Friday, March 11, 2011

Pedaling to the beat of a different drummer

From the NY Times:

In four years as commissioner, Ms. Sadik-Khan has earned international fame for transforming the car-clogged streets of New York. She has directed the installation of more than 250 miles of bicycle lanes, turned parts of Broadway into pedestrian plazas and eliminated hundreds of parking spots across the city. Even some of her critics concede they are impressed with the scope and the speed of her achievements.

But among the city’s political class, Ms. Sadik-Khan has also become notorious for a brusque, I-know-best style and a reluctance to compromise.

In public screeds and private whispers, many city leaders say they have felt rebuffed, alienated or outright dismissed by Ms. Sadik-Khan, with several recounting in interviews having picked up their phones to find her yelling on the other end. And she recently set City Hall atwitter by appearing to deflect criticism over the response to the December blizzard to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

“Even if one appreciates some of Janette’s goals, it’s clear the approach has been very alienating all over the city,” said Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate. “There is a needless level of conflict. A lot of communities have become distrustful of the approach that the mayor and Janette have taken.”

In the past several months, even members of the Bloomberg administration have begun to acknowledge that Ms. Sadik-Khan’s aggressive style, so effective at first, may have morphed into a liability. The mayor, who found himself booed over bicycle lanes at a town hall meeting in Queens in January, spoke with Ms. Sadik-Khan, and they agreed she would solicit more opinions from neighborhood leaders. Since then, she has been making conciliatory phone calls to City Council members, adopting a friendlier tone and proposing more collaboration.


georgetheatheist said...

Elvira Gulch

Anonymous said...

the cost of bike lanes, with their special pavement and curbing under the queens side of the queensboro bridge,really disturbs me.

this location is bridge plaza ,westbound to 21 st. street.
i never see a bike rider there. what a waste of money.

you may recall that recently our community in Bayside,tried to warn the d.o.t and highways that the curbs on the center malls along 42 avenue from F.lewis blvd. to the clearview exp., were in need of replacement for twenty years.
we sent photos and e-mails to the city and state officials,weekly newspapers and Q.C. but the 18 " reenforced curbs were not installed.
the paving of the avenue continued and constant flooding is the result.

there IS money for unused bike lanes and pavement/curbing in L.I.C,though.

Erik Baard said...

I use the Queensboro Plaza bike lane and many other people us it daily. The current bike lane was largelt underutilized sidewalk (sidewalk remains on the other side) and traffic islands.

Anonymous said...

Look many of the bike lanes installed are under utilized vs usage on a cost basis. Sure we need bike lane for recreation but how about placing them in areas along waterside and park areas - not midtown. I do think and feel the pedestrian malls etc along Broadway are fantastic and it is much easier to walk through these areas - even pleasant - especially for tourist who otherwise stood in the middle of sidewalks in the past.

Auntie Pasta said...

F*** the bike lines. Check out who she's handing out the the subcontracts to. Most of them are not NYC companies. get your panties in a knot over that.

one of the prime subcontracts went to an engineering company owned in the Philippines. They were the ones who counted how many vehicles were parked with city placards. it was minimum wage grunts at 4:30am who did the dirty work. The purpose of this was two fold- to bust city workers with phony placards and to continue to make the area below Canal Street a special no go zone for the working class.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, I biked all over this City and loved it. Now that it has become a political statement-- forget it!

Emir said...

I agree with the third anonymous. The bike riding issue has become one big political football.

Secondly, it seems nowadays, bike lanes are placed everywhere and anywhere without much thought or planning.

Bike lanes are suitable for some places but not just anywhere.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a bike lane going up the side of a building or on an elevated train line.

rexlic said...

I think the salient stat is that in four years, her budget has gone up 36%. Yet every year, police and fire and library services are threatened, if not slashed, all in the name of shared sacrifices. And Mayor McChee$e, whose financial acumen is so unique and glorious that we mortals need his guidance for a third time, is calling for 4% more cuts from all non-emergency departments. Does this really mean slashing the bike lane budget that amount? Breath-holding can commence now.

Just as an irrelevant aside: after the brutal winter, the city's streets are in more brutal shape than ever; driving on them may result in loss of kidney function. Perhaps the Bicycle Commissioner can look into this?

Missing Foundation said...

Sure we need bike lane for recreation but how about placing them in areas along waterside and park areas - not midtown.

Makes sense ... if this was Chicago or just about any other city.

Here the waterfront goes to developers who build for rich people.

The waterfront nuts, like the bike nuts, fulfill the agenda of the politicians, and by extension, the developers.

Anonymous said...

Too late for this. She already has drained this city of our scarce funds that could have went to wiser ideas like:





Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

wait until BIKE-O PSYCO-SADIE rides into one of the foot deep pot holes that the city can't fix, because she is wasting the funds on bike lanes.