The New York Post reported last week that a co-op on West 13th Street, The Cambridge, is filing a lawsuit against the city for the placement of Bike Share racks directly outside the building’s entrance. Residents say that their fears about the potential problems with the racks came true when emergency personnel had trouble getting Edward Liss, a 92-year-old resident in medical distress to a waiting ambulence. EMT workers had to go around 60 feet of bike racks to get the man into the waiting vehicle.
“I would like these bike racks to get out of the way,” the victim’s wife, Lee Liss, told the Post. “The ambulance couldn’t even come up to the building. The ambulance couldn’t get to him. These bike racks are a detriment.”
The co-op’s vice president Dave Marcus told The Post that the ambulence had to park three doors away from the building and manuever around the 39-spot bike rack, and that it took the emergency responders more than an hour to get Liss to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment. A Department of Transportation spokesperson told the paper that there was no problem responding to the call.
The Bike Share racks were installed at dozens of locations downtown several weeks ago, surprising and angering many residents. Many say they don’t object to the CitiBike program, which will soon allow anyone to rent bicycles for short periods of time,, but to the placement of the racks in front of residential buildings and in historic areas.
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