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Village Co-op Owners Sue to Stop Bike Share Installation

By Andrea Swalec | April 30, 2013 6:41am

WEST VILLAGE — Parking spots for dozens of bicycles were recently bolted into a residential street near a playground — but property owners in a nearby co-op building are pushing the city to tear them out even before the bikes roll in.

Using the name Left Bank Apartment Corp., residents of the seven-story building at 99 Bank St. filed a lawsuit against the city and its Department of Transportation Thursday to try to get the bike-share dock for 31 cycles installed on the northwest corner of Bank and Hudson streets removed, documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court show.

On Friday, the suit was rejected in court. 

The Citi Bike Share outpost, stationed on the north side of Bank Street in the parking lane, across from Bleecker Playground, will be dangerous for people stepping out their front door, residents argued.

"The DOT made its decision without considering that such placement will severely endanger the health and safety of the residents of 99 Bank Street," the suit states.

But the city Law Department said the city and the DOT stand by the decision about where to locate the bikes.

"Bike Share station sites were chosen after an extensive and thorough selection process," city attorney Gabriel Taussig said in a statement Monday. "We are confident the process was completely proper and that the court will agree with us."

Left Bank Apartment Corp. charges that the location of this bike-share dock violates a city rule stating no "street furniture" should be place at the curb directly opposite a building entrance.

The residents' lawyer did not respond to an inquiry about what's next for the suit in regard to the building, where 1-bedroom apartments recently rented for upwards of $3,000.

Elsewhere in the city, bike-share docks have been covered with signs that argue the corporate-branded cycle stations don't belong in historic neighborhoods.

"Citibank, residential landmark blocks are not for advertising or commercial activity!" the signs read.

In the current phase of Citi Bike Share, the DOT is installing 6,000 bikes at 330 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. For an annual membership of $95 plus tax, an electronic key sent in the mail will unlock bikes from any station in the city for an unlimited number of 45-minute rides.