[UPDATE BELOW] It's hard for some New Yorkers to shake the impression that Citi Bike will soon consume every inch of the city—in fact sources say the DOT will be installing a bike share station inside your lower intestine as soon as tomorrow afternoon. Resistance is futile, but that won't stop some of New York's more litigious residents from trying. Over in the West Village, residents of a Bank Street co-op sued the city last week to stop construction of a Citi Bike station on their darling cobblestone street.
The lawsuit, which you may peruse here, was filed on behalf of the co-op board at 99 Bank Street, a 100-year-old building. Residents argue that "the placement of the Bike Share Station in front of the main entrance to 99 Bank Street is a direct violation of the Rules of the City of New York, Title 34 $2-10(c) (2) which provides that Street furniture shall not be placed at the curb directly opposite a building entrance or cellar door." They also fear that the bike share station "will severely endanger the health and safety of the residents of 99 Bank Street."
"It will only be a matter of time before a child or elderly person will be struck by a reckless tourist riding on the sidewalk," Board President Edward Zimbalatti predicted in an affidavit. HOW MANY LITTLE OLD LADIES HAVE TO BREAK A HIP BEFORE BIKE SHARE IS DESTROYED?! The building's lawyer also argues, in an interview with the Daily News, that "This is a cobblestone street. The bicyclists will go on the sidewalk."
The NY Post scored an amusing photo of an elderly woman trying to walk her dog but her leash almost gets tangled up in these invasive Citi Bike racks—think of the children! "It’s just totally overwhelming the block,” Mary Lucas, a 10-year tenant of 99 Bank Street, tells the Post. "I would use the program, but this has put a rather bad taste in my mouth." It really doesn't get any more NIMBY than that, does it?
But Citi Bike won't be vaporized so easily. On Friday, a judge rejected the plaintiffs' request of an injunction. In a statement, City attorney Gabriel Taussig said, "Bike Share station sites were chosen after an extensive and thorough selection process. We are confident the process was completely proper and that the Court will agree with us."
Update 6:12 p.m.: An earlier version of this story referred to the West Village residents' Citi Bike opposition as futile. We regret the error. Despite a judge rejecting their request for an injunction against a Citi Bike station on Bank Street, the DOT has reportedly made a token gesture for the concerned residents of 99 Bank Street. The News reports that workers "removed a four-bike segment from the roadway in front of the 100-unit building, leaving in its place a large rock — presumably to stop cars from running into the bikes once they’re in place for the program’s official launch in May."
The DOT did not respond to a request for comment about the change.