Ed Skyler Departs. Who Will Take Over NYC’s Street Safety Portfolio?

The Bloomberg administration announced this morning the departure of deputy mayor Ed Skyler, who will be taking a position in the financial industry, the Times reports. While Skyler isn’t quite a household name in livable streets circles, his portfolio made him an important mayoral advisor on sustainable transportation and street safety policies. As deputy mayor for operations, he was charged with oversight of several of the most high-profile city agencies, including NYPD, NYCDOT, and the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, which coordinates PlaNYC 2030 initiatives.

skyler.jpgEd Skyler. Photo: HuffPo.

Skyler’s time in his current role, which he assumed at the end of 2007, has largely overlapped with Janette Sadik-Khan’s tenure as DOT commissioner. While he was reported to oppose the push for congestion pricing, nearly all of the city’s recent significant livable streets advances have occurred on his watch.

So, what should livable streets advocates look for in his replacement?

Skyler’s successor will be in a unique position to coordinate between different city departments, said Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White. "Since improving street safety is such an interagency task, the deputy mayor for operations is the only one who can really bring different agencies to the
same table," he said. "We’d like to see someone who has a good understanding of
NYPD and has their respect. We can be hopeful that we’ll get someone who saves lives by
engendering interagency cooperation on traffic safety."

Skyler will be moving on at the end of April. Liz Benjamin reports that "the safe money is on someone within the administration moving up, or a
sort of power-sharing agreement with the deputy mayors who remain."

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