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Five Eclectic Questions for Streetfighter Janette Sadik-Khan

Right before former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan set off on a multi-city book tour for Streetfight (along with co-author Seth Solomonow), I was able to get a few minutes to ask her five eclectic questions in Washington Square Park.

Want to know the story behind the appearance of hundreds of cheap lawn chairs on opening day in car-free Times Square? We asked her. Want to know if she has a crush on David Byrne? We asked her that too! Want to know her favorite color jellybean? Well, we didn't ask her that.

But we think you'll enjoy our quick, engaging conversation that's saturated with footage from the Streetfilms vault from Sadik-Khan's 2007-2013 tenure at NYC DOT.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Alexander Vucelic

    one person can make a difference ! Thank you JSK !

  • Mott Borp

    Fun stuff!

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    She ruined my park by replacing an open pedestrian plaza dedicated to sculptures, a park created with local funding and with community support, with a bike park kiosk...turning it into a transportation hub and taking our precious open space away from the community. Its not as if there weren't a perfectly good, community-advocated location for the bike kiosk just across the street, that would have taken out parking spots rather than people spots.

    I curse her every time I am almost run over by a bicyclist riding in the the greatly diminished pedestrian space surrounding the bike kiosk...which means just about every time I walk there.

    I still cannot fathom why she did that. Was Petrosino Square Park the sacrifice to make everything good happen elsewhere?

  • AMH

    Did she do that, or was it a parking-obsessed CB who couldn't stand to see curb space used more efficiently?

  • gorgon

    That Citi bike kiosk is well placed. Would have been better if they removed 3 or 4 parking spaces instead but as I recalled the CB was against that plain and simple.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    Your memory is faulty. The community board, every local community group, and every elected for the area asked that it be put in the street, just feet away, replacing cars. The placement went against all DOT guidelines: promote open pedestrian space, no bikes too close to trees, no riding on sidewalks, no changing pedestrian pathing. It was, and is, a total fail.

  • Lora Tenenbaum

    It was her. Community Board 2 Manhattan is anything but parking obsessed. They wanted the bike kiosk in the street, replacing parking spots. What they do know is that this neighborhood's open park space falls well below the average for the City, and this taking reduced it even further.

    We have been told that there is no way the DOT is going to move it, even thought they could. And by the way, it is not on the curb, it is smack in the center of the plaza.

  • Walter Crunch

    Booo hooooooooo