No Ruling at CPW Bike Lane Hearing; Now Awaiting Judge’s Decision and Possible ‘Intervenor’

By Carol Tannenhauser

The legal battle between the city and a Central Park West condominium over a bike lane being installed on the avenue continues.

No decision was made on Tuesday in a New York State Supreme Court hearing about the construction of a protected bike lane on the northbound side of Central Park West. The bike lane was approved by Community Board 7 in early July, and will eliminate 400 curbside parking spots.

The Residential Board of Managers of The Century condominium, located at 25 Central Park West (62nd-63rd), is trying to block the bike lane, claiming that the city failed to undergo the proper environmental reviews.

“The judge did not decide anything today,” emailed a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation (DOT), following the hearing. “We are continuing to work.”

“No comment,” wrote the attorney representing The Century.

Meanwhile, the new bike lane already extends from 59th Street to 77th Street. It is slated to continue to 110th Street.

Judge Lynn Kotler did not rule on the merits of the case on Tuesday. Rather, she “stipulated” that a person named Kenneth B. Squire is permitted to “intervene” in the case. Squire plans to file a motion to dismiss the petition for lack of standing, according to the stipulation.

An attorney for the city advised us that there will be no more hearings (unless residents of The Century challenge their Board’s actions.) They are awaiting the judge’s decision, which could come anytime.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 40 comments | permalink
    1. Bill Williams says:

      Great shot of a sidewalk that is rarely used and a huge park that would be available for two way biking with the addition of a simple yellow line.

      Quite amazing that the DOT and CB7 in their “study” of the bike lane never even considered either option as possibilities.

      The hell with pedestrians, to hell with the quality of life in our community as long as Transportation alternatives can move their no car agenda forward with a stacked CB7 the UWS will continue to suffer.

      • Jay says:

        Because they aren’t possibilities.

        The sidewalk is for pedestrians. The park is for recreation and the street in the park goes the opposite way of the bike lane on CPW.

        Sounds like your “quality of life” complaints are mainly about a life that revolves around private vehicles usurping public land.

      • Andrew Timosca says:

        There’s plenty of parking garages on UWS. Use those.

        • Marilyn says:

          There’s plent of space in Central Park, use that!!

        • patrick duff says:

          Actually there are not plenty of parking garages on the UWS. With so much new residential construction over the last five years, monthly parking rents are at $1000 at some garages. When congestion pricing goes into effect those rates will increase even more. There are already protected bike lanes on Amsterdam and Columbus. CPW did not need one. I am a daily biker by the way.

      • W 67th St says:

        With due respect, the sidewalk on CPW is very much used, as anyone who has spent time there on a weekend day can tell you.

        • Marilyn says:

          Agreed! The only part of his point that was wrong.
          They already removed traffic from the park! Use it!

      • JC says:

        With all due respect, it’s not ‘To Hell with Pedestrians”. 2019 is different from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. Yes, public transport has improved, but there are many more cyclists and motor scooters on the road in the past 10 years. Citi bike is successful and expanding. Tourists and people going to work love it. Can I please urge you to be more aware when you are walking off a sidewalk? Please (Trust me, I had a problem when I lived in London/Australia and the cars were on the wrong side and I stepped off a curb and almost got hit a couple of times.) Yes, there are some a**holes cyclists/scooters out there who endanger our lives by going to fast or going through a yellow/red light, but trust me, they are rattled at least once or twice a day by a**hole drivers who cut them off or whatever) I understand your frustration, I almost got hit by a cyclist last week and had to yell out “A**HOLE!” (UWS expression. 🙂 ) Especially if you used to park your car in the spots that were taken away, but realize, cyclists and scooters and other modes of small motorized transportation will be the future and it’s nice to have a safe space to ride. 🙂

        • geoff says:

          amen.

        • Effy says:

          “…but realize, cyclists and scooters and other modes of small motorized transportation will be the future”…

          Save us from “progressives” and their naive dreams of the future…don’t realize they themselves will be older and more fragile in the near future. Look at SF and other “progressive” cities. Nice future. You’ll feel virtuous on your bike as you zip around encampments of drug addicts, ex-cons and alcoholics, or, in “progressive” speak, the “homeless”.

      • Woody says:

        It’s pretty tiresome to keep hearing the robotic regurgitated comment about using Central Park as a bike lane. A Central Park roadway is NOT equivalent to a protected and efficient proper bike lane on a thoroughfare suited for all modes of transport. If your drivetime increases as a result of adding a bike lane, too bad. If your building’s workers can no longer hog free parking on CPW that they pass off to each other during shift changes, that’s also too bad.

