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Central Park West bike lane lawsuit tossed by judge

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Plus, One Manhattan West has officially opened—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

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Judge dismisses Central Park West bike lane lawsuit

A judge denied an Upper West Side condo board’s attempt to block a protected bike lane on Central Park West. A lawsuit by the Century Condominium’s board argued that the city’s move to convert an existing painted bike lane into a protected one required a formal environmental review because it would ramp up congestion and increase air pollution as drivers cruise through the neighborhood in search of parking spaces.

But Justice Lynn Kotler shot down that argument. In her Thursday decision, Kotler ruled that because Central Park West already has a painted bike lane, it is “rational” that the city concluded its plan to reconfigure the street and eliminate 400 curbside parking spaces will not have significant adverse environmental impacts, and does not require a lengthy review process.

“The challenged determination at issue can only be characterized as a reorganization or parking and a pre-existing bike lane,” Kotler wrote in her ruling.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) argued that rolling out the lane was a routine measure, and in fact, a response to community safety concerns over multiple accidents on the busy thoroughfare. The push took on renewed rigor after Australian tourist Madison Jane Lyden was struck and killed by a drunk garbage truck driver in August 2018. DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said she is “grateful” for the ruling because it allows for “our critical safety project along Central Park West to continue moving forward.”

“As we have seen so many times under Vision Zero, protected bike lanes save lives,” said Trottenberg. The new protected lane has been installed up to 77th Street, and DOT expects to complete the lane up to 110th Street by the spring, says Trottenberg.

Transit advocates lauded the court ruling as a win for “rational transportation policy.”

“New York County’s Supreme Court came down on the side of progress instead of paralysis for hard working New Yorkers seeking to travel by bike and bus,” said Joe Cutrufo with Transportation Alternative.

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