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A Playbook on the Politics of Better Streets

In conversation with former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
As transportation commissioner, Sadik-Khan oversaw the redesign of Times Square.
As transportation commissioner, Sadik-Khan oversaw the redesign of Times Square.alexpro9500 / Shutterstock.com

During her tenure as New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan oversaw the addition of 400 miles of new bike lanes, helped implement the nation’s largest bike-sharing system, converted 60 plazas into spaces where people could sit and relax, and repurposed 180 acres of asphalt for pedestrian and bike use. None of it was easy—she faced opposition, harsh criticism, and even legal backlash along the way.

In her new book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution—written with her longtime colleague and chief media strategist Seth Solomonow—Sadik-Khan tells the story of how she made it happen, offering a roadmap for making cities and neighborhoods safer, more sustainable, and more connected. And she argues this can be done without spending huge sums of money. By emphasizing fast, easy-to-implement, “do-it-yourself” solutions, Sadik-Khan makes the case that being smart and creative—not having access to a hefty budget—matters most.