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Long Island City to Get Bikepath Funding, Sunnyside/Woodside to Get Trees and Library Improvements

Van Bramer announces projects to be funded

Van Bramer announces projects to be funded

May 7, 2015 By Christian Murray

Long Island City will be getting plenty of funds for an elaborate bikeway in that 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 on Vernon Blvd., 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.

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).

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28 Comments

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How?

How does the “building” of bike lanes cost 500k? Not challenging (yet) but really curious to see what costs so much!

Reply
skills man

all great stuff. thanks JVB. woodside library needs a makeover badly….and open on Saturday pls. but this is a great start

Reply
Manzar

I bike to work every day. I’m exited about the bike lanes. (I’m one less person packed into your 7 train…you’re welcome).

As for better playgrounds in Queensbridge Houses, I didn’t vote for it but I’m glad to know that the kids who live there will have a nice area to have fun. There’s no reason that kids who grow up there shouldn’t have a good place to play.

Reply
OldenDays

i’m convinced it’s just some teenager saying stuff to piss people off

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silent majority

Excerpt from April 2014 article VIBE article …. Last year, there were 72 major crimes reported, the highest of any housing project in the borough. These certainly aren’t the bad old days of the pre-Giuliani era, but there is still something inherently dangerous about the area. Other harbingers of change, like real estate, also show that Queensbridge is getting better. Many residents of the housing projects live in apartments subsidized by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and according to the NYCHA, monthly rent is around $445. Yet if you walk a few blocks east of the projects, a two-bedroom condo lists for $799,000, while another is on the market for $1.23 million. Enjoy paying $1700 for your 1 bedroom.

Reply
rikki

that’s why we need to install full body scanners at all public housing projects…dont like being scanned for drugs or guns…well move and pay your own rent. all people have a right to safety.

Reply
Mac

@silent majority I heard the very same silliness from the underachievers in the late 80’s about the people who bought in Yorkville near the Isaac houses, the very same thing. Also heard it in Brooklyn, Astoria and Chelsea. You’re beating a dead horse. Just get out of the way and let progress take it’s course and allow people to make some money in the process.

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Woodside On The Move

Wonderful news! There is something for every age group and area of the district. Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer already funds many other programs and activities throughout his district; thanks Jimmy!. The process was publicized, there were forums, the ability to coordinate the voting sites and choose the top projects by community interest. It was a fair opportunity to continue to improve our neighborhoods. Glad my former Seniors at Queensbridge will finally have a new van!

Reply
boo

i voted BUT not for those items. bike lanes, come on. this city is so not culturally ready to bike with lanes and rules. perhaps if people lived in Munich or Amsterdam for a few years and learned how to ride and follow rules this could work. complete waste of 500G. as for playgrounds come on, who is going to use those besides the queens bridge residents.

i appreciate the library upgrades as the library is a great community resource.

Reply
Mac

@boo Its a slow process to make a city “culturally” ready for bike lanes. Do you think the cities “were culturally ready,”in the turn of the 20th century for automobile traffic, subway systems, street lights, etc..? Bike lanes and etiquette did not happen in Munich and Amsterdam overnight either. The residents of the Queensbridge houses are suppose to use “their” playgrounds just like the residents of Sunnyside and Woodside are the ones who use “their” libraries.

Reply
Moi

If you didn’t bother to come out to any of the extensively announced constituent meetings to express your opinions about how these funds should be spent, but you’re now complaining about how the funds are being allocated because this doesn’t fit your little personal philosophy – well, you’re pretty much the textbook definition of a lazy idiot, aren’t you?

Reply
OldenDays

agree completely. this was announced in a million ways, including on this very website. for once, the people actually get to vote directly on how to spend government money — democracy at it’s finest! — and still everyone just wants to complain.

Reply
silent majority

So half a million dollars for playgrounds in the projects. How does that benefit any of us? How long will the playgrounds last in Queensbridge? About 2 months. Rent free, EBT(food stamps) not enough. Give them more.

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Blah Blah

WTF are you talking about? FYI, NO ONE lives rent free in QB Houses. Why cant people how live in housing get playgrounds?!?! You’re an awful person, jackass!!

Reply
The guy who screams Oh NO!

Yeah those kids should have chosen different parents to be born to if they want to use playgrounds!

Reply
Rattan Singh

Will there be a RFQ posted in the City Record for these construction projects? There should be a set-aside code to allow local residents to compete for these jobs. Who better to perform the work than those of us who live in the neighborhood? Any information would be appreciated!

Reply
angela

it seems to me and other people all Jimmy cares about is the queens bridge projects and bike lanes – nothing more

Reply
OldenDays

this was a public vote, not JVB’s decision. looks like you’re in the minority.

Reply
Mac

@Angela Didn’t you read the article? “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 voters choose not Jimmy.You may have missed this paragraph while listening to Fox News for your daily talking points. Think of the funding of playgrounds in the projects as insurance for a good ignorant blowhard such as yourself not having to see the children of those people in the projects in your playground.

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