HACKING #BIKENYC: PEER PEDAL POWER / The bicycle community in New York City is known for its solitary nature – you against the city, muscling through traffic, surviving on your own wits. BikeHack was born around the idea that these independent folks have incredibly valuable information to share with each other. Formulated from the #BikeNYC meetup, this team combines an interest in urbanism, technology, and multi-modal transportation. At the hackathon, they focused on how bicycling could become participatory, social, and safer.

New York’s state and local governments and their taxpayers are on an unsustainable fiscal path, despite some improvements and a public perception that the outlook is far brighter, a nonpartisan task force found in a report released Tuesday. The state is plagued, as it has for decades, by “structural budget problems” and partisan politics in budgeting, the task force found. The long-term state deficit “has been papered over with gimmicks” that continue, it said. “There is no assurance that the state’s structural debt is sustainable,” the report stated. It also warned of a “growing number of illiquid, near-insolvent cities and counties with structural budget deficits.” “New York’s fiscal future sits on shaky ground,” the report concluded.

What are the sustainable business models that successful civic startups are using, whether they use legislative data or other reuse of public sector information? What are the real costs associated with opening up government data to make it usable, both for government and entrepreneurs? And how does it balance against what datasets, at the federal, state or local levels, are the most valuable? Are they open and usable? If so, who’s using them and to what effect? If not, why not?

Brooklyn CB 1 hearing on Waterfront Greenway – Dec 19th

Dear Williamsburg and Greenpoint Residents!

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, when it is completed, will create a continuous recreational and transportation path along the entire Brooklyn waterfront. It will be for Brooklyn residents what the Hudson River Greenway is for Manhattan residents. This comprehensive plan for public space along the Brooklyn waterfront has gone through years of community input and now it is time to get it built in Greenpoint!

Next week, Community Board 1 will vote on whether they support the completion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway along West Street in Greenpoint. Your voice in the room will ensure that their answer is a resounding YES. 

What: Community Board 1 Transportation Committee Meeting
When: Wednesday, December 19th, 6:30 pm
Where: 435 Graham Avenue

The Bloomberg administration sees crowdfunding as complementing, rather than supplanting, government services to Sandy victims. “Our low-interest loans can serve different needs,” a spokeswoman said. “Crowdfunding sites generally work best for highly consumer-facing businesses, [such as] a dynamic brand that consumers would want to contribute money to. The emergency loan requires no competition to meet a target.”

Mayor Bloomberg has brought more openness to all areas of city government than anyone else,” Benjamin Branham, a spokesman for the corporation, said. “E.D.C. is pleased to work with the comptroller to provide additional transparency to its operations so that New Yorkers can better understand the resources being committed to increase economic development and job creation throughout the five boroughs.