      • Juan says:

        It actually isn’t a bad idea. If biking is so critical to the city, have the current sidewalk on the east side of CPW become a bike lane. Pedestrians can still walk on the sidewalk on the west side of CPW. And then we can keep the parking, easy bus access, etc.

        As others have noted, whatever type of bike lane there is, there needs to be significant enforcement of bikers who do not obey the rules. Put the fear of God in them.

    2. Sherman says:

      This is ridiculous. Having bike lanes is a win-win situation for everyone. In fact, the city should designate more bike lanes around town.

      It’s unfortunate a that a handful of cranks have nothing better to do with their time than to fight this.

      That said, the police should do a better job monitoring reckless bicyclists.

      • NY10023 says:

        …but since the police *don’t* do a good job of monitoring the reckless bikes, us pedestrians will just have to do our best to maneuver around them. They seemingly don’t feel that traffic lights apply to them and god forbid you try and cross the street when they’re in autobahn mode.

        Lest anyone think I’m just a cranky NY’er complaining… I’m a biker myself, but I save my “go-at-breakneck-speed” for when I’m out of the city on an open road. Not going down CPW or in Central Park where there’s a shit-ton of walkers, kids, dogs & tourists who can (and will) seemingly pop out of nowhere.

        • Woody says:

          Maybe the walkers, kids, dogs & tourists should stop popping out of nowhere and lead by example by following the law, too.

          • NY10023 says:

            Sure, @woody
            Let’s just sit those dogs down and teach them the law of right-of-way. They just walk around like they own the place, amirite?

            Also the tourists should be given a copy of the bylaws when they arrive so they know when to stop to take a picture or whatever else it is they’re doing. This isn’t a place to have fun and let down your guard nosirree.

            And kids… The worst! How do they NOT know the laws about running and playing at parks? Do they not read and fully comprehend the statutes which say they must stay in one place?

            I say, ticket ALL of the above (twice, even!) so that we bikers can prep for the Tour De France without any possible distractions in our way!

      • Evan Bando says:

        Give cyclists what they want – after they start obeying the traffic laws. Reckless cyclists are epidemic in NYC. You can’t have safety without practicing safety. License them. Fine them.

    3. ben says:

      Between this and the challenge on the nearly (if not already) topped out 200 Amsterdam building, not sure which one is a greater waste of taxpayer money.

    4. michael says:

      I’m all for bike lanes. I saw a friend this morning, a man in his late 60’s (a previous Olympian). He had a broken wrist and fractured thumb from blocking an oncoming cyclist riding on a UWS sidewalk who was about to run down a group of young children on a guided walk. We need to get cyclists off the sidewalks.

      That said, this plan was either poorly thought-through or pre-determined to be temporary. It is marginally safer for cyclists, there was no consideration to bus needs, and the removal of parking was unnecessary.

      The new bike lane should be raised to the level of the sidewalk to get it off the street and away from cars. The trees and cobblestone would create a natural barrier for pedestrian protection on the sidewalk, the parking and the two northbound lanes could then be salvaged.

    5. Sam says:

      The MTA and NYPD banned parking on the Park side (northbound) of CPW from W106th to W110th Friday -Sunday this past weekend. Parking will again be banned there this weekend to accommodate the lineup of buses transporting displaced passengers from the #1 subway line which was/will be closed for switch work.
      All fine except that a few vehicle owners did not comply and stayed parked. This made buses line up in the bike lane or swerve around the illegally parked cars. Nothing was done about this dangerous situation. And it will be repeated this weekend. The cars will stay parked and buses will maneuver around them into the bike and vehicle lanes. Why do cars get towed for a movie shoot but not when they are violating posted NYPD signs and jeopardizing the safety of others?
      If there was enforcement with consequences when the current bike lane is blocked for any reason that constitutes a violation, we would not need the extreme solution that is befalling CPW. How much does the City really care? It’s just easier to put in a cycling throughway which will result in cyclists speeding through red lights even faster.
      How is it that the design implemented on busy Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues is not adequate for CPW? It accomplishes providing a single bike lane that is removed from moving traffic while allowing vehicle parking.
      As a pedestrian who crosses CPW multiple times a day, I end up yielding to oncoming cyclists who often scream (unprintable expletives) or blow horns and whistles as they fly through red lights. I and so many others have close calls at least once a week and I have had to yell “watch out!” to other pedestrians who assumed a walk sign and red light would be honored. Where is the support the cops must have so that they
      know their actions to summons cyclists who are breaking the law, double & illegally parked cars, and speeding reckless drivers will be legitimized in the court system? A big green bike lane is not going to fix any of this.

