by Arthur Schwartz*
Just before Westview went to press, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that she was leaving the de Blasio Administration in December. She may wind up as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Trottenberg is a City official who never met a Community Board she liked. She “endured” the public process regarding the 14th Street Busway by sitting on stages and rolling her eyes as hundreds denounced her. For a while she was as unpopular in Greenwich Village and Chelsea as Donald Trump.(I once said this at a public hearing and she stormed out of the room.) She sat on the Board of the MTA, but instead of fighting for billions needed in transit funding, she proposed spending billions for bike lanes, where she championed dangerous e-bikes. She had lots of “great ideas,” and little follow through, which is why pedestrial and bike deaths are up this year despite the pandemic.
Polly Trottenberg had a vision. Problem was, and is, she doesn’t believe in democracy. Her vision was hers, not ours. She was unresponsive to community input. In our neighborhood Jane Jacobs helped defeat one DOT Commissioner, Robert Moses. Thank goodness this DOT Commissioner has gone even before de Blasio departs.
*Arthur Schwartz Counsel to the 14th Street Coalition.