New York's Transportation Guru

<em>Slate</em> looks at the work and vast urban transformations brought about under the leadership of New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
August 17, 2011, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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From bike lanes to street closures, Sadik-Khan's work is praised for its big thinking but also its small-scale.

"How has Sadik-Khan managed to do so much? One tactic that has served her well is to make temporary changes with an eye toward turning them permanent once people get accustomed to them. The mayor's backing hasn't hurt. And her experience in the private sector-she was chief of staff to the CEO of the transportation infrastructure giant Parsons Brinckerhoff-seems to have taught her that coming up with concrete results is more important than trying to please everyone. Even the New Yorkers who oppose her plans grudgingly admit she gets things done.

The bike lane furor still hasn't entirely subsided, but Sadik-Khan is already on to the next big thing-or rather, things: the pedestrian wayfinding project, which will put signs on sidewalks to give pedestrians directions and distances to nearby landmarks; a bike-share plan, modeled on a program that Washington and other cities have implemented to good effect; and Midtown in Motion, which would allow traffic engineers to adjust stoplights remotely as traffic conditions change."

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Published on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 in Slate
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