Petrosino plaintiffs roll out CitiBike-site appeal

Downtown Express file photo Anti-CitiBike signs outside Petrosino Square last year.

Downtown Express file photo
Anti-CitiBike signs outside Petrosino Square last year.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON  |  The CitiBike battle of Petrosino Square is up and rolling once again. Opponents of siting a bike-share station in the Soho park recently filed an appeal in the State Supreme Court Appellate Division.

Last October, State Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern, ruled against the plaintiffs, writing in her decision, “Bicycling is an important form of recreation that has had a proper ‘park purpose’ for many years. The infrastructure to support bicycling, such as bike paths, bicycle racks and rest stations, are common incidents in parks.”

The plaintiffs in the appeal, filed on July 7, include the Friends of Petrosino Square; Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Lodge No. 285 of the Sons of Italy in America; the Soho Alliance; Minerva Durham, of Spring Studio Life Drawing; the Chinatown Civic Association; the Noho Neighborhood Association, and former Councilmember Alan Gerson.

The suit is lodged against the city’s Parks and Transportation departments, including former Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

It’s known as an Article 78 lawsuit, meaning it’s a challenge of a city governmental action — in this case, the decision to site a station for the phenomenally popular CitiBike program on the small park triangle.

The appeal contends it was wrong to have located the bike-share docks in the square, which is a “small, but treasured park” and “a park of vital importance to the local community.” 

Responding to Kern’s ruling, the appeal counters that the bike kiosk does not “serve a valid park purpose,” adding that CitiBike is a transportation — not a recreational — program, since it’s based on the premise of short trips of a half hour or 45 minutes.

“…[P]etitioners respectfully request that this court reverse the trial court’s denial…of the petition and compel respondents to remove the bike-share kiosk from Petrosino Square Park,” the appeal concludes.

The opponents’ attorney is Jim Walden of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

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8 Responses to Petrosino plaintiffs roll out CitiBike-site appeal

  1. where is the park?

  2. Minerva Durham

    The park is between Lafayette St, Kenmare St, Spring St. and Cleveland Place.

  3. Long time resident

    Since cycling is prohibited in all small parks and on all sidewalks, how is this legal to have a CitiBike hub on the sidewalk of this small park?

    • Not only do bike share users ride along the sidewalks at the periphery of Petrosino Square, many also use the pedestrian access ramps at the edge of the park (along both Spring Street and Kenmare Street) as take off ramps when riding out of the park. The area that's now been overtaken by the bike station was added to the park in 2009, thanks to our local Councilmember Alan Gerson; that plaza was created as an open space dedicated for art installations. The take over of Petrosino Square by DOT and CitiBike has all but ended the 30+ year tradition of public art in Petrosino Square. But the ART will return (it would be so easy for DOT to move the bike station to a section of street along the curb nearby, just as DOT has done in numerous other locations around the city).

  4. Bike-share is a good idea and is working but very, very poor location for bike rack. It is not hard to find a new location for the bike rack and there are plenty of other good locations to place it in the area other than the current location. New Mayor and Admin. corrects "no brainer" decision to move rack instead of spending money to fight the appeal. Be a good neighbor NYC and Citi-bike, and fix the problem.

  5. To see how CitiBike users have completely overtaken the Public ART Plaza at Petrosino Square (and to see how many of these bike riders ignore rules about riding on the sidewalk) take a look at this short video:

  6. citibike is nothing more than a public relations makeover for citi BANK [notice they have dropped the bank from their name].
    To allow a corporate criminal to advertise inside a city park is the death of public spaces! Welcome to new BUSINESS city,Thanks BLOOMBERG! What happened to having ART in SOHO, now there is a bank on every corner and a chain store in between. De Blasio needs to show who's side he is on and immeadently remove the bike station and return OUR public art space.

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