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Will It Take Unnecessary Deaths To Rethink Citi Bike Racks?

Citi Bike racks have been a controversial matter since New York City implemented the bike-share program, but few regarded it as a life-or-death issue. That thinking may soon change, as a Citi Bike lawsuit reaches Manhattan Appellate Court.

The suit argues that the Citi Bike rack at 175 W. 13th Street prevents ambulances to freely access a building where elderly residents live. The problem could end up contributing to a tenant’s death.

Half of the bike rack has already been removed after emergency responders could not quickly aid a man because the rack obstructed their vehicle. The remaining portion is still a problem, says the lawsuit.

In complicated issues of municipal liability – such as the location of a city-sponsored bike rack – it can be difficult to predict the outcome of a lawsuit. Sometimes, the best action for the city might be to consider the lives on the line, rather than the letter of law.

If someone does end up dying because medics were obstructed by the Citi Bike rack, it will likely find itself in a new lawsuit and at the center of an unavoidable tragedy.

Source: NY Post, “Citi Bike Rack Remains A ‘Death Trap’ In The West Village,” Gabrielle Fonrouge, May 7, 2014

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