Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is it a coincidence that NYC and Chicago's Transportation Czars Support Biking?

New York’s Transportation Comissisioner, Janet Sadik-Khan was recently profiled on NBC’s news magazine program, Rock Center with Brian Williams. Sadik-Khan is leading a transformation of the way New York deals with traffic and safety in their streets. One of Sadik-Khan’s first initiatives was closing a full lane of traffic in Times Square to make it safer for the thousands of pedestrians that traverse it each day. However, she is making her biggest headlines for her plans to get more New Yorkers to ride bicycles.
In four short years as Transportation Comissioner, Sadik-Khan has overseen the implementation of over 260 miles of bike lanes throughout New York. While some New Yorkers detest the bike lanes, Sadik-Khan has the full support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan have helped double the amount of people using bicycles in Manhattan in the last few years. While that number has doubled, Sadik-Khan still hopes more will make the change, as only 0.6% of New Yorkers choose to bike in Manhattan. In anticipation of increased biking, Sadik-Khan has installed over 12,000 bicycle racks in New York City.
Another supporter of Sadik-Khan is Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. Klein, like Sadik-Khan, is an avid cyclist who uses his position to help make Chicago more bicycle-friendly as well. Klein agrees with Sadik-Klein that encouraging their residents to use bicycles can help on many levels stating, “There’s the congestion problem.The pollution problem. The obesity problem. The gas problem.”
It is no coincidence that the transportation commissioners of two of the biggest cities in the United States have dedicated their agendas to bicycle proliferation. With more cities likely to follow suit, Sadik-Khan and Klein are two visionaries that can help provide a bright future for cyclists.
If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.