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Bike share program lawsuit

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

New York City announced the new bike share program will generate $36 million annually in local economic activity. But that's not enough for many people on Bank Street in the West Village who filed a lawsuit after one of the bike stations was placed in front of a building.

The bike station appeared last week and takes up about half the block. It is part of the soon-to-launch CitiBike share program.

The West Village building is the first to sue the city Transportation Department and others over the station locations. The residents claim they were not notified before this one appeared and that placing it here violates the city charter.

"It's not that I'm against bicycles. I love and believe in them," Crystal Bock said. "It's just, this is a quiet street, not a major thoroughfare."

Jeffrey Barr, an attorney, said: "What we want is something workable, that isn't a total imposition or a danger."

Many are in favor of more bikes, but say they didn't get a chance to voice concerns, like about loitering and the now lack of parking here to name a few. 

But the city disagrees. An attorney for the Law Department said: "Bike Share station sites were chosen after an extensive and thorough selection process. We are confident the process was completely proper and that the Court will agree with us."

Former Community Board 2 member Ian Dutton backed up the city's claim that it did extensive public outreach before deciding on locations, including posting signs. He said he is jealous these residents have such a convenient station to use.

"I would love to get one in front of my building," he said.

Right before Fox 5 left Bank Street, a huge truck suddenly appeared, and within minutes had installed a giant concrete slab to protect the soon-to-be-added bikes.

A sign on the buildings door encourages residents to voice their opinion -- no matter what it is -- at a community board meeting Thursday night.

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