Bensonhurst participatory budgeting expo

March 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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Councilmember David Greenfield hosted a participatory budgeting expo at P.S. 205 on Wednesday, February 27.

Greenfield is allocating $1 million of his discretionary budget to projects that those in his district would like to see come to fruition – one in each of the three neighborhoods his district encompasses. The project must cost more than $35,000 and less than $1 million and has to be a capital project, not something temporary.

Because his district is so widespread, Greenfield has designated Neighborhood Assemblies in Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst, and has promised that each group will get its own project.

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Over the past few months, volunteer “budget delegates” in each neighborhood have been reviewing all of the projects submitted by residents since last fall.

In Bensonhurst, the budget delegates are Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11; Laurie Windsor, president of Community Education Council District 20 and a CB 11 member; Steve Chung, a CB 11 member; Claudio DeMeo, a CB 11 member; and Dr. Tim Law, a member of CB 11 and Community Education Council District 21.

The team presented three projects: pedestrian countdown clocks, resurfacing in CB 11 and increasing pedestrian safety around P.S. 682.

The countdown clocks would be at the most dangerous intersections in CB 11.

“We looked at certain areas that haven’t received countdown clocks at locations where there are high senior concentrations, parks and schools,” Elias-Pavia explained.

“Countdown clocks take the guesswork out of crossing the street,” Windsor added, noting that the clocks would also slow down vehicles.

That particular project would be implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and would cost $100,000 for five intersections or $300,000 for 15 intersections.

Street resurfacing would be done on the most heavily trafficked stretches within the confines of CB 11, such as 65th Street and Bay Parkway. DOT would also implement this project, which would cost $300,000 for two lane miles.

If this project is chosen, nuisances like “Debbie Depression,” “Pebbles Pothole,” “Harry Hummock” and “Sam Street Opening” would be a thing of the past, explained Elias-Pavia and Windsor.

The increased safety around P.S 682 project proposes the installation of permanent planter bollards on the Stillwell Avenue side of the school. Parents at the school say that there has been an increased number of accidents on Stillwell Avenue and these extra measures would stop a car from careening onto the sidewalk.

This project would also be implemented by DOT and would cost $100,000.

Now that the plans are presented, residents have a chance to vote on which one they want most. Voting will take place between April 3 and 7 at locations to be determined in Bensonhurst, Borough Park and Midwood and during weekdays at Greenfield’s office, at 4424 16th Avenue. For more information, call 718-853-2704 or e-mail Jake Adler at [email protected].

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