The Dream Team Behind America's Transportation Revolution

In the first of a five-part series, Angie Schmitt pays tribute to three "visionary bureaucrats" who are changing the face of transportation in the United States.

It's an exciting time for progressive transportation policy, with transit, bike, and pedestrian programs gaining traction in every corner of the country. These programs depend on the hard work of transportation officials at every level of government, "people who are transforming transportation and planning agencies from public sector backwaters into centers of bold innovation and change." Schmitt starts us off with three bureaucratic champions who have set the stage for the coming renaissance.

Of Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, Schmitt writes, "This list had to start with her." Under Sadik-Khan's tenure, New York City has seen 250 miles of new bikeways, the introduction of bus rapid transit (BRT), and the lowest rates of traffic fatalities in a century.

Next, there's Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, who cut his teeth on a popular bike sharing program in Washington, D.C. Now, excitement over his protected bike lane program in the Windy City is "attracting enough bike traffic to outnumber cars during the morning rush," Schmitt writes – not to mention a new BRT system on the way.

And with his work guiding growth and development in Maryland, State Secretary of Planning Richard Hall "doesn't shy away from facing the critics head on." By establishing "priority growth areas," Hall has helped Maryland "[lay] the groundwork to be a national leader in smart growth."

With eight more acknowledgements to come, Schmitt notes, "Everyone here is deserving, but not everyone who's deserving is on the list."

Full Story: 11 Transportation Officials Who Are Changing the Game

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105