Everyone seems to be frustrated by New York City’s lack of reliable public transport ie. the quickly failing subway system.
However, the ex-Commissioner of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan, seems to find the best in any city’s attempt at clearing the roads. Such a comment was reported by the Times of India just this week when Sadik-Khan sat down with them for an interview. Of her experience on the Delhi metro, she said, “it was the kind of experience I would hope to have in New York. What Delhi is doing is an example the world needs to follow. New York City hasn’t invested in the metro in many years and now we are paying the cost.”
And this is more than true. New York’s crumbling infrastructure and unreliable public transport system is something we have reported on time and time again, from shut downs, to fare hikes, to silly MetroCard revamps, the subway news never seems to end.
However, in the case of Delhi (and NYC of course) where there is a good, there tends to be a bad, and although the Delhi metro exceeded expectations, the high level of street congestion and lack of respect for pedestrian traffic was incomparable to the comforts that pedestrians experience now in New York City. This is exactly something that ex-Commissioner Sadik-Khan worked to improve during her tenure from 2007-2013. Her mark was most notably left in the Times Square pedestrian zone in addition to the extensive bike lane network throughout the city.
Urban planning is not done in a vacuum of course and Sadik-Khan cites taking cues from other cities as a pillar of her success with the changes within New York. For example, the parking protected bike lanes was an idea she got from the urban structure of Copenhagen. So perhaps it wouldn’t be the worst idea to continue to take some cues on successful transport systems from across the globe like that of cities like Delhi or Madrid.
Change is coming New York, at least we hope it is. You can read up on the full interview here.