CHICAGO (STMW) – A husband and wife are suing the city of Chicago and their alderman, requesting removal of a Divvy bike station they say will bring an “invasion” of people, trash and noise to the doorstep of their Lakeview condo.
“It’s the ugliest damn thing,” condo association president David F. Kolin said Thursday of the bike rental station in front of his North Side three-flat. “It’s five steps from my front door.”
Neighbors were unhappy upon discovering this week that the station would be installed, prompting Kolin and his wife, Jeannine M. Cordero, to “take one for the team” and file suit to block construction, he said.
“Strangers will be at the front door 24 hours a day, and children who come and go from the building, which has no doorman, will be at risk,” Kolin, a lawyer, wrote in the suit filed Wednesday. The station “will destroy thousands of dollars of improvements made by the resident members.”
By the time the suit was filed, however, the station was installed.
City Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Scales said in a statement the location was chosen as the “safest” for the area.
“This residential street location was determined to be the safest for customers near the busy intersection of Addison and Lake Shore Drive. It is located in the public way, close to the curb on the street, and not on any private property.”
The statement also said, “We are aware of the request from a few residents to relocate the Divvy station away from their building on Pine Grove Avenue near Addison Street,” but did not say if any action will be taken.
A message left at the ward office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th), named as a defendant, was not returned.
Rolled out in June, the Divvy bike rental program has thus far been a success, with over 50,000 bike trips logged as of late July, city officials have said.
The station outside Kolin’s home offers 11 bikes, which can be rented in 30-minute intervals for $ 7 a day, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. The solar-powered station is just one of hundreds sprouting up across the city. In total, about 4,000 bikes are available to the public, according to the Divvy bike website.
“I like people on bikes rather than in cars. But this goes beyond ‘not in my backyard,’” he said. “This thing is a monstrosity. It doesn’t belong in anybody’s backyard.”
Until work crews arrived Tuesday, nobody on the block knew the station was planned. Kolin said he contacted Cappleman’s office to lodge a complaint but was told the matter was out of their hands.
“His people were kinda ‘Dude, it’s your problem. We can’t do anything about it,” Kolin said. “We got no notice of the damn thing and we have no idea what thought process these guys went through.”
He said officials seemed focused on getting the bike program up and running, and asked him to get back in touch in several weeks.
“I know this city well enough to know nothing is going to happen in three weeks,” Kolin said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)