Streetsblog’s Guide to the Democratic Mayoral Candidates

The September 10 primary is just a few days away, and over the course of this grueling campaign the candidates have had plenty of time to lay out their vision for New York City’s streets.

Transportation Alternatives and StreetsPAC both put together detailed candidate surveys and compiled responses from the leading Democratic candidates. For Streetsblog’s guide to the Democratic mayoral hopefuls, we used those surveys and added material from the candidates’ campaign policy books, their debate performances, and their track records as elected officials. (The Republican field was tougher to size up, with frontrunner Joe Lhota having an extensive record as a public official, and John Catsimatidis and George McDonald having none. However, you can get a decent sense of where they stand on streets and transportation issues from this recap of their August 28 debate, and this video sums up the Catsimatidis platform fairly well.)

Here’s our overview of how these six Democrats have performed as public servants, as well as their positions and promises on key issues: street safety, bike infrastructure, buses, walkable development and off-street parking, and transit funding and road pricing.

 

High Points

Sal Albanese: Early on in the campaign, embraced reform of NYC’s dysfunctional bridge toll system, as well as repurposing streets for bike lanes and bus lanes.

Bill de Blasio: As a council member for the 39th District, led the delegation that won a significant expansion of car-free hours in Prospect Park in 2003; also supported the Ninth Street bike lane and road diet in Park Slope when the project encountered resistance in 2007.

John Liu: Voted for congestion pricing in 2008.

Christine Quinn: As City Council speaker, oversaw the votes approving congestion pricing in 2008 and the Bicycle Access Bill in 2009.

Bill Thompson: Issued a report as comptroller unmasking Albany’s declining contribution to the MTA operating budget [PDF].

Anthony Weiner: Came out in favor of lower parking minimums at the 2013 Tour de Queens; told the 2008 Tour de Queens, “We still have to make this city a much more bike-friendly town.”

 

Low Points

Albanese: Supported mandatory bike helmets at a televised mayoral debate.

De Blasio: Voted against congestion pricing; made noise in the press against Times Square plazas and other street reclamation projects soon after meeting with opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane in 2011.

Liu: Tried to stymie the Bicycle Access Bill as chair of the City Council transportation committee; released a fearmongering report about NYC bike-share as comptroller in 2012.

Quinn: Allowed motorhead City Council members to enact several bills pandering to car owners, including the five-minute grace period for parking scofflaws; promised to keep Ray Kelly as police commissioner.

Thompson: Right before the 2009 mayoral election, held a short campaign rally against Select Bus Service on Nostrand Avenue.

Weiner: Loudly fought against congestion pricing in 2008 and bridge tolls in 2009; promised to tear out the “f***ing bike lanes.”

 

Street Safety

Albanese: Says he would create a multi-agency task force on street safety, as well as increase NYPD crash investigation staffing and “sensible” traffic law enforcement. He also supports expanding pedestrian plazas and speed cameras near all schools and senior centers.

De Blasio: Laid out a “Vision Zero” approach, setting a goal of reducing NYC traffic fatalities to zero in a decade by quadrupling the number of Slow Zones (to 52) in four years, revamping at least 50 dangerous corridors and intersections each year, and focusing NYPD enforcement on speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and reckless driving. Also raised the excellent but unlikely idea of Albany giving NYC complete control over the number and location of speed cameras in the city.

Liu: Proposes dramatically increasing the staff of NYPD’s crash investigation squad and expanding the Safe Streets for Seniors program. Also supported the city’s successful push for speed cams. Wants a mandatory helmet law covering city-sponsored programs like bike-share.

Quinn: Joined with the mayor to push Albany on speed cameras, but did not join other City Council members in pushing for oversight of NYPD’s crash investigations. With a campaign goal of halving traffic fatalities by 2021, says she would create a multi-agency working group to coordinate automated enforcement, police enforcement, street design, and traffic calming interventions.

Thompson: Transportation platform does not mention pedestrians or cyclists, and does not have a definitive street safety plank. Says laws against speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians should be enforced and wants to increase pedestrian crossing times.

Weiner: Says he wants to “increase the investment in pedestrian safety programs,” specifically naming the Barnes Dance — an exclusive all-way pedestrian crossing phase — as a tool he would employ. Has not addressed NYPD crash investigations.

