(Image from Esquire.com)
Janette Sadik-Kahn, the head of NYC’s Department of Transportation, was profiled in this month’s Esquire magazine. Janette is responsible for the incredible pedestrian plaza, and bike network that has sprung up in less than 5 years. Her era of city redevelopment has reduced traffic accidents to historic lows, increased bicycle ridership exponentially, and shown major reductions in bike casualties.
The article goes on to site that businesses are seeing major increases in economics, all while increasing quality of life measures. For anyone who visited the city 5 years ago, and returns now, they’ll notice an entirely different landscape. The changes have not been without some consternation. With over 250 miles of bike lanes installed in relatively short order, it would be hard to not see some people take up opposition, but what the article details well, is that these changes have real numbers that back why the infrastructure is worthwhile. The road system we built out in 50 years took little notice of how neighborhoods formed and how they needed to grow. The new movement now taking place across the nation focuses more on what makes a city heatlthy, econonically viable, and sustainable. There will be growing pains as everyone adjusts, but the end result is a city that is active, alive, and accessible to everyone from ages 8 to 88.