Obama’s Transpo Secretary Is a Big Fan of Janette Sadik-Khan

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood immediately after addressing the Bike Summit. Photo: Clarence Eckerson

New York City politicians may have had their feathers ruffled by Janette Sadik-Khan, but on the national stage, New York City’s transportation commissioner is getting nothing but love from the Obama administration for her innovative leadership.

Streetsblog Capitol Hill’s Tanya Snyder reports that at the National Bike Summit last night, US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood had this to say about Sadik-Khan:

A quite extraordinary lady as all of you know. She has really put New York on the map when it comes to making New York a livable, sustainable community with lots of opportunities for walking, and biking paths, and you can live in New York and not own an automobile. So Janette, thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your leadership.

New York City is a liberal bastion and the least car-dependent city in the country. But our senior senator seems intent on halting the progress of innovative street designs here in NYC, while representatives from Maryland and Oregon carry the banner for bike infrastructure in Congress. One of our mayoral hopefuls makes wisecracks about ripping out bike lanes, while the next mayor of Chicago has pledged to install miles of bikeways, with an emphasis on physically-protected lanes, each year he’s in office.

What does it say about the political class in this town when changes to make our streets safer leave our electeds hyperventilating, while a former Republican congressman from Peoria touts their safety and environmental benefits?