What Boris could learn from New York about cycling and walking on city streets

The Big Apple’s bold programme for making its streets better for cyclists, pedestrians and businesses puts the efforts of London’s mayor in the shade

In last Sunday’s Observer transport commentator and Labour mayoral hopeful Christian Wolmar argued that an improved cycling environment makes a city better to work and live in, described Boris Johnson’s “cycling vision” as lacking urgency and coherence, and contrasted this with the bold, fast-action programme of New York’s transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for improving the lot of cyclists and pedestrians alike. Here’s Sadik-Khan herself on that programme:

Sadik-Khan was New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appointee. His successor, Bill de Blasio has shown signs of being unsure about her. According to Ben Fried, editor-in-chief of Streetsblog, “It’s an open question whether New York will remain a beacon for progressive policy under de Blasio,” though he draws hope from an increasing alignment between de Blasio allies and the local “liveable streets” movement. On this issue, as on so many others, Johnson’s London trails the world.

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