Eyes on the Street: Commissioner Sadik-Khan’s Commute

This is how newly appointed transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan got to work this morning. Accompanied by DOT director of street management and safety Ryan Russo, assistant commissioner and director of signs and markings Gerard Soffian, and bicycle program coordinator Josh Benson (pictured above, left-to-right), she took the scenic route, traveling along 9th Avenue through the West Village, the Hudson Street and 8th Avenue bike lanes and the Hudson River Greenway.

Photo: DOT press office

  • bim

    this is such good news. what a positive message. i hope she really helps out us bicyclists! she’ll really make a name for herself if this city becomes a super bike friendly place while she’s the commish.

  • mattio

    Plus, she’s wearing a cape! How cool is that? Every commissioner should!

  • Steve

    Apparent absence of security devices is intriguing. Is there indoor storage at DOT?

    I know this is a publicity shot arranged by DOT, but the symbol is important.

  • I find this so heartening. During a life-threatening ride from Washington Heights to Pelham a year ago, I cursed the gods and decided that the next DOT commissioner ought to decree that all of the department’s engineers should ride bikes to work for at least six months, just to see what it’s like.

    The last commissioner drove an SUV to work every day from Park Slope. Figures.

  • mork

    Steve, for the DOT’s next publicity shot, can I suggest that a real camera be used, instead of what looks like a cell-phone?

    But, yeah, DOT commish rides bike to work. I never thought I’d see the day.

    I wonder if it ever could have happened without Streetsblog.

  • momos

    New DOT commish is biker. This is awesome.

    Nick, you make a great suggestion. If all DOT engineers (and City Council members) had to ride to work on a bike for 6 months, there’s no doubt things would change.

    A few weeks ago I talked to Councilwoman Gale Brewer at a forum on PlaNYC. I drew her a new street layout with the configuration of the bike lane and parked car lane swapped, so that the bike lane would be between the sidewalk and parked cars (which would provide a buffer between cyclists and moving traffic). I got this idea from the "Physically Separated Bike Lanes" video by StreetFilms. I explained how in addition to making things safer for cyclists, it would prevent the cascading effect of cars making cyclists feel unsafe, cyclists then moving onto sidewalks, and pedestrians on sidewalks then feeling threatened by cyclists.

    She totally didn’t get it. She had no idea what I was talking about and immediately dismissed it as a dumb idea. "How would handicapped people get onto the bus from the sidewalk?" That’s all she could think about. Simple, I said. You build a bus bulb and take away some parking spaces. "But…." She couldn’t understand, let alone imagine the problem and solution I was describing. And she’s supposed to be one of the more progressive council members on transportation.

    All city bureaucrats and pols should ride a bike to work for at least a week.

  • Clarence

    This is so great! A Cmsh who rides a bike, a mayor who rides the subway.

  • Nona

    Lee Sander cycled to work periodically when he was city transp. commissioner (first Giuliani term).

  • anan

    Are her staff required to escort her into work everyday? Or can she not brave the bike paths on her own?

  • Clarence


    Sounds like Councilwoman Brewer (who is pretty good on most issues) needs to see some of our StreetFilms.

    We are gonna show about 90 minutes worth in July at the Pioneer Theater. More details soon. We won’t let you forget.

  • anan —

    Can you think of a better team-building experience?

    Look how happy Mr. Russo looks!

  • Helena

    A three person escort? How wasteful of city resources.

    Commissioner Weinshall needed only one staff person to drive her SUV to work each day.

  • Comentz

    The picture above speaks volumes. I hope her actions will do more. Her key appointments will be a better sign of what’s to come.

  • Scenic route? They missed their chance for a leisurely pedal down Houston St.!

    It’s a great sign – and to see that Benson and Russo have access to the Commish without layers of office bureaucracy. I hope that’s the sort of access they get when the cameras aren’t around, too.

    Score 1 for Sadik-Khan…and a bonus point for the cape.

  • Steve

    Come on now, its obvious that it’s not a cape

  • nimby pimby

    it could be a capelet…

  • gecko


  • Okay, so it’s not a cape.

    But, her coat could <i>inspire</a> a new form of biking wear: the Sadik-Khape.

  • Sproule Love

    Is this an ides of May joke? Are you kidding me? I’m trying to imagine Iris W. out in the bike lanes. I can’t believe it! It’s too good to be true. Hardly a waste of city resources…they’ll all be happier and more productive workers and live a day longer.

    Man, it’s GREAT to see city officials walking the walk…I’ve always thought that stupid policies like poor bike lane enforcement and cars in the parks would disappear if decision-makers got out of their SUVs more often.

    Photo opp. or no, I’m impressed.


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