January 24, 2021

Polly

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the end of the road for Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s transportation commissioner.

Polly Trottenberg is quitting, perhaps to take a job with President-elect Joe Biden.

She is the latest key player to leave City Hall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.

For more than seven years Trottenberg was one of the mayor’s highest-profile commissioners.

Trottenberg had a huge portfolio, covering all things related to city streets.

Now, she’s hitting the road with 13 months left in the de Blasio administration.

“We all owe Polly Trottenberg a debt of gratitude for her incredible service to New York City,” said de Blasio. “She is a tireless and talented public servant who has made our city safer, fairer, and more accessible. I’m proud to have worked so closely with her, and I wish her all the best in whatever comes next.”

“I will always be grateful to Mayor de Blasio for the incredible opportunity to serve the city I love so much, and especially for the chance to lead the 5,800 dedicated public servants at DOT,” Trottenberg said. “I have been honored to work with them and see the passion, creativity and dedication they bring every day to serving New Yorkers, especially during the pandemic of the last eight months. For now, I just say thank you, one and all.”

MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK

Trottenberg told the New York Times she was not particularly close to de Blasio, and they didn’t speak that often, but together they pushed through major projects, including “Vision Zero,” with its speed cameras and pedestrian plazas, and the lowering of the speed limit to 25 mph.

There was also the reconfiguration of city streets, including the 14th Street busway and a tripling of bike lane mileage.

During the pandemic, she was successful in devoting more street space to restaurants and recreation.

“The real issue here is why is she leaving now? And why are so many de Blasio people leaving before we get close to the end of his term?” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.

Sheinkopf pointed to the mid-pandemic departures of Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot and Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who also served as food czar.

“You’re in a pandemic, a fiscal crisis, and, frankly, a city management emergency. It’s just not looking very good and de Blasio’s future and his legacy will be judged by what happens now, not what’s happened in the past,” Sheinkopf said.

De Blasio said every departed commissioner leaves behind a capable team.

“We already have the best talent. We have a very deep bench,” the mayor said.

As his time in office heads to the ninth inning, more are expected to leave Team de Blasio.

Advocacy groups such as Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance praised Trottenberg as a savvy commissioner who made a real difference.

“New Yorkers owe Polly Trottenberg a sincere debt of gratitude. During her tenure, the Department of Transportation rolled out more bus

…...

City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Monday announced plans to resign in early December, nearly seven years after she joined Mayor de Blasio’s administration with the goal of reducing traffic deaths.

Loading...

Load Error

Trottenberg — whose job oversaw the city’s streets, sidewalks and Staten Island Ferry — has been credited with pushing forward with the rollout of bike and bus lanes across the city, even when she sometimes lacked public support from the mayor.

“I have been honored to work with them and see the passion, creativity and dedication they bring every day to serving New Yorkers, especially during the pandemic of the last eight months,” Trottenberg said in a statement. “For now, I just say thank you, one and all.”

She was brought on to the top Department of Transportation role when de Blasio took office in 2014 after previously serving as undersecretary at the U.S. DOT under President Obama.

Hizzoner put Trottenberg in charge of his Vision Zero program, which aimed to end traffic deaths across the five boroughs through street design and enforcement of reckless drivers.

“This is something for the ages,” de Blasio said Monday of Trottenberg’s departure. “This city, a place known for so much intensity and so much activity, has actually been the place leading the nation in terms of how to be safer.”

The Vision Zero program has been hailed as a model for other cities to improve street safety — but it’s had mixed results.

After the city saw reductions in traffic fatalities during Trottenberg’s first five years at the helm, deaths ticked up last year and are on pace to increase again in 2020.

The DOT has installed more than 100 miles of bike lanes since de Blasio took office, and Trottenberg pushed for a 2019 plan called the “Green Wave” with the goal of installing 80 new miles of protected bike lanes before the end of the mayor’s term in January 2022.

That plan has been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic — and in September seven cyclists died on city streets, the most in a single month since de Blasio took office.

