New Acting Transportation Commissioner Appointed as Commissioner Trottenberg Departs

Acting Transportation Commissioner Margaret Forgione. Image Credit: NYC DOT

The new Acting Commissioner is a 26-year veteran of the Department of Transportation. On December 4, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Margaret Forgione will be the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Transportation after Commissioner Polly Trottenberg departs on December 11th.

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg

Commissioner Trottenberg announced her departure from the agency on November 23, 2020 after serving as the head of the agency since January 2014. During her tenure, Commissioner Trottenberg helped expand the on-street protected bike lane network, more dedicated bus lanes, led a multi-agency effort to reduce traffic deaths, undertaken over 700 street-improvement projects including car-free plazas, and maintained bridges and roads. During the pandemic, DOT helped respond with increasing outdoor space through the Open Streets program and assisted businesses with the Open Restaurants and Open Storefronts programs, an experience Commission Trottenberg spoke on at a CityLaw Breakfast this past summer.

Commissioner Trottenberg has not announced new employment but early in November was asked to volunteer as part of the Biden-Harris transition team to advise on transportation issues.

In regards to Commissioner Trottenberg’s departure, Mayor de Blasio stated, “We all owe Polly Trottenberg a debt of gratitude for her incredible service to New York City. She is a tireless and talented public servant who has made our city safer, fairer, and more accessible. I’m proud to have worked so closely with her, and I wish her all the best in whatever comes next.”

Commissioner Trottenberg stated, “I will always be grateful to Mayor de Blasio for the incredible opportunity to serve the city I love so much, and especially for the chance to lead the 5,800 dedicated public servants at DOT. I have been honored to work with them and see the passion, creativity and dedication they bring every day to serving New Yorkers, especially during the pandemic of the last eight months.  For now, I just say thank you, one and all.”

Acting Commissioner Margaret Forgione

Acting Commissioner Forgione was raised in Stamford, Connecticut and received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University. She began her work in City government as a Senior Analyst in the Mayor’s Office of Operations. Previously, she served as DOT’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner, led the agency’s Arterial Maintenance Unit, and directed the Adopt-A-Highway program. She oversaw the pedestrianization of Times Square, the rollout of the Citi Bike program, and the creation of the City’s first on-street protected bike lane. She has served in senior roles within DOT since 1994, and has been the Chief Operations Office of DOT since June 2016. She has been with the agency for 26 years.

As the Chief Operations Office, Acting Commissioner Forgione oversaw around 5,000 employees in operational divisions, including but not limited to Bridges, the Staten Island Ferry, Roadway Repair and Maintenance, Sidewalks and Inspection Management, Transportation Planning and Management and Traffic Operations.

Mayor de Blasio stated, “Margaret Forgione has the experience and vision to build on the agency’s extraordinary reimagining of public space throughout our fight against COVID-19. I look forward to working with her on Vision Zero street safety, accessibility, and the continued expansion of cycling and bus access.”

Acting Commissioner Margaret Forgione stated, “I thank Mayor de Blasio for this opportunity to lead DOT in these challenging times. Commissioner Trottenberg made historic strides in improving safety and mobility throughout her tenure and then guided us through the pandemic, safeguarding our workforce while transforming our streets to meet critical space needs. I look forward to continuing and building on this essential work to create a safe and livable street network to support the city in enduring through the pandemic and thriving beyond it.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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