Participatory Budgeting Assemblies Kick off with Streets and Transit
By Neil Reilly, PB Disitrict Committee member, and past facilitator for the Transit Delegate Group
On October 14, the 2014-15 cycle of Participatory Budgeting in our district kicked off at the New York Transit Museum. Participatory Budgeting is a process by which residents make suggestions, craft proposals, and then vote on how their councilmember allocates his or her discretionary funds for capital projects.
Tuesday's event was an assembly focused on streets and transit issues in the 39th Council District. After an introductory presentation and Q&A session led by a PB volunteer, several dozen attendees broke into small groups by issue area to offer suggestions for potential PB projects and discuss other issues related to street safety, transit infastructure and bike access. Ideas ranged from improved bicycle infrastructure at specific intersections to repairing the safety bump strips at subway platform edges to traffic calming for pedestrian safety.
These ideas will go to the relevant committees of volunteers who will hone suggestions into proposals, work with government agencies for their feedback, and craft proposals for the April 2015 ballot.
Thank you to the Transit Museum for hosting us - including letting us use their cool vintage subway cars for the breakout groups! - and to everyone who came out and participated. Many of the ideas generated at the meeting will make their way on to the ballot, and just as importantly neighbors were able to make connections and share their thoughts on how to make our City streets work for pedestrians, drivers, bikers and transit users alike.