Judge Dismisses Suit Against Central Park West Bike Lane, Allowing it to Proceed

Judge Lynn Kotler ruled in favor of the city on Wednesday, denying an attempt by a condo board to block a new protected bike lane on Central Park West.

The board of the Century Condominium had argued that the lane was installed without a proper environmental review, but Kotler wrote that the changes do not have such a large environmental impact that the state needs to conduct a review. She also noted that several cyclists have been injured on Central Park West — last year, Australian Madison Jane Lyden was killed while bicycling on the avenue.

As part of the suit, a resident of the Century had challenged the board’s standing to bring the suit, but his claim was also denied (which is a moot point given that the suit was dismissed).

The board was also upset about the loss of parking spaces — in total, the new lane is expected to result in the removal of 400 spaces.

The city has constructed the protected lane from 59th to 77th Street, but told us a few weeks ago that it doesn’t expect to complete the rest of the lane up to 110th until next year.

NEWS | 30 comments | permalink
    1. Bill Williams says:

      Thank goodness they put that bike lane in, who would want to ride in one of the world’s most famous parks located a few feet to the East.

      • stu says:

        The park is a southbound, hilly loop. CPW is a flat, northbound path. Cyclists use CP to go south, CPW to go north.

    2. AR says:

      Bike lane was already created up to this point.. it creates more hazards if not consistent to continue straight up… the mess on Hudson Greenway should be an example.

      Sorry about losing parking adjacent to a park… irony it’s a park not a parking garage.. ie, people head to parka to get away from cars.. just saying.

      Please don’t make this another pedestrian versus cyclists or car arguments…look at the consistency grid of traffic flow… whether for cars, bikes or pedestrians … it’s frustrating that rules change for ten blocks .. and leads to more accidents.

      • Life And Limb says:

        “Please don’t make this another pedestrian versus cyclists. arguments….”

        Because you lose that argument every time. Putting MORE unlicensed, unhelmeted, uneducated, unregulated cyclists on the street is a recipe for mayhem, crippling injury, and loss of life. it’s mathematical. Vision Zero = Zero Vision.

        These blunt-edged slash-and-burn initiatives that put MORE cyclists on the street without doing anything to promote and increase pedestrian safety are merely shifiting the risk from cyclists to pedestrians.

        Pedestrians have to organize, vote, and litgate to expose the corruption of these multi-billion-dollar hedge-fund backed interests promoting (and secretly underwrtiting) “transportation alternatives”, i.e. heedless, reckless, dangerous cyclists.

    3. Candace says:

      There are 2 northbound bike lanes in Central Park and on Amsterdam ave. The CPW route is not necessary. NYC is not a biking city so let’s stop pretending.

      • Kevin says:

        Candace – There is only a downtown bike lane within the west side of Central Park.

      • Burtnor says:

        NYC is BECOMING a bike city, finally. More than 1,500 bikers were counted at CPW and 86 St in 2018, not counting riders in the park or on any other avenues. More than a half million NYC people use a bike more than twice a month. More than 19 million Citi Bike rides were taken in the one year ending June 30, 2019.

        Why would you not want to keep them safe?

        Fewer cars means less pollution and congestion. More bikes means better health. Win/win.

        https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/uptown-bike-counts.pdf
        https://www.transalt.org/issues/bike/bikefaq
        https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2019/09/17/more-people-than-ever-have-taken-citi-bike-rides/

        • Marge says:

          And of those 1500, I’d bet that 1499 did not stop at a red light or yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. I know because I cross that intersection every day with my kids. BIKE POLICE blew through the light and around people in the crosswalk last week. I can’t take these pro bike arguments seriously until bikes have identifying tags on them and there is some regulating and fines for not abiding the rules and making crossing the street a hazard for pedestrians. And yes, I have the walk sign and am not on my phone or jaywalking.

      • AnDee says:

        Candace – nice try, but NY is becoming more and more of a biking city every year. Head to the East Village or parts of Brooklyn to check out the protected lanes there, and you’ll see areas where there are more bikes per hour than cars because the bikes can move faster. I ride the CPW bike lane most evenings, and it’s only getting busier.

    4. tim says:

      The irony is that while cyclists have the unfortunate image of being aggressive with pedestrians — an image not immediately associated with automobile drivers — it is the automobile that causes the vast majority of pedestrian injuries. It seems the opposition to “more bike lines” always emanates from the poor image cyclists have in the city. As an occasional bike commuter, I try my best to defer to pedestrians with the mantra that “it’s not a race.” Better relations between cyclists and pedestrians would help things. Not to harp on the R’side Park promenade, but that detour seems ill-conceived. A “go slow” ticket-enforcement on the promenade could have been a simpler solution (or at least off-hours permission for cyclists, esp. commuters, to pass through). And back to bike lanes — if every street in the city has a car lane or car lanes (plural), why the uproar over creating a narrow bike lane that is a fraction of the width of the car lane(s)? Bike lanes, for respectful cyclists, reflect sound urban planning. And yes, to those comments about CPW vs CP biking, the latter, one-way route is not really a commuter route.

      • Joan says:

        The problem is that I find most cyclists do not respect rules like red lights. Many senior citizens I speak to are afraid to cross the street not because of cars, but because of cyclists. How about ticketing the ones who go through lights and especially the ones who ride on sidewalks in spite of all the bike lanes.

