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.

Democracy is Inspiring

Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly

Last fall, as part of our new participatory budgeting initiative, we asked for your ideas for projects that would improve our neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 of you answered the call and offered your ideas – from subway station improvements, to new community spaces, to upgrades to local playgrounds. You can view all of the ideas people submitted here.

Since then, a team of 100 community volunteers have been working in seven “budget delegate” committees to research and evaluate these ideas, to figure out which ones are feasible, and determine how much they would cost.

They are now working to put together the ballot – at the end of March, you will be able to vote on which projects will get funded. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting – Turning Your Ideas Into Projects

Kensington curb

Participatory Budgeting update from Michael Fettman of the Streets & Sidewalks Committee:

What a great feeling. After weeks and months of meetings and learning about the Participatory Budgeting process, going through so many ideas submitted by our friends and neighbors, and learning all about how to maneuver and comply with all the government bureaucracies, we finally got to the point of putting the finishing touches on to the proposals that we are ready to submit for review. Soon, our neighbors will get to give us their input on our proposals, which will be put up for a vote in March to decide which ones will get funded. Read more »

Transit-Poor Brooklyn Neighborhood To Get Some Bus Relief

WNYC
01/24/2012

The B61 — Red Hook’s only bus line — will get some additional bus service this spring. New York’s MTA said at a committee meeting Monday that it will tweak the schedule and add service on the beleaguered line.

This change follows a report put out last month by Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander that said buses on the route don’t come often enough — and bunch up when they do. Lander said he was happy the MTA plans to add buses to the line, but added there’s more that could be done to improve service. Read more »

Following Study, MTA Adds Buses to Brooklyn’s B61 Bus Route

B61 bus

Monday, the MTA board voted to add buses to Brooklyn’s B61 route during the evening rush hour. The move, part of a package of changes to bus schedules citywide, will mean that buses on the route will come more frequently and follows a study on the bus line released by Brooklyn elected officials and community groups in December. Read more »

PB Committee Tackles Flooding at Subway Station

Participatory Budgeting update from Tracy Turner of the Transit Committee:

We were delighted to hear the announcement from Catherine Zinnel of Councilmember Brad Lander’s office that they were able to get various city agencies (Department of Parks, Sanitation, and Environmental Protection) to commit to cleaning up the area outside the Ft. Hamilton F/G subway entrance. We applaud the great strides that Councilmember Lander’s office has made with this recent announcement. This is indeed a triumph! Read more »

2011 Annual Report

Over the past year, people in NYC and around the globe have called for government that is more accountable to the people. I’ve worked to achieve a high standard of accountability – in that spirit I’m pleased to share this annual report on what we accomplished in 2011, what we learned, and what we’re hoping to do in the year to come. You can view the report below, download it, or explore our interactive map of accomplishments from the past year.

 

Of Dumpster Pools and Solar Panels: Checking In on NYC’s Participatory Budgeting Project

Channel 13 WNET
12/12/2011

Participatory budgeting, an experiment in democratic engagement that launched in New York City this fall, allows citizens to suggest how their tax dollars should be spent, and then to vote on the proposed ideas.

Hundreds of people in the districts of the four  Council members involved — Brad LanderJumaane WilliamsMelissa Mark-Viverito and Eric Ulrich — attended public assemblies over the past few months to share their ideas on how to spend approximately $1 million per district in capital funds. The proposals are now being considered by volunteer committees and will be put to a vote this spring. Read more »

Lander report: Call it the B61 bomber

Residents boarding the B61 bus
Brooklyn Paper
11/07/2011

The main bus out of transportation-starved Red Hook arrives too late or doesn’t stop at all, according to a scathing new report.

Fewer than half of the buses on the B61 line — which runs from Red Hook to Downtown via Park Slope — arrived on time during “peak hours” and the rest showed up at least three minutes early or late, according to an exhaustive survey put together by Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) and dozens of volunteers.

Many of the buses were too crowded, arrived erratically, or were bunched up with other buses. Read more »

Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus

Release of B61 report

At a press conference at the 4th Avenue-9th Street bus stop in Park Slope, Council Member Brad Lander, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Council Member Sara M. González, transit advocates, and local bus riders unveiled the report Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus, to address growing frustration over the B61 bus.

The report finds that less than half — only 43%— of B61 buses arrive in an acceptable timeframe during rush hour. The report lays out nine cost-effective ways to improve the bus line to help riders connect to subway lines and commute to work faster, including keeping lights green for buses at key intersections, installing countdown clocks in bus shelters and adding more buses at peak hours. Read more »

New Program Lets Taxpayers Do More than Gripe About City Spending

Gotham Gazette
12/02/2011

From the Occupy protestors to millions expressing disgust with debt ceiling debacle, many American are angry about how the government spends money,. something most of them have little control over outside the polling booth. Now, four New York City Council members are trying to change this and give residents a direct say in where the funding goes, at least on a local level.

"I walk down my street every day, wishing I could do something about the conditions," said Ali Abdul Rahman, a resident of Brooklyn’s 39th district, who is getting the opportunity to do some budget . "Well, now there is." Read more »