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Janette Sadik-Khan

Is NYC’s “Sustainable Streets” Plan a Communist Plot?


This week's Observer is running a profile of DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. It focuses on the speed with which many of DOT's Sustainable Streets projects are moving ahead and seems to suggest either:

a) Improving conditions for New York City's pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders is a Communist plot. Or,
b) The change that Sadik-Khan is bringing to New York City's streets is akin to the Russian Revolution.

You be the judge:

On the ideological scale of transportation planning, her policieserr far closer to Trotsky than Reagan. She is decidedly pro-bike andpro-pedestrian, and thus inherently anti-automobile, earning herconstant praise from the normally critical transit advocates.

This raises some obvious questions. If Sadik-Khan is Leon Trotsky does that mean suburban Westchester Assemblyman and congestion pricing foe Richard Brodsky is Josef Stalin? Will Sadik-Khan be exiled to an upstate gulag when Bloomberg is term-limited out of office?

All fun and games aside, as we gird ourselves for the Tony Avellafication of the 2009 mayoral race, the last two paragraphs of the article are worth discussing:

With many of Ms. Sadik-Khan’s keyinitiatives, there is a potential lack of permanency. The same featuresthat allow the DOT’s projects to get in the ground swiftly could alsoseal their fate in a future administration: The city has claimed lanesof Broadway as open space with some epoxy, sand, paint, plants andtables, yet a future administration could just as easily pack up thosetables and put lane markers right back down on the roadway.

This prospect seemed almostincomprehensible to Ms. Sadik-Khan, who seemed to think that publicresistance to it would prove too great, the ease of removalnotwithstanding. “People are very protective about their public space,”she said. “I think it would be very hard to take these spaces back tothe state that they were in before.”

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