The other day I was bitching about biking and NYC and a trusted person said, no, the DOT had gotten much better. Like in the past year. He mentioned Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan as the reason and gave two examples:
1) they're starting the judge traffic flow by people moved rather than cars moved. That seems minor, but it's actually huge since in the past the DOT had the wrong prime directive: how to maximize number of cars moving in the city.
2) they're starting to actually do and improve things and not just holding meetings where cranky people tell them how bad change is.
To wit: Central Park was not reopened to extra traffic between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I didn't know this. I don't use the park much anymore because, well, there's traffic. I mean, there was still traffic in Central Park this year. But this year there weren't more hours for traffic like has been tradition in all years past. This year, there were no meetings. She just did it. And the city survived just fine (better, some might say). That's what's needed! Maybe Central Park really can become car free.
And now here's an interesting piece in the Post. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is pissed because the city began installing pedestrian islands on his turf and he didn't know about it. Silver, the idiot, wants this stopped. "I would like for someone to explain the need," he said. "I do not understand the need."
"Sadik-Khan said that between 2000 and 2005 there have been 16 serious traffic injuries and four fatalities on the Lower East Side involving seniors."
I understand politics is about turf, but any man who doesn't want a pedestrian island on a street where lots of pedestrians have been killed is a fool. I hope some old lady in his district slaps him silly.
But leaving aside the politics, what I really like is that the DOT just did it. Make things better. Do it. That's what has been lacking. Not the ideas. Not the money. The will! Maybe Sadik-Khan has the will!
"She conceded the community was notified only last week - after the project was already under way." Good weather, she said. Things happened a little faster than planned. Of coooourse... Bravo!
I think I'll write her about fixing bike access for the Queens side of the Queensboro Bridge. And might I recommend more bike lanes in the 22nd District? And don't bother asking the bastard Peter Vallone Jr. Just do it!