By any measure, young city dwellers are less and less likely to own a car. And New York City officials have spent millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours ensuring that trend works for the recent grads and young professionals that flock to it constantly. NYC bus, rail, and ferry systems are keeping up with a growing population; the roads, well, that’s a different story altogether.
Transportation engineer Samuel Schwartz — better known as “Gridlock Sam” to his readers in the Daily News — has studied transportation in New York City for almost all his life, beginning as a taxi driver in the 1960s, and eventually serving as the Department of Transportation’s Chief Engineer. Today, his eponymous consulting firm helps the city consider what efficiency could look like and his new book, Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars, is on the display rack. The semi-autobiographical book follows New York City’s evolution into a public transit powerhouse and kicks dirt onto the grave of urban drivers.