 

Bike Infrastructure

Albanese: Regularly rebuked the qualified support (or, in some cases, outright opposition) other Democrats have offered for bike lanes, noting that they have been installed with community input and are “great for the city.” Would expand protected bike lanes in all five boroughs.

De Blasio: As public advocate, met with opponents of the PPW bike lane “to discuss bike strategy,” commended DOT for halting a bike lane in Bay Ridge, and called the city’s bike lane evaluations “biased” and “rubber stamps.” As mayoral candidate, has been much more supportive of bike infrastructure, calling for 6 percent bicycle mode share of all trips citywide by 2020 and an expansion of bike lanes “deeper into the outer boroughs.” Maintains that DOT outreach has been insufficient, a position he elaborated on in the StreetsPAC questionnaire.

Liu: Self-described “avid cyclist” says that protected bike lanes only make sense in Manhattan and that bike lanes in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere are often empty and likely to be removed under his administration. Doesn’t trust polls from Quinnipiac, Marist, and the Times that regularly show citywide support for bike lanes, and says recent bike lanes have been put in with “little to no community input.”

Quinn: Says bike lanes are very popular in her council district, but that they are “clearly controversial” and “things you shouldn’t discuss at dinner parties.” Also claimed DOT installed lanes without consulting elected officials and community boards, and took credit for codifying DOT’s community board outreach. Has said bike lane expansion would continue under her administration, but with more community outreach.

Thompson: Railed against the Grand Street bike lane in his 2009 campaign, but now says he has no intention of removing bike lanes and is open to expanding the lanes if bike-share proves successful. Has also said during this campaign that some bike lanes are good while others are not, and that local communities “weren’t involved in the planning.”

Weiner: Once told Bloomberg he would “hold a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes,” now claims it was a joke. But just last month called bike advocates “policy jihadists” and repeated his intention to remove some bike lanes, such as the one near his brother’s restaurant on Broadway that he claims is impeding deliveries and emergency response. But hey, he’s a Citi Bike member.

 

Buses

Albanese: Aims to add 20 new Select Bus Service routes by 2018. Told TA [PDF], “I plan to lay the foundation so that major boulevards are designed holistically — with more space devoted for pedestrian crossings, safe bicycling, Select Buses, and local bus service.”

De Blasio: Top priority in campaign platform is to build “world-class bus rapid transit” and phase in at least 20 BRT lines.

Liu: Campaign platform calls for an expansion of express, BRT, and SBS routes. Early in the campaign, said he supports expanding Select Bus Service “where appropriate.” Also wants to bring new bus service to underserved outer-borough job centers, and has suggested financing it with revenue from real estate development.

Quinn: Aims to launch 10 new SBS routes in the next four years and add MetroCard kiosks at major bus stops. Stood by as separated bus lanes on 34th Street in her district were scuttled. Has recently mentioned busways along the Triboro RX route and on Staten Island’s north shore as specific projects she supports.

Thompson: Policy book mentions creating “a true BRT system in under-served transit areas like Staten Island and Southeast Queens.” At a low-profile press event in August, also promised more express bus routes and the restoration of bus service cut in 2010.

Weiner: Campaign platform does not mention buses, except to say that millions of New Yorkers “commute on a giant fleet of buses” and that while in Congress, he “obtained millions in funding” for projects including Bus Rapid Transit. At a forum on aging in July, said buses were a good option for seniors. Also said he supports expanding SBS.

 

Walkable Development and Off-Street Parking

Albanese: Told StreetsPAC: “As our city grows, it will become denser and transit-oriented development will become an even bigger necessity than it already is. That is why, as part of my comprehensive transportation plan, I have called for the elimination of the parking rebate and a change to the way developers are encouraged to contribute to their communities. Specifically, I want developers to contribute to the growth of mass transit options, instead of parking, when their developments add more to transit congestion than vehicle congestion.”

De Blasio: Says he would tax vacant land at higher rates and focus rezonings on areas of the city well-served by transit. Told StreetsPAC EDC must “fundamentally reevaluate” the amount of parking included in new developments. Supported the Atlantic Yards project as a City Council member.

