And so it begins.
Only weeks before its long-awaited launch, the nation’s biggest bike share was just slapped with its first lawsuit by disgruntled opponents.
Residents of a West Village co-op are asking for $3 million in damages from the city, Citibank, and the bike share operator because, they allege, a newly placed kiosk that they deem an “offensive,” “futuristic structure” will ruin the property values on their historic cobblestone street and “endanger the health and safety” of residents, according to the complaint.
Apartments in the building rent from $2,200 to $4,000, according to StreetEasy.com.
A judge denied a preliminary injunction to remove the station, but the city did remove a segment of the kiosk in front of the co-op’s door, according to the Daily News.
The Citi Bike program, which has been busily installing 330 kiosks in Manhattan and Brooklyn in preparation for a May 27 launch, has been bringing out the latest round of virulent, anti-bike NIMBYism.
(The correct term, by the way, should be NOMPS for Not On My Public Sidewalk or NIMPS for Not In My Public Street. Hats off to Lloyd Alter at TreeHugger for beating me to the punch on this one.)
Loud opposition to bike lanes for taking up parking spaces is a regular drumbeat in New York’s civic life, and now Citi Bike has given that pro-car, anti-bike energy a new target. This was in evidence at a forum last week in which the lawsuit’s plaintiffs and other West Village residents squared off against supporters of the bike share, reports Gothamist.
“There are thousands of New York City taxpayers who dedicate several hours a week already to finding parking, and in [the] West Village, we in the last five years, we've probably already lost 25 to 50 percent of our parking,” said one resident.
According to census data reported by StatsBee, only 23 percent of households in Manhattan own cars, and that number is 47 percent citywide.
Let it hereby be known that keeping a car in one of the most densely packed neighborhoods on the most densely packed island in the nation’s biggest city does not confer special benefits on the use of limited public space.