Trottenberg also served as de Blasio’s appointee on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board from 2014 through 2019, and was praised by transit officials as a voice of reason in a room full of strong personalities.

It’s unclear what’s next for Trottenberg, an avid cyclist who made a point to regularly ride her bicycle to work at the DOT’s lower Manhattan headquarters.

She’s been appointed as a transportation adviser on President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team — and a return to federal government could be in the cards.

De Blasio said he’ll likely tap a current DOT staffer to ride out the remainder of the term.

“We have a very deep bench,” said de Blasio. “She’s got a great team she’s assembled, and we’ll be able to continue that work.”

———

©2020 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Continue
…...

New York City’s long-time transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg is hitting the road, City Hall said Monday.

Trottenberg, city Department of Transportation chief since 2014, will leave the administration in early December — with one year still left in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure.

“We all owe Polly Trottenberg a debt of gratitude for her incredible service to New York City,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“She is a tireless and talented public servant who has made our city safer, fairer, and more accessible.

As transportation commissioner, Trottenberg helmed the city’s “Vision Zero” plan to reduce traffic fatalities, which included the rollout of thousands of speed cameras across the five boroughs.

Yet while pedestrian and other road deaths reached all-time lows at points in the de Blasio era, the city is nowhere near its goal of zero deaths by 2024. Traffic deaths have also surged since 2019.

The Massachusetts native also took lead on major mass transit initiatives — representing the city on the MTA board and steering projects like the 14th Street busway, which has become a model for other parts of the city.

Trottenberg, who served as undersecretary for policy at the US DOT during the Obama administration, recently took a role with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

“I will always be grateful to Mayor de Blasio for the incredible opportunity to serve the city I love so much, and especially for the chance to lead the 5,800 dedicated public servants at DOT,” she said in a statement.

She leaves behind a city with significant transportation challenges, according to one advocate.

“We’re grateful for the commissioner’s service, and wish her well in Washington,” said Transportation Alternatives director Danny Harris.

“We also see that New York is in its deadliest year of traffic violence since Mayor de Blasio took office. We clearly have a lot to do moving forward.”

Source Article

...

Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City

City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was selected among 18 others to join the Biden-Harris Transition team and weigh in on transit issues nationwide.

Members of agency review teams were released Tuesday by the Biden-Harris Transition and include Vinn White, a transportation advisor to the state of New Jersey, and Brendan Danaher, who leads up government affairs for the Transport Workers Union of America.

Phillip Washington will have the reins of this department’s transition team with the clout of being CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, urgent calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad. The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One,” said Senator Ted Kaufman, Co-Chair of the Biden-Harris Transition. “The work of the agency review teams is critical for protecting national security, addressing the ongoing public health crisis, and demonstrating that America remains the beacon of democracy for the world.”

One question on the minds of reporters in yesterday’s press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio was whether or not he would be placing pressure on the transition team to approve congestion pricing for motorists entering Manhattan’s central business district in order to provide a steady revenue stream for the MTA and avoid future financial crises.

Congestion pricing has sat in limbo since 2017 when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced it would officially be an option to pull the MTA out the mess it was in at the time. While it was approved by the state Senate in 2019, the state has been waiting on an inexplicably uncooperative federal government for permission to proceed with the plan.

The MTA continues to ask the federal government for $12 billion to carry the COVID-19 distressed agency through the end of 2021. After having ridership numbers reduced by 90% early on in the pandemic, the MTA has logged a slow return since New York City began its reopening in June.

Currently, ridership for all agencies under the MTA umbrella comes in at about 63.7% of the same time last years as of Nov. 11. That means 1,743,742 took mass transit on Monday.

De Blasio, however, said there were bigger fish to fry and that his focus will be on how the Biden administration handles COVID-19 through a clear strategy for deploying a vaccine and another stimulus, which has not been seen since March when the CARES Act was passed.

Trottenberg has led DOT under Mayor de Blasio since the beginning of his administration in 2014 and has overseen the deployment of the key transportation policy initiative in City Hall, Vision Zero.

Having served on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Trottenberg was also Under Secretary

…...