Liu: Campaign web site mentions “green building standards” and reducing reliance on fossil fuels in the same paragraph, but not TOD or parking policy. As a City Council member in 2007, insisted on cheaper parking, and more of it, when Flushing Commons developers cut 400 spots from their plans, from 2,000 to 1,600 — the amount mandated by NYC EDC — for a signature project in a transit-rich area. Proposes the elimination of all EDC corporate subsidies.

Quinn: When developers wanted to exceed parking maximums at the St. Vincent’s Hospital site, stepped in to reduce the number of requested spaces — though the final housing to parking ratio was still higher than would normally be permitted. Took no action as developers sought variances to build hundreds of parking spots in Hell’s Kitchen, and as the city fought residents in court to allow tens of thousands of spots in violation of a decades-old agreement to keep NYC in compliance with the Clean Air Act. Skirted StreetsPAC’s question about parking and development.

Thompson: Told StreetsPAC that EDC’s development strategies should include ”both transit-oriented development and publicly subsidized parking lots.”

Weiner: Volunteered at this year’s Tour de Queens that he would work to reduce parking minimums, then reiterated the stance on the Transportation Alternatives questionnaire, saying: “I propose mandating buildings be built with fewer parking spots and more bike spots.” Parking reform was never incorporated into his “keys to the city” platform, though he does say the the city should build Section 202 housing, for seniors and the disabled, on hospital parking lots.

 

Transit Funding and Road Pricing

Albanese: Supports a toll system along the lines of Gridlock Sam Schwartz’s “Fair Plan,” putting a price on free East River bridges and lowering tolls on bridges away from the Manhattan core. Also proposed mobilizing mayors to advocate for greater transit investment from Washington.

De Blasio: Voted against congestion pricing in 2008. Supported Shelly Silver’s proposal to peg East River and Harlem River bridge tolls to the subway fare in 2009 during MTA funding talks. Recently said in televised debates that he does not support East River bridge tolls or “Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal” for congestion pricing. Campaign policy book says he would allocate city capital funds to the construction of BRT routes and lobby for increased federal investment in transit.

Liu: Voted for congestion pricing, then came out against the 2009 proposal for tolls on East River and Harlem River bridges. Now proposes East River bridge tolls on out-of-city residents only, which would not significantly affect congestion or raise much revenue for transit. Calls return of the commuter tax unrealistic, but wants Congress to provide more support for transit.

Quinn: Led City Council to pass congestion pricing in 2008. Recently has said that she still supports congestion pricing but won’t initiate a campaign for it as mayor. Opposed East River bridge tolls in the last televised debate.

Thompson: Opposes congestion pricing and bridge tolls. Supports weight-based vehicle registration fees and a commuter tax to fund transit.

Weiner: Vociferous, outspoken opponent of congestion pricing and bridge tolls.

  • ToastPatterson

    I have a nagging fear that after he’s elected, one of the NBBL folks will hand our bike-loving mayor de Blasio new “data” showing the purported harm the PPW bike lane has caused to public safety. Mayor Bill will then “reconsider” his campaign promise not to touch the lane and decide, reluctantly, that it must be torn out for the public good. Here’s to future events proving me wrong.

    Also, I realize that the PPW lane isn’t the only one that matters but it has taken on outsized symbolic importance and it would be sickening to see the NBBL crowd get their way.

  • Bolwerk

    So, plenty of reason to oppose them all, but little reason to support any of them, basically. Instead of Thompson’s weight-based vehicle fees, how about vehicle-length based curbside parking fees? In opposing all meaningful reform, Front runner de Blasio is seeming ever more like a complete twit.

    You missed The High: Albanese is, to my knowledge, the only one who has shown interest in subway expansion, which is far and away the most important component for future sustainable transportation. He even – *gasp* – shows some understanding transit issues and even supports minimizing NIH. If bike helmet support is his low point, he blows the rest of these clowns out of the water on transportation issues.

    Sadly I forgot to register as a Demon-krat, and will not be able to cast the single vote that puts him over the top!

  • Bolwerk

    Heh. You may be right.

    Albanese has no chance, and the rest of the candidates all have varying degrees of contempt for transit in particular and transport reform in general. So who would you prefer? De Blasio is an invertebrate, but I think I still prefer him to a lizard like Quinn.

