Street co-namings are made by an act of legislation. The City Council writes two-to-four such bills each year. The deadline for submitting requests varies.
The City of New York's official policy for street co-namings begins with a request being made directly to the Community Board. Brooklyn CB6 requires that a petition with at least 20 names with corresponding addresses of block residents be submitted, together with an explanation providing the reasoning and justification for the co-naming.
If the street is to be co-named after an individual, it may only be done posthumously, and the reasoning and justification should include a biographical sketch of the individual that specifically links them to the block.
The first step is a review of the required documentation by the community board's Transportation and Public Safety Committee. The committee meets once per month, September-June, and may make a recommendation to Community Board 6. The community board may vote to make a recommendation to the City Council member in whose district the street is located.
Council Members submit street co-naming requests to Council staff and provide background information. City Council staff conducts a background analysis of the proposed honoree(s) and produces a memo with its findings. The background analysis and all relevant vetting information are forwarded to all Council Members, who have up to 21 days in which to comment.
In an effort to balance the custom and tradition of co-naming streets to honor individuals or groups who have distinguished themselves in some notable fashion with the need to establish standards that would maintain a high bar for such a tribute so as to not diminish the honor, Brooklyn Community Board 6 has adopted the following guidelines for anyone interested in petitioning the community board’s support in such matters.
1) Brooklyn Community Board 6 will abide by the Ceremonial Street Naming Policy and Local Law Ceremonial Street Naming Process as set forth by the City of New York’s Department of Transportation.
2) Applicant(s) will be a local person or group indigenous to the Brooklyn Community Board 6 district, or will be co-sponsored by a local organization that was not created strictly to satisfy this requirement.
3) Only applications for proposed individuals who have been deceased for at least 3 years prior to the submission of a complete application will be actively considered by the community board.
4) Applicants are expected to comply with these guidelines and provide all information necessary to complete the accompanying application. Materials must be submitted all together as one complete package. The district office is vested with the responsibility for determining whether application submittals are proper and complete, satisfying the community board’s form and content submission standards.
5) In addition to completing the application form and providing supporting documentation, applicants will also need to submit an accompanying petition containing at least 50 total signatures (signed name, printed name, residence) from residents within one-quarter mile of the proposed street, with at least 20 of the signatures of those 50 coming from residents of the proposed street itself.
6) Upon satisfying the form and content standards for a complete submittal, the district office shall refer the review to the Executive Committee which will conduct a public review of the application. Applicant is expected to attend and present at such a meeting.
7) Applicant will be held accountable for complying with the Brooklyn Community Board 6 Public Outreach and Notification Standards to ensure that the public is informed and has an opportunity to attend and participate at such a meeting. Failure to comply with the Public Outreach and Notification Standards alone could be sufficient reason for the Executive Committee to disapprove the request.
8) The Executive Committee’s recommendation is subject to ratification by the full community board who will have the final say on whether the application will receive support from the community board.
9) Recognizing that the community board only plays an advisory role when it comes to any municipal matter, the community board’s disposition does not guarantee that the street co-naming request will be ultimately enacted. The community board will make its recommendation to the affected local City Council Member, who must then independently determine whether or not they will introduce the appropriate legislation, which is subject to final approval by the City Council and Mayor.
10) Notwithstanding any guidelines to the contrary, the community board may at its discretion support an application that may not fall technically within these guidelines but otherwise demonstrates extraordinary and highly acclaimed accomplishment or involvement linked to the district to such an extent that it meets the spirit of these guidelines.