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Help Wanted at DOT: Creative Thinkers Encouraged to Apply

10:54 AM EST on February 6, 2007

ta_newser_2007_02_05.jpg
Chairman of the City Council Transportation Committee, John C. Liu, praised outgoing DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall and called for an innovative thinker as her successor.

You've already weighed in
on what you'd like to see in the next DOT commissioner. Now members of
the City Council and Transportation Alternatives have weighed in too,
with a press conference yesterday highlighting qualities they would like to see in the city's next Transportation Commissioner. Here is Council Member Yassky's press release.

Council Member David Yassky(D-Brooklyn) and transportation advocates today urged the BloombergAdministration to appoint a new Department of Transportationcommissioner with the credentials and experience to tackle the trafficcongestion and pollution problems that are plaguing New Yorkers.

"ThisCity has been fortunate to have such a hard-working DOT commissioner inIris Weinshall for the past five years," Council Member Yassky said."But now that she is moving on, we must look toward the next five yearsand beyond and choose a commissioner who will tackle our quicklyincreasing environmental and transportation challenges. Our nexttransportation commissioner will be making decisions that will effectthe health, business and general quality of life of all New Yorkers,make sure she or he makes the right ones."

CouncilMembers and advocates called on the Mayor to meet his 2030 PLANYCsustainability goals by appointing a DOT commissioner with a mandate toreduce automobile traffic while improving surface transit, walking andbicycling options.

"There is so much a transportationcommissioner could do to improve the quality of life of New Yorkers byreducing traffic and encouraging transit use," said Gene Russianoff,senior attorney for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. "We need adynamic leader - like Commissioner Thomas Frieden has been in the areaof health - to improve air quality and neighborhood life by taming citytraffic."

"Commissioner Weinshall has steered the Department for many years and her shoes will be hard to fill," said Council Member John C. Liu,Chairperson of the Transportation Committee. "New Yorkers need aTransportation Commissioner who can get up to speed quickly and alsochange the internal inertia that sometimes dampensinnovation, especially if we are to truly create a system for the freeflow of people and goods in the City."

"It is crucial theAdministration selects a new Department of Transportation commissionerwho will make pollution, traffic congestion and parking issues apriority," said Council Member Bill de Blasio. "The nextcommissioner will play a vital role in making sure the City reaches itsfuture goals of increasing and improving our transportationalternatives."

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