Vote for your favorite west side projects Op-Ed

| 11 Mar 2016 | 04:17

    Participatory Budgeting is back on the Upper West Side! From March 26th through April 3rd, residents of the Upper West Side will have the opportunity to vote on how $1 million of the New York City budget is spent.

    Upper West Siders have a lot of great ideas about how to improve our neighborhood. With Participatory Budgeting, they can funnel that creativity and passion into projects that just might get funded and constructed in our community. In the fall, our office collected hundreds of ideas for how to best put this $1 million to use. A group of dedicated volunteers then sorted through that list of ideas, assessing their need and feasibility. They then worked together to create the proposals that you'll find on the ballot this year. These volunteers did extraordinary work, and I'm so grateful that they dedicated themselves to the community to get us where we are today.

    Here you will find the list of projects on this year's ballot. If you'd like to learn more, stop by and vote at one of our Project Expos. There you'll have a chance to see more details about the projects and to chat with some of the volunteers who made the proposals happen.

    Stay tuned at for more pop-up voting locations. You can also vote by stopping by my office Monday, March 28th through Friday, April 1st, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you're unable to make it to a voting location, don't worry. You can request an absentee ballot be mailed to you by calling 212-873-0282, ext. 203 or by emailing Be sure to request an absentee ballot by Friday, March 25 and mail it back so we receive it no later than Sunday, April 3, or your vote will not be included in the final tally.


    INSTRUCTIONS: You may vote for up to five projects.

    Renovation to Playground of Wise Towers

    Cost: $350,000

    Location: 124 W. 91st Street between Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue

    Description: Renovate and restore plaza area and add playground equipment at Wise Towers. (New York City Housing Authority)

    Security Cameras for Amsterdam Addition

    Cost: $300,000

    Location: 240 W. 65th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and West End Avenue

    Description: Installation and updates to security cameras at Amsterdam Addition. (New York City Housing Authority)

    Air Conditioning at the Performing Arts Library

    Cost: $350,000

    Location: The New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at W. 65th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

    Description: Renovation of 40-year old air conditioning system at the New York Public Library of Performing Arts to allow visitors to access the library during the warmer months comfortably.

    Riverside Park Recreation and Activity Area

    Cost: $250,000

    Location: Riverside Park at W. 76th Street

    Description: An activity and recreation area intended for tweens and younger adults, including facilities for a number of recreation activities.

    Picnic Tables for Riverside Park

    Cost: $65,000

    Location: Riverside Park

    Description: Purchase and installation of picnic tables made of recycled, durable material capable of withstanding heavy use, weather conditions and permanently secured against theft.

    Restoration of Joan of Arc Plaza

    Cost: $300,000

    Location: Joan of Arc Park

    Description: Repairs to steps and pathways leading to and from the Joan of Arc monument, including concrete steps, resurfacing blacktop, laying cobblestone and sealing masonry around the base of the statue.

    Restoration of Riverside Park Basketball Courts

    Cost: $200,000

    Location: Riverside Park at W. 101st Street

    Description: Resurface and repair the existing basketball court to improve the recreation experience.

    Adult Fitness Equipment in Riverside Park

    Cost: $330,000

    Location: Riverside Park

    Description: Installation of adult fitness equipment, including metal racks for sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, mats for stretching and exercise and bars for stretching in Riverside Park.

    UWS CERT Emergency Response and Education Vehicle

    Cost: $40,000

    Location: Throughout the district

    Description: Purchase of a vehicle for UWS Community Emergency Response Team to store emergency and educational materials, and create pop-up preparedness events at street fairs, schools, and community gatherings.

    Creation of Library Space at P.S. 191

    Cost: $350,000

    Location: P.S. 191, 210 W 61st Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenues

    Description: Renovate an existing lounge space to create library space to be used by students and their families at P.S. 191.

    Video Surveillance System for P.S. 75 and M.S. 250

    Cost: $225,000

    Location: P.S. 75 and M.S. 250, 735 West End Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets

    Description: Installation of a video surveillance system to be used by the school security desk to help monitor the school’s special needs population at P.S. 75 and M.S. 250.

    Technology Upgrades at LaGuardia High School

    Cost: $150,000

    Location: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, 100 Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets

    Description: Installation of SMART Boards, laptop carts, desktop computers, and a printing system for a department at LaGuardia High School.

    Renovation of Courtyard at Brandeis Campus

    Cost: $300,000

    Location: Louis D. Brandeis Campus High School, 145 West 84th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues

    Description: Renovation of existing concrete courtyard, including new pavement and installation of tables, to serve the high schools located at the Brandeis Campus.

    Auditorium Renovations & Upgrades at ​P.S. 166

    Cost: $210,000

    Location: P.S. 166 / The Richard Rodgers School of Arts & Technology, 132 West 89th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues

    Description: Renovation of auditorium stage and seating and installation of technological upgrades at the auditorium at P.S. 166.


    Project Expos

    Project Expos include poster boards with detailed descriptions of each project.

    Monday, March 28

    6pm – 8pm

    West Side Y

    5 West 63rd Street

    (between Central Park West and Broadway)

    Tuesday, March 29

    4:30pm – 6:30pm

    Riverside Library Branch

    127 Amsterdam Avenue

    (between 65th and 66th Streets)

    Wednesday, March 30

    7:30am – 9:30am

    Broadway Mall Community Center

    Broadway at 96th Street (on the median)

    Thursday, March 31

    4:30pm – 7:30pm

    Hargrave House

    111 West 71st Street

    (between Columbus and Amsterdam)

    Friday, April 1

    4pm – 6pm

    Councilmember Rosenthal’s District Office

    563 Columbus Avenue

    (on the corner of 87th Street)

    Sunday, April 3

    Noon – 2pm

    Community Board 7 Offices

    250 West 87th Street

    (between Broadway and West End Ave)

    More Ways to Vote

    Please note that our district office (87th Street and Columbus) will be a permanent voting location during the week of Saturday, March 26 – Thursday, April 3. We are open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm & on Fridays from 10am to 4pm.

    Voting is from Saturday, March 26 – Thursday, April 3. If you cannot make it to our offices or to any voting location, we will mail a ballot to your residence. You must request the ballot by Friday, March 25, 2016 by calling our offices at (212) 873-0282 ext. 203 or emailing You must mail us back the ballot no later than Sunday, April 3, 2016 or your vote will not be tallied.

    Voting Requirements

    1. Must be at least 14 years old


    2. Must live in the district or attend high school in the district