Streets can be tough to change. Between institutional inertia, tight budgets, bureaucratic red tape, and the political risks of upsetting the status quo, even relatively simple improvements for walking, biking, or transit can take years to pull off -- if they ever get implemented at all.
But a new generation of transportation officials have shown that it doesn't have to be that way. Cities can actually "get shit done," as former DC and Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein puts it in his new book from Island Press, Start-Up City.
Streetfilms and our producer, Mark Gorton, recently got to sit down (and walk around) with Gabe to talk about the ideas in the book, which ties together his career as a transportation commissioner and his experience in start-ups like Zipcar. Start-Up City is filled with advice about how to get projects done quickly while choosing the best option for the public (and, of course, having fun). You can get a flavor for the book in this extensive interview with Gabe.
Full disclosure: Gabe Klein sits on the board of OpenPlans, the non-profit that produces Streetfilms and Streetsblog. This video is made possible by the Knight Foundation.
Clarence Eckerson Jr. is the Director of Video Production for NYCSR's StreetFilms and producer of bikeTV. He loves the color purple, chocolate chip cookies, and enjoys walking, biking, and taking transit. He has never owned a driver's license.