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SoHo artists say bike share ruins public art space

Artists are facing off against the bike share downtown.

Bike share equipment has replaced public art, residents say. (Pete Davies) Bike share equipment has replaced public art, residents say. (Pete Davies)

SoHo artists say the Citibike bike share is setting up equipment where public art should be.

Residents are upset about bike stations placed in their neighborhood, according to the Soho Alliance, which said community members called into the community board to demand they be moved.

The community board is hosting a meeting tonight about the bike share stations at 6:30 p.m. at P.S. 41.

Angry residents say Petrosino Square, a park on Lafayette Street near Spring Street, has space designated for art installations that now houses the less artistic bike stations.

A woman is staging a protest near the bike rack, standing in a statue-esque pose every day.

"We want our art space, not advertising for Citibank," said Georgette Fleischer, founder of Friends of Petrosino Square.

The Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment this afternoon.

The bike share is scheduled to start sometime in May, although the DOT has not yet given a specific date.

The citywide program was delayed from its scheduled launch last summer, then further pushed back after Hurricane Sandy damaged some equipment.

The program has proved to be controversial, with locals complaining about the equipment, but others are eagerly anticipating their first ride -- about 5,000 New Yorkers snapped up memberships within the first day of them being available.

 
 
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