  • Anonymous

    The problem, as always, is that the benefits of transportation reform are diffuse and not of great concern to most people, while the minority who perceive they would be personally harmed by, say, bridge tolls or bus lanes, are well-connected and vocal in their opposition. For a candidate who is not personally motivated on these issues–who does not grasp how profoundly they affect the city’s quality of life and economy–it’s easier just to lay low and try to avoid pissing people off.

    Still, people can come around. It took Bloomberg a few years to see the light, but see it he did.

  • Victor

    DeBlasio voted against congestion pricing? I’m not sure I can trust StreetsPAC endorsements at all if they’re endorsing this clown.

  • Reader

    Bill’s free to do that… if he wants a massive demonstration of hundreds of families in front of his house at 11th Street in Park Slope. The optics for the new mayor would be pretty terrible.

    The bigger concern is a slowing down of the process we’ve made so far, but PPW and the bike lanes we have right now are likely safe.

  • J

    In a city as large as NYC, the main way of moving lots of people to a wide range of destinations is always going to come down to mass transit. We don’t seem to have the money to build subways at any sort of scale, so I am glad to see the candidates reaching some sort of consensus around SBS and BRT. I’m also glad to see that many are pushing for more than just SBS, true world-class BRT, something which has yet to be done in NYC. This takes real political will. Just look at some of the fights being waged in SF and Chicago, as well as the fight on 34th & 125th here. Hopefully, the next mayor will put their money where their mouth is and actually stand up for these projects, which is not something Bloomberg was fond of doing. 125th & 34 were both casualties of this lack of leadership. 181st was a missed opportunity for more as was Webster Ave in the Bronx. May the next mayor be the BRT mayor.

  • s

    All of the top candidates are against congestion pricing. Chris Quinn was for congestion pricing before she was against it. Thompson talks about weight-based fees, but he’s terrible on just about every other issue related to bikes, ped plazas, and traffic.

    StreetsPAC could have endorsed Sal Albanese on principle, but considering they are a political organization, making the politically pragmatic choice seems wise even if their pick isn’t perfect on every livable streets issue.

    Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. And don’t forget that Bloomberg’s first DOT commissioner was Iris Weinshall.

  • vnm

    Thanks for this incredibly helpful post, Streetsblog. Wow, all these candidates are pretty nuanced, and none of them seems 100% good or 100% bad on the issues. Except for the last candidate listed in the last category. But then again, I think Weiner did call for tolls at one time . . . on the Queens/Nassau Line . . . and only for suburban residents. Or am I making that up?

  • Victor

    Actually Quinn said she still supports congestion pricing. It’s in the last section of the post above.

  • Bolwerk

    “Recently has said that she still supports congestion pricing but won’t initiate a campaign for it as mayor [emp. added].”

    So, she supports letting it die a quiet death. To hell with her.

  • s
  • Victor

    It makes sense that if it can’t pass through Albany, not to waste time pursuing it for now. If the climate changes in Albany and less “car guys” are in power, maybe then we could press for it once again.

    But de Blasio voted against the best chance we had to have congestion pricing, then went on to grandstand about the plight of the straphangers he himself shafted:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/01/28/congestion-pricing-foe-bill-de-blasio-grandstanding-up-for-straphangers/

  • Bolwerk

    FWIW, I’m not fan of de Blasio either. It’s just that marshaling it through the City Council was a pretty tall order, and that was when the feds were promising money to do it. The NYS Assembly literally screwed NYC out of several hundred million dollars.

    Like I said below, the only candidate who might pass for good (!=excellent) on transportation issues is Albanese. The rest are all anti-rail, effectively anti-CP, and to some extent or another anti-bike.

  • Bolwerk

    What’s with the SBS hate lately? It works about as well as a bus could, for a fraction of the price of BRT.

    If we’re going to spend at subway prices for something that doesn’t move as many people as our subway, and is incompatible with it, why not just go with the Catsimatidis monorail scheme? With lower construction costs, lower labor needs, smaller footprint, it’s probably significantly cheaper than “real BRT.”

