May 7, 2015 By Christian Murray
Long Island City will be getting plenty of funds for an elaborate bikeway through the neighborhood
The bikeway is one of the three projects that is going to be funded as part of a vote where residents were able to cast their ballots to determine how $1 million in city funds should be spent.
Voters had 27 neighborhood projects to choose from and were able to cast their ballots in a number of neighborhood locations between April 11 and 19. The voters, for the most part, came from Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.
The three most popular projects totaled a little over $1 million and will be funded.
Those projects were: the Long Island City bikeway ($500,000); a 10-person van for seniors at the Jacob Riis Settlement House ($55,000); and five playground upgrades at the Queensbridge Houses ($500,000).
While the projects came in at a little over $1 million, Van Bramer said that he would find extra funds to ensure that all three capital projects are funded.
“I think we see the power of this process,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said last night at LIC Bar, where he revealed the projects that would being funded. “These decisions were decided by you, no me,” he said.
The $1 million dollars that was put up for a vote is part of a process called participatory budgeting. The concept provides residents with a direct say as to how the money should be spent in the district.
This was the first year the concept was adopted in the 26th District.
Residents were able to vote for as many as five neighborhood projects—from a list of 27. The projects that received the most votes—up until approximately $1 million is exhausted—will be funded.
However, in a twist, Van Bramer said that he would fund five other projects that were popular from his own discretionary council funds.
Those projects are:
Woodside forestry—additional trees between 49th and 69th Streets near Broadway ($200,000) ; real time passenger bus countdown clocks ($100,000); accessibility improvements for Woodside Library ($50,000); accessibility Improvements for Sunnyside Library ($50,000); and tech upgrades for PS/IS 78 ($75,000).