Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“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,” Commissioner Trottenberg said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Monday announced her resignation from the de Blasio administration, effective in early December.
Trottenberg has served as DOT commissioner since January 2014, making her the longest-serving commissioner in the agency’s history and one of the longest-serving commissioners in the de Blasio administration.
Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed Trottenberg as a nation-leading advocate for street safety and accessibility who has led unprecedented efforts to expand New York City’s streets for more sustainable modes like cycling and buses, with a focus on underserved communities.
While Trottenberg has not announced new employment, she had been asked earlier this month to volunteer on the Biden-Harris presidential transition team, advising on transportation.
De Blasio boasted that Trottenberg spearheaded his administration’s efforts around a range of transportation issues, including:
Better Buses and Mass Transit
As part of its Better Buses plan, the administration worked closely with MTA New York City Transit, committing to expanded access to buses, including an additional 64 more miles of dedicated bus lanes around the City since 2014, for a total of nearly 138 miles. The 14th Street Busway, begun in 2019 and made permanent this year, has received international attention for increasing ridership and decreasing travel times. This year, DOT has created a record number of bus-priority projects, including along Jay Street in Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, and East 149th Street and E.L. Grant Highway in the Bronx.
Trottenberg served for five years as a mayoral appointee on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she served as a voice for New York’s subway and bus riders and advocated for greater system accessibility.
Street Safety and Pedestrianization
NYC was the first American city to adopt Vision Zero. DOT has served as the lead agency since 2014 for a multi-agency effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities through enforcement, engineering and education. Traffic fatalities in New York City have been recorded since 1910 — and six of the city’s seven safest years have happened since 2014.
As part of Vision Zero, Trottenberg was instrumental in successfully advocating for the State legislation that allowed the City to lower its default speed limit to 25 MPH and expand its speed-camera program to 750 zones and 2,000 cameras, making it the largest such program in the world.
Since 2014, New York City has undertaken over 700 street-improvement projects, making streets safer for all users. DOT has continued adding car-free pedestrian plazas citywide, over 70 plazas now covering over 20 acres of former street space.
South Queens residents will recall Trottenberg for helping to implement Select Bus Service along the Cross Bay Boulevard-Woodhaven Boulevard Corridor and for aiding in launching daily ferry service in the five boroughs.
“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.”