Judge: Plaza Hotel Can’t Evict Bike-Share Rack

NEW YORK (AP) -

The Plaza Hotel can’t boot a bike-sharing station out of a space across the street from its entrance, a judge ruled Tuesday, rejecting the luxury landmark’s claim that the 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.

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

Launched in May 2013, the short-hop bike rental program has become a part of the streetscape in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, to the delight of some and the lament of others.