These are strange days for the Department of Transportation and its fearless bike-loving leader, Janette Sadik-Khan. Not only does the agency find itself in the surreal position of negotiating with the Hell's Angels over a bench, but the team responsible for boring stuff like roads and highways has also become Public Enemy No. 1 to the columnists of the New York Post for the wave of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas that has swept the city. Today the tabloid's most agitated flamethrower, Andrea Peyser, goes off again on the DOT over the 34th Street Transitway, the ambitious plan that calls for, among other things, closing 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues to non-bus vehicular traffic. She's a big fan! Just kidding, she thinks it may trigger the apocalypse.
The 34th Street Transitway, which would eliminate the ability to cruise from the Lincoln Tunnel to the Midtown Tunnel on one uninterrupted traffic-choked route, should be finished by 2012. "Ironically, that's the year the Mayans predicted that the world would come to a cataclysmic end," Peyser writes, exhibiting her vast knowledge of John Cusack's filmography. Her epic rant quotes anonymous government officials who call Khan "more dangerous than Robert Moses," as well as some folks who have the misfortune of actually living on 34th Street. A taste:
"So I can't access my front door because it's blocked 24/7/365 by bus lanes. I've lost my curbside access to my door. I can't get my bottled water, 30 pounds of Goya beans and my 3-year-old and 1-year-old inside because the city has determined that a one-minute improvement is more important for a guy from Ronkonkoma!"If Sadik-Khan is truly more dangerous than Robert Moses, then "30 Pounds of Goya Beans" is going to be a great show-stopping number in her musical.
· Janette's big transitway a road to ruin [NYP]
· A Car-Free 34th Street? (For One Block. Maybe.) [Curbed]