The human mind works in such a way that sudden change is a lot more noticeable than gradual change. If you're slowly going bald, the change will by a lot more apparent to people who haven't seen you in years than to those who see you every day. So now that New York is getting a new mayor and transportation commissioner, we should look back at how the city was a few short years ago.
The transformation is pretty amazing when you think of the scale of the project. It should serve as inspiration to cities around the US and the world who are still dragging they feet when it comes to making their streets safer, greener, and healthier.
Looking ahead, our friend Clarence wrote:
We have similarly high hopes for Mayor Bill de Blaiso as he takes office, and look forward to what he and new NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg accomplish. Even though so much has changed, the vast majority of our streets still need to be rethought and redesigned. We need more space for efficient modes, slower speed limits, and traffic calming for our most vulnerable citizens. I hope this short gets them excited to top the transportation record of the Bloomberg administration.
Agreed! Now's not the time for NYC to rest on its laurels.
A lot of this progress probably would not have happened without Janette Sadik-Khan. Here's a speech she gave when she was just starting out in 2007, and she delivered on her promises to a level that is rare with public officials. See for yourself:
More on Janette's accomplishments here.
See also: Top 10 bike stories of 2013