Want a Street Improvement for Your Neighborhood? Tell the City Council By October 13.

Residents of 31 council districts can submit ideas for funding in next year's round of participatory budgeting.

A map of the participatory budgeting proposals submitted so far. Image: NYC Council
A map of the participatory budgeting proposals submitted so far. Image: NYC Council

Is the street corner near your apartment begging for a sidewalk extension? Could your local bus stop use a countdown clock or a bus bulb? If you have ideas for small-scale improvements to your neighborhood streets, tell the City Council: Nominations for projects to receive participatory budgeting funds will be accepted for the next nine days.

With participatory budgeting, New Yorkers vote on how to spend the discretionary funds allocated to their City Council district. This year, 31 council members are participating, and if you live in one of those districts, you have until October 13 to submit proposals for the 2018 round of funding.

Once nominations are submitted, committees of “budget delegates” narrow the list to a handful of projects for the public to choose from when voting starts in the spring, the week of April 7 to 15.

Now in its seventh year, participatory budgeting funds capital improvements — projects that involve physical changes or purchasing equipment, as opposed to operating expenses like running more bus service. Transportation-related projects that receive funding are typically scaled to a single intersection or a handful of locations. While it won’t fund entire street redesigns, it’s a chance to make meaningful, targeted improvements.

Last year, street safety improvements near schools on Empire Boulevard and bus arrival clocks across the city were among the projects that received funding.

Other street safety projects came up short in the voting, including lighting improvements along the Hudson River Greenway’s “Cherry Walk” and pedestrian safety improvements on Meeker Avenue in North Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

You can submit ideas to the City Council online. Ahead of the submission deadline, council members are also hosting “neighborhood assemblies” where constituents can discuss and workshop ideas together.

  • reasonableexplanation

    One thing I really want addressed, but have no idea how, is the issue of double parking on commercial and thru streets. As a biker, motorcyclist, and driver, double parking is easily responsible for the vast majority of the delays I face on local streets, as well as the dangerous near misses.

    So many times you’ll have people park their vehicles in a travel lane on a commercial or thru street, forcing traffic behind them to cross into the oncoming lane to get around them. Often two folks will parallel park on opposite sides forcing traffic to take turns squeezing through.

    You have meter maids already walking these commercial streets constantly, printing tickets for parking and meter violations, which has far less impact on everybody else than literally impeding traffic. How can we empower the meter maids to ticket or chase away double parkers?

  • Joe R.

    That’s one of my top pet peeves as well. Especially for a cyclist, double parking is dangerous and annoying.

    I’d also like to ask about having traffic signals removed, Over the last decade, they’ve installed a ton of unnecessary traffic signals citiwide. It’s time we started removing a few hundred signals each year until we’re down to only those really needed for safety.

  • HamTech87

    I think double-parking is due to lack of open parking spaces. And that requires parking reform.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Not really. Lots of folks even double park next to a perfectly good hydrant or driveway spot (and continue to sit in their cars). Regardless, if there’s no parking, the responsible thing to do is to turn onto a one way side street and wait at a hydrant or driveway there, or even double park, point is; not on a thru/commercial street where you’re hindering and endangering everybody else.

  • AMH

    It’s infuriating to see people stopping right in the street next to available curb spots. It’s laziness and selfishness, and as much as parking reform is needed we need to address this antisocial behavior too..

  • AMH

    This is great, but why is District 9 completely greyed out? I’ve been writing to Perkins, Trottenberg, and everyone else I can think of for years to no avail. I have a wish list as long as my arm.

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