Images via Flickr and Streetsblog
Is Janette Sadik-Khan, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, hero to many urban planners, described once as “equal parts Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs,” sort of a bitch? That seems to be the point of a New York Times profile of the woman behind a car-free Times Square and miles of the city's new bikes lanes and pedestrian plazas. At issue is whether her no-nonsense, brusque style also makes her a political liability. And whether she's over-reaching (a plan to ban cars from 34th Street was just scrapped). Via the New York Times:,
"Devotees refer to her as “J. S. K.” and lionize her as the brave and forward-thinking city planner who ushered in a golden age for bicyclists, pedestrians and environmentalists. Two-wheeled ridership has doubled during her tenure; European-style rapid-transit buses now ply exclusive, camera-enforced lanes; and fewer people have been killed in traffic accidents on New York’s streets than at any time in the past century, according to city records." Others, however, aren't so pleased with the commissioner: '"She has an absolute certainty that she’s correct,'" said Lewis A. Fidler, a council member from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, who has clashed with Ms. Sadik-Khan over bicycle lanes. 'I guess it’s nice to go through life with that kind of certainty, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate in government.'" Last year, Sadik-Khan spoke at Occidental, winning over many new fans.
· For City’s Transportation Chief, Kudos and Criticism [NYT]