      • Kevin says:

        The DOT determined that removing a travel lane would cause too much congestion / gridlock. That was the only other option given the width of the road. CB7 asked for a 2-way bike lane (which would have taken up even more space) and it was determined that would not be feasible either.

        I agree completely that those folks who remained parked should have been towed away for the weekend, completely ridiculous. I also don’t understand why the bike lane is currently stuck at 77th street. They should have cleared the entire area out from 77th to 110th and done the work while the subway construction was underway.

      • Woody says:

        I just witnessed a lady walk into a low tree branch in Riverside Park. She was too busy staring at her phone to notice it. That describes a lot of pedestrians who complain about cyclists’ behavior.

    6. Stu says:

      Let me raise one important benefit of the protected bike lane that nobody has really addressed before. A problem of unprotected bike lanes is the lack of visibility between pedestrians walking into the bike lane (whether to hail a cab, or get to their parked car or whatever) and the cyclists. This is more pronounced on CPW due to the lack of through streets. I have witnesses multiple near accidents on CPW where a cyclist – riding lawfully – nearly hit a pedestrian walking into the bike lane where such pedestrian could not clearly see the cyclist due to the parked cars. This type of protected bike lane resolves that problem as the cyclists and pedestrian will have clear lines of vision.

    7. AC says:

      Come winter time, when it snows, as witnessed on Amsterdam Ave., these lanes get covered with snow (and plowed snow) and become totally useless.

      I don’t own a car and I don’t own a bike. But these bike lanes are nothing by danger lanes. Aside from people riding in opposite direction(s), now you also have these E-Bikes zooming. I’m more afraid of getting hit by a bike than by a car.

      A poorly thought out, and rushed, plan.

    8. JC says:

      Can’t the city solve the problem with signage on street corners warning/reminding people about the bike lane?

    9. Rodger Lodger says:

      I use the Hudson Greenway (near Riverside Blvd in the 68/70th St area and the bicyclists do not slow down at the pedestrain cross-ways despite the signs. They seem to speed up as they approach. These people don’t give a crap about safety of pedestrains. They are dressed up as competitive cyclists and think they are hot stuff. Many are in wolf packs, cheerfully scaring the piss out of walkers. The women may stop or slow down, though.

    10. RW says:

      This is a ridiculous use of power! a waste of precious, valuable parking which the city needs to function – but the worst part of this is that there are so few cyclist using the new path and after dark it’s empty until dawn – how can that be justified are a good use of the space? The cyclist will not be safer with 1 million lanes if they continue to cycle the way they do. I predict that the numbers dying with keep on rising no matter how many lanes the city provides them. They are reckless, inexperienced riders for the most part.

    11. T says:

      Barely anyone uses the bike lanes. Usually delivery guys going the wrong way. I have a view of Columbus lane from my window and there are 5 minutes plus at times with zero bikes and this is summer. This causes triple parking, congestion, and more circling for spots. Stupid

    12. Jack Glass says:

      Specific streets for bikes only are the way to go. They can zoom as fast as possible, cut each other off, blast through lights, etc. Cyclists don’t need to ride on every street. Have a few streets for bikes and some for cars and buses only. Pedestrians – you’re screwed no matter what.

    13. Nick P says:

      HA ! Enviormental Review
      Get Real.Fewer cars less emmissons FREE city street parking is long gone.

    14. UWS Craig says:

      I support the removal of subsidized free parking spots. They are not needed given the advent of ride sharing. Soon there will be self driving cars. The streets belong to the community and they are being abused by selfish car owners who are unable or unwilling to remove their private property from public land.

    15. abie says:

      Bicycle riders are considered pedestrians. Therefore,why don’t they use the side walk for the bike lane? How can a taxi or other vehicle discharge a passenger where the bike lane is?
      This whole situation is out of control and insanely and selfishly being put upon others that need the space.

    16. UWSWasp says:

      I almost got run over along with my 6yr old kid when crossing the street when a chinese food delivery guy on a motor scooter decided to ride down the bike lane in the wrong direction and through a red light. Bicycle riders also seem to never obey red lights, just as most of the bike lane traffic appears to be food delivery people on electric bikes. Also, at least 50% of vehicular traffic is T & LC vehicles (uber and lyft, via etc). It seems the long established alternate side parking tradition on the UWS (remember the Seinfeld episode) is not the problem.

    17. cma says:

      Central Park has been free of cars on the roadway for years. Why doesn’t the bike movement and the community board urge bikers to use them instead of the CPkWest street????!!!?