Rich People Are Getting Citi Bike Stations Removed From Their Blocks

The New York Post has a story this morning on rich people getting the city to remove or relocate the much-discussed Citi Bike racks, including from the block where media billionaire Barry Diller's corporate headquarters are located in Chelsea, the block of a luxury Midtown East condo building, and the block where John Slattery lives in SoHo.

The Post story includes a full list of every rack that's been relocated so far. Real estate attorney Steven Sladkus (of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz), says he's managed to get at least three Citi Bike stations moved from sidewalks in front of his wealthy clients' luxury buildings.

So maybe Dorothy Rabinowitz was wrong and the bicycle lobby isn't terrorizing the city's governance? Sladkus sure makes it sound that way, telling the Post that on three separate occasions he was about to file papers to sue the city when the Department of Transportation caved and called him to settle at the last minute. The management of Diller's building merely had to reach out to DOT to get the offending rack moved to another block — according to DOT because of "safety concerns with the M14 bus," but also maybe because "it got in the way of celebrity receptions."

But the relenting relocations seem reserved only for New York's monied (Rabinowitz, you're still safe). According to the Post, Frank's Bike Shop — which literally makes its money renting bikes to tourists — was unable to persuade NYC authorities to relocate the rack, even with a 1,000-signature petition. Also unsuccessful were a group of five food vendors, backed by a petition and a New York Councilwoman, who were dislocated from their spot outside an office building by the new racks.

At least some people are trying to use the bikes for good — what started out as a joke spin class for the homeless has now apparently become a real thing. Comedian Fabrizio Goldstein, who goes by the moniker "The Fat Jew", told Gothamist that he's gotten "bizarrely positive" responses from homeless people and plans to bring in "less fat friends" to start leading regular classes on the docked Citi Bikes.

[NYP, photo via AP]