Trottenberg on WNYC: “We’re Going to Focus on the Major Arterials”

NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about Vision Zero, improving surface transit, and expanding Citi Bike. And filling potholes.

It was Trottenberg’s first major solo media appearance, I believe, and she’s still in the broad strokes phase of talking about the DOT’s agenda. Here’s a look at what she said about a few key issues:

Automated enforcement: “We hear the case that this is just a way to raise revenue. The goal is not to raise revenue. It does raise revenue because that affects behavior. In my opinion, if people are not speeding and running red lights, and we were collecting no revenue, that would be a victory.”

Safety redesigns: Trottenberg said it’s too early to identify specific locations that will be redesigned, since DOT will be collecting feedback to guide its decisions. But she said the department will focus on the city’s widest streets. “One are I think that’s going to be a big focus for us that we hear a lot about is dealing with some of the major arterial streets in the city, that in a lot of cases were designed to speed the movement of cars and trucks. Not a lot of thought was given to how pedestrians would navigate them, and we’re really going to focus on reducing speeds and making those major arterials safer.”

BRT and Select Bus Service: Lehrer asked about the neighborhood politics of removing curbside parking to make way for bus lanes. “We want to do it in a way that the community feels like they’re a part of the process,” Trottenberg said. “You mentioned my predecessor Janette. She was able to come in an introduce a lot of new things into the city’s transportation. It took some time for people to absorb them and how they work, but I think we’re seeing a lot of support for them. And there are certainly a lot of neighborhoods around the city that are ready to embrace BRT or Select Bus Service.”

On 125th Street SBS, which has been through a ton of fits and starts already during the planning process, Trottenberg hinted that the project may be strengthened. “We’re taking a look at that,” she said. “More news to come on that.”

Citi Bike expansion: ”We’re sitting down with the Citi Bike folks and looking at what might be phase two so to speak. The mayor has said that he’s very interested in expanding the program in the boroughs. And I’ve been talking to members of the City Council, and there’s certainly a lot of enthusiasm for doing that.