Public Transit and Livable Streets

A more robust, efficient and fully-funded public transportation system is key to sustainable growth for our community, and for the city and region as a whole. At the same time, there are simple things we can do to make our city's streets safe for pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike. With more frequent subway and bus service, with safer and more better-planned streets, we can have both a metropolis that really works, and neighborhoods that are more livable day-to-day.

Councilmembers Call for “Bus Clocks” at NYC Bus Stops

It’s an age-old question, “Where’s my bus?”

Today, City Councilmembers, joined by transit advocates and riders, introduced a resolution calling on city agencies to install “bus clocks” at bus stops across the city. Bus clocks give real-time bus arrival information using digital displays, so that riders know how far away their bus is. New York is behind other cities, including Washington, DC, Albany, and Syracuse, where bus clocks are already in use. Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Participatory Budgeting in District 39

By Rachel Fine of the Participatory Budgeting District Committee 

As a District Committee member, I have been focusing on getting the word out about participatory budgeting and engaging our district’s diverse communities in this process. Although the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for the neighborhood assemblies, our outreach efforts have targeted a number of communities. Read more »

Self-government's appeal

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
10/03/2012

So who knows our neighborhood needs better than we do? A rhetorical question, of course, but one that gets at the heart of a City Council initiative called Participatory Budgeting.

In 2011-2012, Brad Lander was one of four NYC Councilmembers leading their districts in a program first hatched in Brazil and launched in this country in Chicago. The success of the actions taken in NYC’s four forward-thinking districts led to the program’s doubling—eight councilmembers, representing over one million New Yorkers, have dedicated a total of at least $10 million in NYC discretionary capital funds for the 2012-2013 program. It is we, the constituents, who decide how the money is spent. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting is Back

One year ago, we started an experiment: to give New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend $1 million of their tax dollars on projects in the neighborhood.

That experiment, Participatory Budgeting, was a huge success. Over 3,000 people participated, we received nearly a thousand ideas for projects in the community, and our small voting sites were overwhelmed with eager residents wanting to be part of what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action.” The seven projects with the most votes – projects for local schools, libraries, parks, and streets – received City funding and are moving forward.

Now we are starting again, with another $1 million and your great ideas. Read more »

Watch out! Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway

If you’ve walked or biked over the Brooklyn Bridge on a nice day (or just seen the auto insurance commercial featuring bikes dodging an animated gecko on the bridge), you know that the New York landmark is just too crowded for everyone to use it safely.

The elevated path is home to 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists each day according to the Department of Transportation. Although the path is a key part of our city’s bicycle infrastructure and an iconic tourist destination, the limited space cannot accommodate the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists. Read more »

Let's expand Brooklyn Bridge's Elevated Path

Today, Councilmembers Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, and Stephen Levin, joined by transportation advocates, announced a proposal to double the width of the Brooklyn Bridge elevated path, a popular tourist destination and bike route for many commuters (proposal attached). On many days, the path is filled beyond capacity, creating an unsafe situation for both pedestrians and cyclists. The councilmembers also announced a competition to design the new path. Read more »

Here's The Plan For An Expanded Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian And Bike Path

Gothamist
08/07/2012

Earlier this morning, Councilmembers Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, and Stephen Levin unveiled a proposal to expand the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian and cycling path, which is such a crowded mess that many cyclists simply refuse to bike over it. Their plan is to create a tangible partition (not just the worthless painted line that's currently in place) to separate cyclists and pedestrians, and to triple the amount of pedestrian walking space. The goal of the expansion is to "make the commute safe, accessible, and enjoyable for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers alike."  Read more »

Drivers Get Away With Murder In NYC, But New Laws Could Finally Change That

Gothamist
08/25/2012

A broad coalition of City Councilmembers who rarely see eye-to-eye on the same issue came together today in an attempt to reform the NYPD's appalling handling of accident investigations. "The NYPD's crash investigation system is fatally flawed," Councilmember Brad Lander said at a City Hall press conference this morning. "40% of the time when someone is killed, nobody even gets a traffic ticket." Indeed, a shocking City Council hearing in February found that the city's Accident Investigation Squad [AIS] will only investigate accidents in which the victim dies or seems likely to die. Read more »

Better transit service - because we worked together

I’m very pleased to report that the MTA – in response to our advocacy – is improving transit service in our neighborhood.

As you’ve probably heard, the MTA has agreed to make the G train 5-stop extension to Church Avenue permanent. The G extension has increased the number of trains running along the Culver line through Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and connecting our neighborhoods to Downtown Brooklyn and North Brooklyn. Thousands of people raised their voice in support of Brooklyn’s “Crosstown Local,” and the MTA heard us. Read more »

A city budget we can be proud of

The City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement this week on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget – one that invests in our kids and preserves funding for vital public services.

The City’s $68.7 billion budget is a statement of our priorities, and I am proud that those priorities reflect a deep belief in education (public schools continue to be the largest item by far), in core public services and infrastructure that make sure we have safe and vibrant communities, and in a strong safety net for those who need it (young, old, and in-between).

I’m also excited that, for the first time, the City’s budget includes items that you selected, through participatory budgeting. The seven items – totaling $1 million – that more than 2,200 of you voted for in March are being officially adopted as part of the City’s capital budget this week … and we’re launching a new webpage to keep you posted on their progress. Read more »