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Janette Sadik-Khan’s “Sustainable Streets”

Last night at the Municipal Art Society, NYC DOT Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, and her team unveiled "Sustainable Streets" - a Strategic Plan for 2008 and beyond. The house was packed and since many weren't able to get a ticket to the hottest livable streets party in town, we posted highlights of her historic speech to share.


[intro music]

Janette Sadik-Khan: [00:06] One of the major threads in the conversation is what are we going to do now that the London model of congestion pricing is on the shelf? And perhaps we should look to the Paris model of implementing new boulevards and putting prioritisation for buses and bikes on the streets. And there was talk last year about the Copenhagen model and what we’re going to do to increase bike use. And I really want to talk today and be clear that the simple fact is that we are implementing the New York City model.


[applause]

Janette Sadik-Khan: [00:46] We are going to be building on our strengths, improving our shortcomings and do everything that we can in dealing with all this in the context of New York City style governance and democracy. So Sustainable Streets, the strategic plan that we’re releasing tonight, is a major contribution I think to defining the New York model for achieving sustainable transportation. And it’s really a handbook for creating new streetscapes for clean mobility and attractive urban places that would really benefit the greatest city in the world. The New York model will build on our huge mass transit system and the fact that we’ve got incredible foot traffic in the city of New York. It’s going to provide safer travel and better infrastructure for everyone. It’s going to develop more effective ways for us to move buses through our system. It’s going to have clear parking policies to reduce congestion, and it’s going to treat streets as valuable public places rather than utilitarian corridors.


[applause]

Janette Sadik-Khan: [01:51] It’s going to develop biking into a much greater component of our transportation system, and it’s going to reflect the fact that we have run out of room for more driving. And I believe at some point it will contain congestion price in it. A second component of what we’re trying to do is to create effective street networks for green transportation, and that’s really the core of our mobility programme, and working with Leigh Sander and Howard Roberts at the MTA New York City Transit has been an incredible pleasure. And we recently announced the city’s first ever bus rapid transit system in the Bronx on Fordham Road, and we’ve got a new programme to move buses through congested hot spots in Downtown Brooklyn and in Jamaica which we’ll be doing later this year. This year we’re also going to be moving forward and building on our innovative 9th Avenue bike lane that some of you may have seen.


[applause]

Janette Sadik-Khan: [02:51] And I think it’s really become the gold standard for bike and pedestrian planning. And we’re going to continue our rapid expansion of the bike route network. Sustainable Streets actually commits us to double bike community by 2015, and triple it by 2020. So in addition to what we’re doing on the bike front, we’re doing everything we can to build world class streets for a world class city. We’re remaking our street spaces into attractive and vibrant public places, which I think is one of the most profound contributions that New York City DOT can make to the city of New York. Many of you have seen the results of this place making in Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo and Chelsea, recently in Gansevoort, and we’ve got bigger and better things to come later this year. This summer we are going to be implementing a new series of main streets. We’re kicking that off with some improvements in Madison Square Park, putting basically the square back into Madison Square, and we are going to be… yeah, it’s going to be pretty cool. Sort of transforming what has been basically a sea of pavement in 23rd Street and 5th and some of you know about that. And park into new pedestrian and public spaces. This has been a tremendous year. A tremendous 365 days, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team at New York City DOT for the creativity and the hard work they’ve put in to advancing this plan. I think the Department has already seen this as national model for innovation and what needs to be done in terms of urban policies. And cities across the country are already calling us for advice on how to implement the same kind of policies. I hope that this plan convinces all of you in the city that, and beyond, that New York City is doing everything it can to align its priorities with the 21st century challenges that we face in terms of global, economic competition, in terms of quality of life, urban growth and climate change. Even with our congestion price in the mix, we’ve got a really ambitious agenda and a big set of tasks and it is a huge pleasure to be here with you tonight to announce this plan, which I think is in addition to everything else a fairly attractive plan. And I look forward to working with all of you to implementing this vision on the streets of New York City. So thank you so much for coming. Thank all of you, friends, colleagues for coming here tonight. Thank you.

[applause]

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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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  • http://www.parisar.org Sujit Patwardhan

    JSK is an inspiration for all who want to see Sustainable Transport to become a reality.

    We keep abreast of all these developments from the excellent short videos on StreetFilms.

    Wish you all success.