I for one will be eagerly following the Q&A taking place on the Times’ City Room blog with newly-appointed Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Part one of six is up now, and I almost can’t believe what I’m reading… she is talking about the kind of transportation scenario in New York City that I have only dreamed of until now. Here are a couple of choice bits:
Q. What will you specifically do to change the institutional bias of DOT away from moving cars, and towards moving people?
A. Commissioner Sadik-Khan: PlaNYC explicitly makes mass transit, cycling and walking transportation priorities for the city, so the change in emphasis you and many other New Yorkers are looking for is in the works. My team at DOT â€” newcomers and veterans alike â€” are focused on bringing about congestion pricing and all the measures that complement it, including an expanded and better bicycle network, bus rapid transit lines, traffic calming and new public spaces.
(on Congestion Pricing)
Commissioner Sadik-Khan: All travel in the city and the region involves costs and choices. With congestion pricing, we are seeking to alter somewhat the calculation people use to make those choices.
The question isnâ€™t whether we pay to get around our City, but how. The alternative to the Mayorâ€™s plan is to continue to pay in the form of wasted time, costly deliveries and polluted air. Congestion pricing, by reducing traffic jams and allowing us to pay for long awaited mass transit improvements, will secure a greater and greener City for our children.
Expanded and better bicycle network! Traffic calming! Bus Rapid Transit lanes!! The revolution is on.
City Room’s complete Answers from the Transportation Commissioner Part 1 can be read here.