During her time as New York City’s transformative transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013, Janette Sadik-Khan once referred to herself as “basically the largest real-estate developer in New York City.” The remark, while maybe somewhat tongue-in-cheek, reflected the sweeping scope and power in which she approached her job. Rather than simply manage the city’s automobile-focused streets, Sadik-Khan sought to change that biased transportation premise, by adding 400 miles of bike lanes and turning notoriously congested intersections like Times Square into pedestrian plazas. Her policies rankled businesses and car-owning New Yorkers used to casually driving into Manhattan and finding a pre-dinner parking spot. But for a generation of cyclists and urbanists, she became a vanguard whose ideas, once seen as radical, have now become de rigeur in urban planning circles.
Today, Sadik-Khan works as a transportation consultant for Bloomberg Associates, where she advises cities across the world. Not surprisingly, during the