This week, a group of SoHo residents filed a lawsuit against the city to have the 43-slot Citi Bike docking station removed from Petrosino Park and relocated down the street. That group has collected over 600 petition signatures and 132 letters to the DOT, who haven't budged yet. But there have been a handful of stations which have been moved, or removed entirely—but apparently, you have to be rich or famous to get it to happen.
The Post reports today that 10 Citi Bike stations have been removed since the program launched in May, most of which are in front of fancy condos, town houses and co-ops. Those locations also include Barry Diller’s IAC Building in Chelsea, and a Spring Street condo where actor John Slattery lives.
“I’ve been disappointed to see Citi Bike stations moved in wealthier neighborhoods,” said attorney Jim Walden, who filed the injunction on behalf of the SoHo group this week. “You would think [the city] would want to avoid even the appearance that struggling artists would be treated differently than highfalutin financiers.”
Attorney Steven Sladkus added that he was able to successfully remove three stations from wealthy clients' luxury buildings without even having to file court papers. And he sounds almost guilty about it: “I can guarantee you won’t see a Citi Bike rack in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s town house” when the program expands north of 59th Street," Sladkus said. “Maybe the same [courtesy] should have been given to all other property owners in the city.”
But you may be asking yourself right now: what about the all-powerful bike lobby? Aren't city council people and community leaders "terrorized by this thing that really exists"? Certainly they're not going to stand by and allow "the majority of [inordinately wealthy] citizens" to get in the way of their dastardly plans to begrime the city, one blazing blue bike at a time.