A better approach to bioswales
Feb 21, 2017 | 10913 views | 1 1 comments | 518 518 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents throughout Queens are upset as the city continues its aggressive approach to the installation of the curbside rain gardens known as bioswales. It's time the two sides made a compromise.

Bioswales are coming to your neighborhood, but the process should start at the local community board. Each board should be given a set number of bioswales that need to be installed in their district, a number decided after careful planning.

Then the community board should start an outreach campaign to get homeowners to volunteer to have a bioswale installed.

If they can't reach the number, there should be some small incentive. Maybe a tax credit or a lower monthly water bill.

The absolute last resort should be installation without consultation. But even then, there needs to be an opt-out.

It seems unreasonable to think that the city won't be able to hit any sort of quota if they take this approach.

The city is routinely dogged for its failure to include the local community in many decisions, and this is another stark example. In fact, it was a process that never included the community at all.

But a full attitude of “not in my backyard” is really never going to work either. The city needs to make it clear that it is moving forward with the bioswale program, but would like local residents to have a large say in how and where it happens.

That should be the only way to govern.
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Terence Bolger
February 22, 2017
This is a great idea. Bioswales are an elegant solution to the inadequacy of our sewer system o handle storm runoff. Care needs to be taken in identifying locations that will benefit most and also have the greatest impact. Areas with abundant open land are already reducing storm runoff and do not seem to be prime candidates for this strategy.

I do believe that involving the community and offering incentives is a fabulous solution to the nimby attitude.

Find locations with the best bang for the taxpayer's buck and then offer water discounts or free sewer insurance to homeowners who volunteer to host a bioswale.

Wonderful idea and democracy at its best!!