During its interviews with BID managers, its walking tours of the BIDs, and its reviews of BID annual reports, it was clear to Council staff that many BIDs have made innovative and creative contributions to their communities. While the following list is not intended to highlight each and every contribution, a partial list of the BIDs' successes in certain areas demonstrates some of the creative solutions being applied by BIDs that may very well serve as models for other BIDs or other parts of the City. The Committee encourages the newly formed BID association to serve as a clearinghouse for these, and other, innovative techniques in an effort to provide assistance to other BIDs.
- The Bryant Park and 14th Street BIDs made tremendous efforts to restore Bryant Park and Union Square Park. Prior to their efforts, these parks had fallen into disrepair and were considered very unsafe. Today they are widely used and enjoyed by all citizens.
- The Pikin Avenue BID used police crime statistics to identify crime rates by street location to effectively manage and deploy BID security staff. Additionally, the Pitkin BID had a program whereby the BID subsidized the cost of a radio for storeowners who wished to be tied into the BID security force. Reported criminal incidents dropped from 580 in 1993 to 418 in 1994.
- The Fifth Avenue BID supplied "Supporting Depositions" to store owners and security staff that allowed them to prepare criminal complaints which attested to illegal activity they had viewed. When police officers were called, these depositions provided the necessary probable cause documentation to make an arrest.
- The Flatbush Avenue BID required its security guards to sign into specific stores at specific times during the day.
- The Third Avenue/HUB BID employed an experimental communication system which connected all BID merchants to the BID security personnel and the NYPD through the use of "panic buttons." These buttons were attached to an alarm service.
- The Metrotech and 14th Street BIDs' security personnel utilized bike patrols.
- In an effort to reduce crimes against the elderly, the Woodhaven BID hired supplemental security personnel to work on "Bank Days" -- the days during the month when social security checks are deposited.
- The Fashion Center BID operated a state certified school to train security officers. This school received an outstanding rating from an inspection and audit conducted by the New York State Bureau of Municipal Police.
- The HUB/3rd Avenue BID created a photo gallery of area shoplifters to facilitate their apprehension.
- The 82nd Street BID upgraded 16 street lights from 250 watts to 400 watts to improve lighting in an effort to reduce crime
- In an effort to prevent pedestrians from being harassed, the Grand Central BID built kiosks from which cabs were hailed.
- In response to the HUB/3rd Avenue BID achieving a 100% cleanliness rating from the Mayor's Office of Operations, the Department of Sanitation issued a moratorium on summonses in the BID area.
- The Metrotech BID eradicated graffiti from 134 roll down gates and common areas during December, 1984.
- The Union Square and 125th Street BIDs bagged City trash recepticals to facilitate a more rapid consolidation of trash removal.
- The Church Avenue BID purchased a vehicle for street and sidewalk cleaning.
- The Fifth Avenue BID removed graffiti from all lampposts, newsboxes, and related street furniture.
- The Grand Central BID's practice of constant sweeping resulted in some local blockfaces being cleaned as many as 8 times per day.
- The Times Square BID used a high power, hot water steam cleaner to clean and scrub the sidewalks and to remove graffiti.
- Several BIDs obtained agreements from private property owners and government agencies to affirmatively remove or paint over graffiti.
- The Times Square BID played a significant role in the overall revitalization of the Times Square area.
- The Flatbush Avenue BID ran radio spots in both English and French Creole and sponsored a float in the West Indian/American Carnival Parade.
- The Metrotech and Fulton Street Mall BIDs collaborated on numerous projects including the creation of a pop-up street map that details their contiguous BIDs and promoted downtown Brooklyn. These BIDs also collected more than 6,850 books for distribution in its first annual book drive.
- The Graham Avenue BID promoted a seasonal farmer's market to draw shoppers to the BID.
- The Village Alliance and Times Square BIDs created information booths.
- The Grand Central and 34th Street BIDs used "Block Mayors" -- volunteers who tracked store vacancies on a block-by-block basis.
- The Bryant Park BID hosted the JVC Jazz festival, the HBO/Warner Brothers Movie Series, the HBO/Comedy Central "Comedy in the Park" Series, and "New York Fashion Week."
- The Fifth Avenue BID assisted between 6,000 and 12,000 tourists per month and Grand Central BID employed eight tourist greeters who answered questions from more than 450,000 people per year.
- The Lower East Side BID was selected as one of four recipients of the 1994 Best Brochure Awards by the Association of Professional Brochure Distributors.
Contract Evaluation and Review:
- The 14th Street BID conducted Dun and Bradstreet searches on all prospective contractors.
- The Grand Central, 34th Street and Bryant Park BIDs conducted VENDEX checks on all contracts greater than $10,000.
- The White Plains BID advertised in three local papers to solicit potential contractors. Additionally, it conducted workshops with interested contractors to answer any questions and provide further details regarding the scope of work required.