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New Computers and Pedestrian Safety on Carroll Gardens Budget List

COBBLE HILL AND CARROLL GARDENS — Renovated school bathrooms and new computers at Carroll Gardens Library  are some of the projects that could become a reality through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budget program.

The program allows the community decide how to spend $1 million of Lander’s discretionary budget for public improvements.

Last fall, the several local committees brainstormed over ideas and narrowed them down based on use, feasibility and expense, since each project has a $500,000 limit.

Residents will get a chance to look at some of these projects, Thursday, the Participatory Budget Expo, in anticipation of next month’s voting where the public will choose their favorite of 24 projects to receive funding.

The neighborhood also has two road safety projects for Hicks Street and Hamilton Avenue, after the neighborhood has seen two recent pedestrian deaths.

Last week, a woman was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while crossing Hamilton Avenue near Court Street. Another accident occurred last month when a Brooklyn Heights resident was killed by an SUV near Clinton Street.

On Hicks Street, the project proposes fixing a visibility-limiting fence that makes it difficult to see oncoming traffic and widening the curb to help pedestrians while crossing the street, budgeted at $350,000.

There is also a proposal to create a plaza at Hamilton Avenue and Van Brunt Street that will widen the curb and add a community space with gardens and park benches to the corner. The project is budgeted at $205,000.

P.S. 58 The Carroll School could see newly renovated bathrooms for their students, with automated flushing mechanisms, paper towel rolls, new latches and lighting, said Henry Carrier, the PTA’s co-president.

The project, for bathrooms used by K-5 students, is budgeted at $110,000 and should be completed within two weeks, said Carrier.

The neighborhood could also get a splash of green with 10 “enhanced tree pits” on Third Street between Bond Street and Third Avenue.

The pits include an underground chamber that holds water and enables the trees to thrive, said Bryony Romer, a budget delegate.

Budgeted at $170,000, the project will bring both shady and beauty to “a pretty bleak and industrial street,” said Romer.

Carroll Park also has a project of its own. At $200,000, there is a proposal to fix a metal fence around the war memorial at the park that will improve the maintenance and appearance of the area.

Keeping up with the Park Slope Library’s iPad craze, the Carroll Gardens Library is looking to add new computers to their branch.

This project, budgeted at $75,000 and also includes the Windsor Terrace branch, will give the library eight adult computers and six pre-K computers, said Ira Tobert, a budget delegate.

The pre-K computers are designed to help younger students with alphabet programs, musical rhymes and easy keyboard functions, and the adult computers will job searching and resume refining capabilities.

The Participatory Budget Expo will be held on March 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Park Slope Library (431 Sixth Ave.)