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Mobile Food Pantry, Better Bike Path, Turf Field Slated for Funding on UWS

By Emily Frost | April 29, 2015 11:10am
 The neighborhood will get a better bike path in Riverside Park, a new astroturf field, a mobile food pantry and countdown clocks for buses. 
UWS Participatory Budgeting Winners
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UPPER WEST SIDE — A mobile food pantry, a new high school athletic field, an improved Riverside Park bike pathway and countdown clocks at bus stops were selected to receive funding under the City Council's participatory budgeting program.

The projects are the result of the months-long process led by City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, in which locals came together to suggest projects that need city funding and then voted for their favorites this month. 

More than 2,000 people voted for the projects, which will split $990,000 in city funding, Rosenthal said.

► The West Side Campaign Against Hunger will get $250,000 to spend on buying and outfitting a food truck that it plans to use as an extension of its local food pantry.

The mobile pantry will drive directly to needy people in the district who are not able to make it to the West 86th Street pantry because they're physically not able to get there or can't make it during the pantry's regular hours. 

► Digital clocks letting riders know when the next bus is expected to arrive are coming to stops along the crosstown bus routes for the M65, M79, M86 and M96. The $240,000 project will mean the majority of stops along this route will get countdown clocks, but not all of them.

The DOT will need to assess where the clocks are feasible, said a spokeswoman from Rosenthal's office. 

► The Hudson River Greenway — the path along the river for bikers, runners and walkers in Riverside Park — will get $200,000 in improvements between West 72nd and 84th streets. 

The improvements include better signage and pavement markings, more plastic bollards separating areas for different users, and the re-paving of alternate pathways to make them more suitable for bikers and ease congestion. 

► Residents voted to allocate $300,000 to build an AstroTurf field for the six high schools at the Martin Luther King Jr. complex, as well as the community. Currently, the space where the turf will go is just concrete, meaning students have to travel to other schools in order to practice and play most sports.

If the DOE determines that building the field requires more work, like re-grading the surface to prevent flooding, more funding may be needed, said a spokeswoman from Rosenthal's office. 

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