Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan continues to assemble an impressive management team.
Following in the footsteps of Bruce Schaller and Jon Orcutt, Project for Public Spaces vice president and transportation program director Andy Wiley-Schwartz is heading over to 40 Worth Street where he will be
reporting to Deputy Commissioner Schaller at DOT’s new Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. There they will be working to implement the transportation and public space objectives set out in Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC.
Wiley-Schwartz starts at DOT on Monday. While there has been no official announcement of his hiring or his title, word has it Wiley-Schwartz will be working on new public space initiatives, which seems like a natural fit, given his experience at PPS. With DOT’s recent focus on reclaiming under-utilized bits and pieces of street space as public plazas and with tremendous grassroots energy in places like Hell’s Kitchen, SoHo, Gansevoort, Grand Army Plaza, Williamsburg and even the occasional, random on-street parking spot — it seems like "public space initiatives" could be a pretty exciting job description at DOT right now.
Wiley-Schwartz has been a contributor here at Streetsblog. At PPS he specialized in working with Departments of Transportation and community groups all across the U.S. on downtown street enhancement, traffic calming and bicycle and pedestrian projects. He is a national lead in the Context Sensitive Solutions movement, an articulate advocate and just a really pleasant guy to work with. Here is an excerpt from his PPS bio:
He specializes in helping communities rebuild their neighborhoods and cities by leveraging transportation funding into the development of public spaces, including streets and other transportation facilities, in part by focusing on strategic partnerships and programming.
Andy’s current projects include PPS’s New Jersey Smart Choices program: an outreach, education and training program to help municipalities plan and make sustainable land use decisions in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He is also working with the Times Square Alliance in New York City, the City of Elmira, NY to revitalize the area under and around a railroad viaduct downtown, and advising the City of Indianapolis on their plan to build a "Cultural Trail" through their central business district.
And, no, this is not an April Fool’s prank. It’s June, people.