Janette Sadik-Khan: A Reason to Love NYC in 2007

New York Magazine’s third annual "Reasons to Love New York City" issue hits newsstands this week. Reason #35? "Because the Head of the Department of Transportation is a Cycling Radical." While I’m not so sure that’s a completely accurate description of the Commish, Anthony Weiss nicely sums up the change underway at DOT:

Nobody in New York City controls as much public space as the Department of Transportation, and for the first five and a half years of the Bloomberg administration, the DOT was what it has always been—a large, dull bureaucracy dedicated to moving cars and trucks around town. Run mostly by engineers, the DOT treated streets as an engineering problem: How do you move as many motor vehicles as possible, as quickly as possible? The streets themselves have mostly remained grim, unattractive, and (ironically) jammed.

But recently, the DOT has been championing some very un-DOT ideas. It has replaced parking lots and traffic lanes with chairs and umbrellas in Dumbo and the meatpacking district and installed a new, physically separated bike lane on Ninth Avenue; it is pushing the mayor’s controversial congestion-pricing plan; and, in a symbolic act, it has given over three parking spots by the Bedford Avenue L stop to bike racks. Taken together, it’s as if the department has awakened to the idea that streets belong to people, not their vehicles.

The difference can be summed up in one name: Janette Sadik-Khan…

Photo: Randy Harris

  • fdr

    Apparently a lot of photographers hang out on the streets between Sadik-Khan’s home and DOT headquarters, since we keep seeing photos of her biking to work. What is she looking at?

  • Jonathan

    Must be a staged photo. Where is her bag or briefcase?

  • Eric

    1) She’s looking at Iris Weinshall helicoptering to her new job at CUNY.

    2) Her briefcase is in one of the two SUVs that follow her back and forth between her home and her office.



  • Spud Spudly

    I saw Iris Weinshall a few months ago. She was parked in the bus stop on Lexington and 86th in her brand new shiny Ford SUV with official plates. It was actually the SUV that caught my eye first because it looked so big and OFFICIAL. So I checked out the driver and it was Iris.

    At least she’s driving herself.

  • Mark

    Question for all mayoral candidates: Are you keeping Sadik-Khan?

  • fdr

    I think we can assume Weiner won’t.

  • Eric

    She’s riding on wet pavement with no fenders…

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Yeah! No fenders?? I caught that immediately too!

    But she does have a kickstand!

    Better not criticize too much. Could be working for her in a few months.

  • I bet she has some high and mighty friends in the NYPD? Naaaaaaaah.

  • Norwegian rider

    I almost always ride my Fisher without fenders – it was the way it was delivered, and it looks best that way. What’s the problem?


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