UWS Condo Board's Bid to Stop Bike Lane Falls Short Judge Rules the City Can Temporarily Proceed to Build the Path

People ride yellow taxi at Central Park West on July 6, 2013 in New York. (iStock)

An Upper West Side condo board experienced a setback to stop the city from creating a protected bike lane along Central Park West.

Curbed reported yesterday that a Manhattan Supreme Court judge dismissed 25 Central Park West board's motion, following its lawsuit against the city's Department of Transportation. It means the city can go forward to installing the path for now—until both parties are summoned back to court to discuss the lawsuit on August 20.

The board's lawsuit alleged that the department reached its conclusion to implement the bike lane “without a proper analysis or meaningful public participation as mandated by SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] and CEQR [City Environmental Quality Review].”

The suit also added that the bike path plan “would increase the bike lane an additional foot, to 6 feet, and add a 7-foot buffer, thereby completely eliminating the northbound (east-curb) parking lane –approximately 400 parking spaces by DOT’s own estimate.” It further claimed that disabled and elderly residents could be in danger while crossing the bike lane containing bicyclists who often disobey traffic rules.

The judge's decision came in the wake of the death of 30-year-old Em Samolewicz, who was killed by a tractor trailer while riding her bike in Sunset Park this past Monday. She was the 18th bicyclist killed in the city this year.

DOT spokesperson Scott Gastel was quoted in Curbed following the legal ruling: “We are grateful for the judge’s decision today that will allow us to move forward with a design that will transform Central Park West this summer, and make our streets safer for everyone.”

The proposed bike path would span from 59th Street to 110th Street.

David Chiu is an associate editor at The Cooperator.

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4 Comments

  • How many pedestrians are killed by cyclists? I know of one in Central Park, right next to her child. It seems to me that pedestrians should organize themselves just as cyclists have.
  • How many pedestrians are knocked over by cyclists running red lights, going through intersections, making illegal turns, on the sidewalks, going the wrong way on one-way lanes? How many cyclists that are killed or injured were ignoring the rules? I have no sympathy left for them. On 2nd Ave it's impossible for pedestrians crossing the street to see over the cars in the parking lane into the bike lane to see any oncoming bike who may or may not decide to stop for the light or intersection.
  • Fay I agree with you 1000%
  • I am a motorist. I do not wish to hurt anyone and, God forbid, hit someone with my car. Cyclist need to learn the rules and not play on the road. How many times have I stopped short because they come out of nowhere in front on my car, they speed up when I have the green light, they don't stop at the light, I can go on and on. If they want to be safe then they have to cycle safe. Too much focus is placed on the motorist.