Judge may overrule city in Five Boro Bike Tour case
The Five Boro Bike Tour won’t have to pay a nearly $1 million fee, a Manhattan judge indicated in court Wednesday.
Civil court judge Margaret Chan hinted that she will rule the 40-mile tour does not have to pay a fee covering NYPD traffic control costs because it is run by a charitable organization, a source that was in the courtroom said.
The fee on “athletic parades” was established in 2011. Bike New York, which runs the Five Boro, was the first organization to sue the city over the fee, arguing it was a charity.
Chan seemed to agree in court, even questioning the city’s commitment to increasing bicycling.
“Isn’t that something the city wants to promote?” Chan asked in court, according to reports.
Though it appears Chan’s final decision is a “slam dunk” for Bike New York, the city remains confident, noting the tour costs NYPD more than $960,000 to control.
“While we understand the court’s concerns, we believe that the decision to charge a fee is reasonable — and that it will ultimately be sustained,” said city lawyer Sheryl Neufeld in a statement.
Bike New York CEO Kenneth Podziba was pleased with the direction the judge leaned, but he said the victory was “bittersweet.”
“I love the city, so I wished we could have sat down to settle this,” Podziba said.
The 32,000-person tour is scheduled for May 5. Bikers pay $85 to participate.