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New Commish Faces DOT Gridlock

Bureaucrats honk.

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Mayor Bloomberg’s new enviro-friendly traffic commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, starts this week. One challenge will be a culture clash inside her own agency. The Department of Transportation is a notorious, car-friendly bureaucracy. “The greeting you get from folks there is, ‘Commissioners come, commissioners go, and we’re always here,’ ” recalls Urbitran CEO Michael Horodniceanu, who was up for Sadik-Khan’s job but ultimately lost out. Her arrival signals the mayor’s “sea change in attitude” toward congestion, one watchdog says. Sadik-Khan’s predecessor, Iris Weinshall, Mrs. Chuck Schumer, was appointed by Rudy Giuliani in 2000 and had a background in administration, not traffic control. (She testified this year that New York’s traffic nightmare was a false “perception”: There aren’t more cars, she said, just more large ones.) Sadik-Khan is a radical in comparison. What’s her priority for New York? “Green it up,” she says.

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