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Upper West Side condo board sues NYC over Central Park West bike lane

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City lawyers will argue against the suit in court Wednesday

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An Upper West Side condo board is suing to block the city’s Department of Transportation from installing a protected bike lane along Central Park West.

The suit was filed by members of 25 Central Park West’s residential board in Manhattan Supreme Court late Tuesday and argues that DOT is violating state law because it did not conduct a thorough environmental review before approving the protected path that would run between 59th and 110th streets. Currently, the street has a painted northbound lane.

“DOT has failed to study the inevitable impact on traffic and the community of the elimination of 400 parking spaces, effectively shielding the Proposed Project from public review or comment as mandated by the environmental laws,” the suit claims.

The bike lane won the support of Manhattan Community Board 7 after months of heated debate, chiefly over the loss of parking, and a raucous July meeting that culminated in an advisory vote approving the city’s plans.

The board’s vote came nearly a year after Australian tourist Madison Jane Lyden, 23, was struck and killed by the driver of a private trash hauler on the busy thoroughfare. So far this year, 18 bicyclists have been killed in car collisions—up from 10 fatalities during all of 2018.

City lawyers will be in court Wednesday to argue against a temporary restraining order that would block DOT from constructing the bike lane. In a statement, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg emphasized the city’s dire need for bike safety infrastructure and its commitment to the bike lane.

“Far too many lives are being lost on our roadways,” said Trottenberg. “The City will fight for this urgently needed and broadly-supported safety project on Central Park West.”