Mayor Reveals New ‘Acting’ DOT Commissioner: Margaret Forgione
Mayor de Blasio has gone to the bench to replace outgoing Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, selecting her right hand to lead the $1-billion agency in an “acting” capacity.
Margaret Forgione, the former Manhattan borough commissioner for DOT and the current chief operations officer, will take over when Trottenberg leaves on Dec. 11. The de Blasio administration ends on Dec. 31, 2021, so Forgione will have little more than a year to make an impact.
“Margaret Forgione has the experience and vision to build on the agency’s extraordinary reimagining of public space throughout our fight against COVID-19,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I look forward to working with her on Vision Zero street safety, accessibility, and the continued expansion of cycling and bus access.”
Per the City Hall president release, Forgione has been in “senior roles” at DOT since 1994, most recently as the operations boss since June, 2016.
Before that, she was Manhattan Borough Commissioner, the head of the Arterial Maintenance Unit, and the director of the Adopt-A-Highway program.
As operations head, Forgione oversaw the divisions that included the Staten Island Ferry, bridges, roadway repair and maintenance, sidewalks, inspection, traffic operations, planning and the five Borough Commissioner offices, totaling roughly 5,000 employees.
“As Manhattan Borough Commissioner between 2002-16, she oversaw the pedestrianization of Times Square, the creation of the City’s first on-street protected bike lane (along Ninth Avenue) and the rollout of Citi Bike, the nation’s largest bike share program,” City Hall said.
Forgione was raised in Stamford, Conn. The city press release did not say where she lives now.
Bike New York’s president hailed Forgione’s appointment:
“There’s simply no one more qualified to step in and continue outgoing Commissioner Trottenberg’s legacy of groundbreaking achievements than Margaret Forgione,” Ken Podziba said in a statement. “Margaret is universally respected for her vision, innovation, and ability to break through major barriers to get things done. As we strive for more improvements to bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and in particular a completed network of protected bike lanes, we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Hale Margaret, winner of @Chekpeds first WALKIE award in 2016 for transforming walker community safety in Hell's Kitchen and more. The rise of this former (1997) Ridgewood Reservoir Park Ranger a big win for safer, livable streets. pic.twitter.com/l1lrM5elKl
— pfrishauf (@pfrishauf) December 4, 2020
Peter Frishauf of StreetsPAC is also a Forgione fan.
“After a conversation with brainy (Christine) Berthet, Margaret took her suggestion and moved loading facilities for jitney and intercity buses that were clogging the streets of Hells Kitchen to the south side of 34th Street opposite the Javits Center,” he said. “Well served by the new extension of the number 7, the solution has worked perfectly. It represents one of many quiet, effective transformations that occurred by Margaret’s working and listening style.”