Why You Should Know Who Janette Sadik-Khan Is

Photo via NY Mag by Randy Harris

Since 2007, Janette Sadik-Khan has been commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and “is responsible for 6,000 miles of streets and highways, nearly 800 bridges, 1.3 million street signs, 300,000 streetlights and 12,000 signalized intersections, as well as the Staten Island Ferry, the nation’s busiest commuter ferry service carrying over 19 million passengers annually.

Needless to say, she’s got a lot of responsibility. However, this isn’t why you should know who she is. The face of New York City’s streets has been drastically changing the past few years and the person behind these changes is Janette Sadik-Khan. Public squares devoid of vehicular traffic and a rapidly growing network of bicycle-friendly infrastructure are all just part of the changes that are shaping how people interact with the “mean” streets of NYC.

In addition to the changes she’s overseeing it is equally important to consider how she is making these changes:

The real wonder here is that this is a new way of governing. In large part she learned it from Bloomberg and then set it to a fast beat. It’s about policy dictated by facts rather than interest groups. It’s about not simply cutting the red tape of bureaucracy but, if need be, finding a path entirely around it. It’s about actually taking action, now.

The above quote comes from a recent Esquire magazine profile, and I highly recommend reading it here: Janette Sadik-Khan: Urban Reengineer

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