placement of these without really having the opportunity to be as thoughtful on each loaction as they might have in other circumstances," he said.
In the short time the station was at its former location, neighbors did say they ran into some of the anticipated issues mentioned in the lawsuit because the Divvy location was so popular.
"We did have issues. Now were they earth-shattering, end-of-the-universe type things? No," Kolin said. "A lot of people left their garbage. A lot of people [were] hanging out and loitering around it. Other times, it was difficult for us to get into our building because the placement was so close to our front door."
Last year's lawsuit argued that installing the station "will destroy thousands of dollars of improvements made by the resident members of Pine Grove and will bring strangers to our front door at all hours of the night and day. Residents are concerned that strangers can easily follow minors through the front doors of the building."
The civil filing also suggested that the station is not "appropriately placed" in the neighborhood near a "quiet, residential street," and that it should be placed in a higher-traffic area. The document also argued the Divvy station will devalue the condo units, and that the city and Ald. James Cappleman failed to notify residents ahead of time that the station would be built.