Judge: Plaza hotel can’t evict NYC bike-share rack

NEW YORK — The Plaza hotel cannot boot a bicycle-sharing station out of a space across the street from its entrance, a judge ruled Tuesday, rejecting the luxury landmark’s claim that the electric-blue bikes are a traffic-clogging eyesore.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern said city transportation officials did an adequate review before installing a Citi Bike rack on Fifth Avenue’s landmarked Grand Army Plaza, where the famous Pulitzer Fountain splashes a stone’s throw from the hotel that was made famous in fictional settings ranging from the ‘‘Eloise’’ books to Neil Simon’s play ‘‘Plaza Suite’’ to ‘‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.’’

‘‘It does not significantly affect the scale, visual prominence, or visual context of these landmarks,’’ Kern wrote, noting that the bike rack is not as tall as many cars on the street and that there are bus stations, kiosks, and other street structures nearby.


City lawyers had no immediate comment. Plaza lawyer Steven Sladkus said he was reviewing the decision.

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Launched in May 2013, the popular, short-hop bike rental program has become a part of the streetscape in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Plaza said the 147-foot-long Citi Bike station is an advertising-laden intrusion on Grand Army Plaza, where, according to literati lore, Zelda Fitzgerald once took a Jazz Age dip in the fountain.

The city said its review was proper, there was plenty of room left for traffic, and the location was more than appropriate for a Citi Bike rack.

Associated Press