The city famously known for blaring horns, torrential traffic and crazy cabbies has become a national leader in creating livable streets. Leading that charge is Janette Sadik-Khan, head of the NYC Department of Transportation.
Sadik-Khan is fast-becoming a rock star in transportation circles.
Supported by effective advocacy, Sadik-Khan has begun to establish a new transportation hierarchy in her city where she has “revamped streetscapes designed to encourage carfree movement and foster social activity.” (according to Streetfilms).
For an introduction to Ms. Sadik-Khan and an overview of the projects that are winning her a lot of fans in NYC (and around the country) watch the video interview below put together by Streetfilms:
Ms. Sadik-Khan was in Portland a few weeks ago (at the behest of TriMet). While here, she met with local transportation bigwigs, took tours of our transit system, and shared her insights.
The Oregonian’s Jonathan Nicholas wrote an editorial about her visit and characterized her vision (emphasis mine):
Sadik-Khan’s mantra: A transportation department’s primary responsibility is no longer facilitating the movement of vehicles from point A to point B. Its primary responsibility is making the most of public assets in pursuit of the highest possible quality of urban life.
For far too long, Sadik-Khan thinks, far too much of this “public realm” has been singularly devoted to shepherding automobiles. By hacking off a small percentage of that space and devoting it to other purposes, she’s transforming the urban environment. And becoming the most popular woman in New York
For once, it seems like Portland is the one with something to learn.