Sunday, October 10, 2010
Commish vs. Mike deputy
Last Updated: 6:28 AM, September 19, 2010
Posted: 2:14 AM, September 19, 2010
Transportation Commissioner Jan ette Sadik-Khan may finally have met her match when it comes to pushing for more bicycle lanes throughout the city.
His name is Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, her boss.
Sadik-Khan is an avid bicyclist and cycling advocate and has installed more bike lanes throughout the boroughs than any of her predecessors, sometimes over the objections of local residents.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz went so far as to brand her a "zealot," after Sadik-Khan unveiled plans to set aside space for bikers on Prospect Park West.
Enter Goldsmith, the ex-Indianapolis mayor, who came on board in June and clearly isn't as imbued with bicycling fever as Sadik-Khan.
Two sources said the deputy mayor and the commissioner had some heated words recently, which Sadik-Khan's camp denies.
"The commissioner has not argued with the deputy mayor on any issue," declared a Transportation spokesman.
Goldsmith refuses to discuss the matter.
When asked about his views on bike lanes, he referred a reporter to an interview aired last month on National Public Radio, where he emphasized the need to "balance" the needs of bicyclists and motorists.
"Policies can literally and figuratively collide with automobiles and transportation policy," Goldsmith said on NPR."
Through spokesmen, Sadik-Khan and Goldsmith insisted they're both pedaling in the same direction.
But she no longer reports just to him.
In a move officials say was planned long before Goldsmith got here, oversight of the Transportation Department is being split between Goldsmith and Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, who's in charge of economic development.