Streetfilms: An Interview with Sam Schwartz

Sam Schwartz, aka "Gridlock Sam," is best-known to many New Yorkers through his Daily News column about the city's quotidian traffic woes. Schwartz is the president and CEO of Sam Schwartz LLC, a traffic planning and engineering firm that has worked on projects including the JFK AirTrain, the IKEA project in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the World Trade Center Memorial.  Before he moved to the private sector in 1990, Schwartz served as NYC traffic commissioner and as deputy commissioner of transportation in the Koch administration. He sat recently with Mark Gorton, president and founder of the Open Planning Project, to discuss congestion pricing, cars in parks, and the way pedestrians in this city don't get much respect from traffic planners. As the city begins looking for a new transportation commissioner to replace Iris Weinshall, this interview is worth watching:

"We should be getting the message that we can't rely on gasoline and we can't rely on the private automobile to handle mass transportation."
Running time: 9 minutes 49 seconds

"The people in the transportation community that are on the far right...and on the far left agree that the best solution, the most capitalist solution and the most socialist solution, is the same solution: It's congestion pricing."
Running time: 9 minutes 57 seconds

"Walking is the dominant mode [of travel]. But when the calculations are being done, calculations for pedestrians are almost nonexistent."
Running time: 8 minutes 13 seconds