City Looks to Ease Traffic Woes

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Tonight, the Transportation Commissioner gives a major speech outlining the city's plan.

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has this preview.

It was a year ago, right after unveiling congestion pricing, that Mayor Bloomberg chose Janette Sadik-Khan to begin to treat streets as public gathering spaces rather than as mere thoroughfares for traffic.

A former consultant who bikes to work in lower Manhattan, Sadik-Khan has long been enamored of international transportation innovators like Jan Gehl of Denmark and former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa.

That made her well-matched to implement the other changes that the mayor has outlined - building more bike lanes, creating a public plaza in every community and increasing parking meter rates.

The speech tonight shows that these ideas, even those that restrict cars and make driving more expensive, are still very much alive.

For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.