New Transportation Chief
April 29th, 2007
After months of speculation – well in transportation circles, at least—Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the appointment of Janette Sadik-Khan as his new transportation commissioner, winning even more praise from alternative transportation advocates already cheering his congestion pricing plan. She will replace Iris Weinshall, who has been increasingly under attack for being too focused on accommodating cars in the city, at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists.
New York Magazine called Sadik-Khan, a senior vice president at the international engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, the “environmentalists’ preferred candidate.” And so she seems to be.
“Ms. Sadik-Khan’s appointment is a decisive statement that the city is committed to carrying out the transportation components of PlaNYC, which are essential to improve the mobility and quality of life of all New Yorkers,” said a statement by Transportation Alternatives. The group’s executive director, Paul Steely White, went on to say, “Ms. Sadik-Khan has two things that her predecessors have lacked: solid experience in planning for transit oriented streets, and perhaps more importantly, a mayoral mandate to relieve congestion and create sustainable, greener streets.”
And the Straphangers Campaign’s Gene Russianoff said, ““By appointing Janette Sadik-Khan as city transportation commissioner, Mayor Bloomberg signals his willingness to try new solutions to tame city traffic for drivers, pedestrians, bikers and all New Yorkers.”
So why is she so popular? Planetizen notes that, during the Dinkins administration, Sadik-Khan headed an office, disbanded by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, that was “responsible for long-term transportation planning and the coordination of the various agencies and authorities with power over New York City transportation policy and infrastructure.” The Sun previously reported that her “biggest asset, according to transit experts, is her ability to pull in big federal dollars to fund local transit projects. She oversaw a $4 billion capital budget when she worked for the federal Department of Transportation.” But, according to Planetizen, Said-Khan’s “biggest and most important qualification for the DOT commissioner’s job is what is not on her resume. Sadik-Khan is not a traffic engineer.”By Gail Robinson on April 29, 2007, 8:05 pm
In category: Environment, Gotham City, Transportation | 4 Comments »