Andy Wiley-Schwartz Starts at DOT on Monday

aschwartz.jpgDepartment 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.

  • da

    Woo-hoo! Great news and many congrats to Andy.

    The lunatics are truly taking over the asylum…

  • Clarence

    Of course, great news. Way to go Andy!

  • Whether or not congestion pricing happens, it seems the DOT will never be the same again. Janette has had a nice first month assembling her team. Now it’s time to get to work.

  • Congratulations, Andy!

    Can’t wait to see y’all get to work at the new DOT.

  • momos

    This is really exciting. I hope the change at DOT takes hold all the way down to the engineers on the street.

    After implementing congestion pricing, one of the first things the newly transformed DOT should turn its attention to is the abysmal state of NYC’s bike lanes. Mere half-visible stripes over broken pavement serve no other purpose than to allow the City to boast that it has created X miles of bike lanes in the last year. Anyone who actually rides a bike down them knows they are meaningless.

    Enrique Penalosa’s rule that a bike lane must be safe enough for an 8 year old kid to ride in is the principle the DOT should apply to all of the city’s major bike routes. This means PHYSICALLY SEPARATED bike lanes. The StreetFilms video brilliantly shows how to do this: simply swap the parking and bike lanes so that the bike lane hugs the sidewalk and is separated from moving traffic by parked cars. There is no change to the distribution of street space, but merely a change to its arrangement. Simple, cheap, effective.

    DOT’s goal should be to increase bicycling as a mode share by, say, 5% annually. This is totally feasible. Canvass cyclists in the city to find out what their top 3 priorities are (most likely bike lane safety, bike storage, and improved bike access to mass transit). Then target investments accordingly. If this happens in conjunction with congestion pricing, all the better: it’ll be easier to reallocated space currently for cars to space for bikes.

  • re: #5…

    yes, Yes, YES!!!

    give momos a job at DOT too!!

  • The key recommendation that momos makes for DOT is to SET A TARGET FOR MODE SHARES. We need measurable goals, and they should be used to determine how congestion fees and other incentives/disincentives are adjusted in the future. Goals and triggers will avoid the trap of perverse incentives that arise when other modes benefit from the revenue generated by cars (as happened with transit and bridge tolls.) If traffic volume increases the congestion fee (and or tolls) should rise to neutralize it.


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