      • Ann says:

        Tim,
        When is the last time you werewalking, had the walk signal, and a car didn’t stop at the red light? Smae question but with a bike? You can’t deny that cyclists, much more than drivers, don’t obey the laws. Thos makes it harder for pedestrians. This is a big reason there is so much push back.

        • Happy biker says:

          To answer your question: Every day at 96th and Broadway. Cars go through the red every single day, all the time. Come and stand by the T-mobile store for 30 minutes and count them.
          How many pedestrians have been killed by bikes on UWS?
          and how many have been killed by cars? in the last few years 4 people on WEA just between 95 and 99.
          If you want to count people not obeying the law, I think pedestrians win for jay-walking.

    5. KT says:

      Why are people so hooked on the idea that NYC will never be a “bike city”? You prefer crowded subways and sitting in traffic?

      I just wish everyone (cyclists, motorist, and pedestrians) were a little better about etiquette (and obeying the laws). I can’t tell you how many cyclists I pass in a day that are going the wrong way in the bike lane or on a street. And cars don’t yield to bikes when making turns across bike lanes. Pedestrians in midtown walk in the bike lanes as though they were an extension of the sidewalk. Everyone needs to take responsibility here.

    6. Scott says:

      Hooray, I can now get my chicken and broccoli a little bit faster!

    7. Malodorous says:

      How does one low-level judge get to pre-determine the results of a full environmental review? This stinks of judicial arrogance, with more than whiff of corruption.

    8. JEHUWS says:

      I’ve been living here for over 15 years. The *vast* majority of cyclists I’ve seen in NYC completely disregard any and all traffic laws and show no consideration for the safety of people walking or crossing streets. I’ve lost track of the number of times a cyclist has narrowly missed hitting me or a loved one – an accident that would have severely injured or even killed someone. This is not an argument against bike lanes but rather a plead for any cyclist reading this to not put myself and my family in harms way.

    9. Mark Moskow says:

      Is a motorcycle or vespa allowed in a bike lane? If not, then “motorized” bikes shouldn’t be. They should be riding with the other motorized vehicles in traffic. I really hope that with the expanded bike lanes, that the city will enforce with serious fines, keeping motorized bikes out of the bike lanes.

      • John says:

        I am planing on riding my motorcycle in the bike lane it is a bike you know. And this way red lights and stop signs don’t apply to me and my other biker friends

    10. UWSNYC says:

      reading these sad westsiderage comments is convincing me that UWS is full of boomer nimbys who would rather a tourist die than give up their free parking spots

    11. Jan says:

      At this point it is abundantly clear bikes and NYC dense traffic will not coexist well.
      It’s EITHER the bikes or TRAFFIC. NOT BOTH.
      CITY WAKE UP!!!
      Our City has been severely compromised by these bike
      lanes and everyone knows it except our City
      What an unfortunate situation.
      The joke on the UWS is “how many times a day are you almost hit by a bike”

    12. SM says:

      When bicyclists PAY to use the road, then they can make an argument to get access.

      As of now, they pay ZERO, but get tax payers to pay for road modifications.

      Cars pay license fees, registration, tolls and gasoline taxes (which are used to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the roads).

      Cyclists are getting a free ride (forgive the pun) at the expense of car owners but yet have taken the moral high ground.

      Make cyclists at least pay a registration fee for their bikes … then they can participate in the discussion.

      Other than that, I don’t see how they get a say in how the streets are designed.

      • Raymond says:

        SM,

        This is not a pay-for-play issue. If you want to argue that cyclists (and pedestrians) pay some sort of road mantenance tax, then fine. Argue for that.

        But the fact that they currently do not has no bearing about anyone’s right to use the public roads. This is a public safety and urban sustainability issue. It makes sense for the city to support safe alternate transportation methods regardless of a limited perspective of how those methods are subsidized.

      • J_remps says:

        How incredibly backwards!
        The majority of the CPW bikers ARE tax payers and therefore are also paying for these road modifications and improvements. (Tourists tend to ride in the park while CPW riders are mostly commuters and delivery people.)
        Should pedestrians also have to pay registration, tolls and taxes to walk on the city-provided sidewalk?
        It is the rich car owners who want everyone to subsidize their FREE parking on some of the most expensive real estate in the country, to the detriment of others.

        • SM says:

          So it’s ok for cyclists to ride on the roads for free but not cars to park after they pay license, registration, tolls and gasoline taxes which are used to maintain the roads?

          I get it, as long as it is free for you it is ok, but not if it is free for others.

          Btw, I would support a resident parking permit fee.

          But get off your high horse and understand the economics of how things happen. If you take cars off the road, how are the cyclists going to ride around for free?

    13. Ann says:

      This bike lane is more difficult for pedestrians than on other avenues. Because there are only a few roads going east-west through the park the cyclists have no gear that they will be hit by cross town traffic at most intersections and don’t even slow down when there is a red light. As a pedestrian, and we are all pedestrians sometimes, it can be difficult to find a time to cross safely.

    14. js says:

      Seems strange there is no mention of the issue of the M10 bus and bus riders.

      The bike lane on CPW definitely impacts negatively on northbound M10 bus transit.

      Also worth noting: there has been an increase in funding and attention for the bicycling infrastructure – but at the same time, a decrease in bus service….

    15. JL says:

      Thank you judge Lynn ! Thank you CB7! now we just need to ban cars from a few cross streets on the UWS.

      I hope the court fees don’t come out of the doormans tips.