  • Anonymous

    This is exactly why why Streetspac conducted a lengthy process to determine who to endorse. The StreetsPAC board members have all been through a lot of the battles of the last 10-15 years. It’s definitely complex, but after sitting down with both of the leading candidates – Quinn and deBlasio – there was little doubt that deBlasio was the better choice. Thompson, Liu and Weiner are non-starters. Quinn is a relatively good status quo candidate including an NYPD unwilling to enforce traffic laws and not affirming that PPW would be kept intact.

    DeBlasio is offering a paradigm shift in elevating traffic safety to a first tier public safety issue. He also strongly believes that street safety is non-negotiable. Community process can help make proposals better, but he stated unequivocally that at the end he will prioritize safety. Sitting next to BDB was a former TA staffer working on his campaign. That spoke volumes as well.

    Read everything and make an informed decision. When you decide who to vote for tell them why in an email, a handwritten letter or a tweet (or all three).

    And don’t forget about all the local city council races and Manhattan borough president too. All are important and deserve your attention.

  • Anonymous

    In layman’s terms she is against it.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, marshalling it through the city council was a tall order, and Quinn actually accomplished that, using her political influence to corral the City Council’s support, while de Blasio did everything in his power to shut it down by voting against it. What am I missing here?

    The Bill de Blasio of today is the same grandstanding Bill de Blasio of 2 years ago–saying whatever it takes to get elected, talking out of one side of his mouth about helping straphangers and bicyclists and pedestrians, but voting against basic plans such as congestion pricing that would help straphangers and bicyclists and pedestrians.

  • Bolwerk

    I see what you’re missing, but I don’t see why you’re missing it. She supported it, with Bloomberg’s backing, and pretty much said she won’t do it again. Just the other day, she categorically opposed East River Bridge tolls too.

    You won’t find me defending de Blasio, but this is functionally not a problem he has that Quinn doesn’t.

  • “If bike helmet support is his low point…”

    If only that were his stated aim rather than a legal ban on riding a bicycle without a crash helmet, I could brush it off as easily. Instead it’s enough for me to vote for de Blasio in good conscience; state intervention in what I wear on my head every morning does outweigh for me the other differences between Albanese and de Blasio.

  • Albanese is for mandatory helmet law. I wear a helmet most of the time depending on my trip, bike, distance, speed, etc, but it should never be law. For all his great stances, that makes it easier to support someone else who is not in the bottom tier candidates.

  • Ian Turner

    I think Larry’s analysis is more likely, which is to settle the lawsuit by removing the lane, so the change can be blamed on the litigants.

  • Bolwerk

    That’s ridiculous. Nobody is passing a helmet law without the Council’s say-so. Albanese hasn’t been pushing for it, and no one else has except Weiner, so it’s pretty much an irrelevancy. It almost seems like the editors were grasping at straws to find a low for Albanese that was related to transport.

    A mayor that supports bridge tolls and subway expansion could actually do some good, however. De Blasio is against both these things, and therefore a nightmare for a sustainable transportation. He does have positive qualities elsewhere (e.g., limiting stop ‘n frisk), but Albanese more or less has these qualities too.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know who DeBlasio might appoint as the next Transportation Commissioner? Someone from NACTO, or do you think Weinshall will get another chance at the job?

  • It’s too bad you are not able to vote in this election, then you could act on your opinion about which position is an irrelevancy and which is a nightmare.

  • Bolwerk

    Seriously, your priorities are screwed up. Even if it were to happen, a helmet law could be repealed with nary a scratch to anyone. The Weiner/de Blasio/Quinn/Thompson/Liu(?) refusal to enact bridge tolls and expand the subway will – it’s pretty certain now – be inflicting pain on our grandchildren. You can’t repeal debt or build the infrastructure we need today yesterday.

    Voting is useless. Unless a grotesque sex scandal happens, the primary outcome is fairly preordained. It’s still sad to see StreetsBlog of all things downplaying coverage of the one major party mayoral candidate in 20 years who is actually truly smart about transportation issues. Not just okay, but actually smart about them.

  • Bolwerk

    Probably wouldn’t dare appoint Weinshall. Any chance he’ll keep JSK?

  • Bolwerk

    I’m not for forcing them either, but I don’t see the big concern about helmet mandates. They at least sorta make sense for most of the same reasons seatbelts make sense. Just seems like a small price to pay for not screwing over our grandchildren, as de Blasio (who I will probably vote for grudgingly in the general) plans to do with near certainty. You can always repeal a helmet law.

