Who Will Be NYPD’s Next Transportation Chief?

With NYPD Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli working his last day on the job today, his exit is marked by reflections on his stint at the post, speculation on who might replace him, and hope that his successor will build on his traffic safety initiatives.

In a press release issued this morning, Transportation Alternatives credited Scagnelli as the "pioneer" of TrafficStat, which, said Executive Director Paul Steely White, "set the precedent of strategically using enforcement to bring crash rates down."

"Chief Scagnelli helped battle the notion that traffic fatalities are random and unpreventable," White said.

TA also laid out enforcement improvement recommendations for the next transportation chief:

  • Measure Incident Reduction, Not Summons Issued: TrafficStat currently measures traffic safety by the number of tickets issued, which can be completely unrelated to the underlying problem and rewards the writing of tickets rather than the reduction of traffic crime. Measuring the level of infraction and reduction in crashes is the only way to assess the effectiveness of enforcement.
  • Reinstate Accident Prone Location Deployment: Target NYPD enforcement resources to intersections and streets with high levels of crashes.

Who Scagnelli’s replacement might be, or where the department stands in the selection process, remains a mystery. The DCPI officer we spoke with yesterday said she "had no idea" if a successor had been named, and a second query has so far yielded no response. For whatever it’s worth, as of three weeks ago talk around the NYPD Rant water cooler centered on current Chief of Transit James Hall. Hall’s office had no comment. A call to Scagnelli’s office was referred to DCPI.

Despite some very public missteps, Scagnelli will be remembered for reducing the number of deaths on New York City streets. Here’s hoping that Commissioner Ray Kelly appoints someone who will take traffic enforcement, and its impact on the safety of all New Yorkers, as seriously as he did — and then some.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Will NYPD’s Next Transpo Chief Make Safety Priority #1?

|
We’d been hearing rumors for weeks, and today NYPD confirmed that Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli is retiring. His last day is tomorrow. Chief Michael Scagnelli. Photo: New York Post Scagnelli’s departure is not really a surprise, considering that it’s required by law. But the news is still significant in that his successor will step […]

NYPD Taps James Tuller to Succeed Scagnelli as Transpo Chief

|
The New York Times reports that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has chosen a successor to Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli: The highest rank to be filled on Friday will be chief of transportation, a three-star bureau chief position. The commissioner has tapped Assistant Chief James Tuller, who is Hispanic, to be the first minority officer […]

Former NYPD Transportation Chief Supports Open Traffic Safety Data

|
Former NYPD Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli. Photo: New York Post. In yesterday’s story about Intro 120, the City Council bill to make some of NYPD’s traffic safety data available to the public, we noted that former Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli submitted written testimony in favor of the bill, countering resistance from his successor […]

NYPD Supervisor: Speeding Enforcement “Usually Done on the Highways”

|
The Post revealed earlier this week that NYPD trains only one officer per precinct to use a radar gun, which partially explains why speeding enforcement is close to non-existent in most neighborhoods. But while NYPD thinly spreads local precincts’ speeding enforcement resources over thousands of miles of surface streets where pedestrians and cyclists are at […]