    Near as I can tell, Weiner is the only candidate who seems to want to actually push the issue.

  • Bolwerk

    Couldn’t you have done something like endorse Albanese for the primary and de Blasio for the general? A lot of readers here seem frustrated with de Blasio, who still opposes or doesn’t comment most major reform points – CP, tolls, land use regs, rail expansion. Is there reason to think de Blasio will Obama-“evolve” on those topics? ‘Cause I don’t see it.

    I even agree with you guys that he de Blasio is the best choice out of the candidates polling in the double digits, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been a constant setback on transportation reform. I don’t think he’s good enough to deserve an endorsement, especially given there doesn’t appear to be a close race with a really evil carhead in either the primary or general.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Just seems like a small price to pay for not screwing over our grandchildren, as de Blasio (who I will probably vote for grudgingly in the general) plans to do with near certainty.”

    Which is the candidate that won’t screw over our grandchildren. The only ones I am absolutely sure will do so are the ex-Comptrollers who said nothing while the future was being sold to benefit those whose endorsements they later sought. Thompson — seniors should get more tax breaks, pension increases cost nothing. Liu — pension increases are no problem as long as wages and benefits are cut for future employees.

  • Ian Turner

    Helmet mandates are not at all comparable to seat belt mandates. Helmet mandates do not result in significantly increased compliance, but they do reduce cycling overall. Since cycling is a healthy activity and since the safety of cycling derives primarily from the number of cyclists, helmet laws have overall a pretty significant health cost (not benefit).

  • Ian Turner

    Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. StreetsPAC is playing a political game here, and in my opinion they are playing it very well.

  • Bolwerk

    I wasn’t doing anything of the sort, I really was just curious about his take on the political strategy. Can’t say I’m in total disagreement with their reasoning, but I don’t consider de Blasio “good” either for reasons I mentioned above.

  • Bolwerk

    Yes, I was thinking that. That is bad, of course, but I didn’t have any numbers handy on the extent to which that is a problem. The question is whether it’s paternalism or actually something that saves for the public. Helmets may reduce costs in emergency services. OTOH, as you point out, reducing cycling is not a net win for health.

    Either way, it’s a piss-poor reason to prefer de Blasio’s transport policies to Albanese’s. Helmets just seem like an insignificant safety net against the major risk of being hit by a car, which is reason enough to not bother.

  • Bolwerk

    Remains to be seen what he’ll actually do, but de Blasio is posturing for massive compensation/pension increases too. Quinn is simply too whimsical and lightweight to know exactly what she’ll do, but I betcha her handlers have something in mind.

    Whatever his problems, and I’m not delusional about him, Albanese actually supports tolls and subway expansion. This is actually good for the future, even if it causes some “pain” in the present (or not). Literally every other candidate wants to squander even those two points.

  • ausserirdischesindgesund

    Helmet mandates kill bike sharing, amongst other consequences.

    That is why there is no working bike share model in Australia.

  • r

    Exactly. PAC stands for Political Action Committee. Emphasis on “Political.”

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone think di Blasio would be very smart to make Sal Albanese either DOT commissioner or Education chancellor?

  • Repealing a helmet law? Just ask the people of Seattle, Or Vancouver. Or many other places. Too bad Albanese lost a real chance to battle for the StreetsPAC nod absent that policy.

  • Bolwerk

    This is really being blown out of proportion. (Yes, laws can be repealed, but forget that.) He’s mostly reasonable on transportation. Did anyone at StreetsPAC even talk to him about the problems with helmets? Did he dig his heels in? If not, then it probably is a silly worry. Many reasonable people who are not cyclists will consider helmets a good idea because they superficially seem like a good idea.

    Just dismissing him over a single minor bad policy that I don’t see much of evidence of him being impassioned about just seems reactionary. Especially considering he trounces everyone else on nearly every other issue. Maybe de Blasio was still the right choice for strategic reasons, but they gave Albanese pretty short thrift.

  • Bolwerk

    De Blasio doesn’t show much sign of being “very smart.” :-

    I was going to mention Albanese as DOT commissioner, but then it occurred to me he might not be the best choice because he ultimately doesn’t have much experience in the field. He might make a good choice for finding a DOT commissioner though….

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