Special to The Times
Mayor Michelle Wu and Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge announced the search for two new, pivotal transportation leadership roles: the Deputy Chief of Streets for Infrastructure and Design, and the Deputy Chief of Streets for Transportation. These leaders will report directly to Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge as part of the Streets Cabinet’s senior leadership team. They will deliver on the Mayor’s vision for a City where people can move safely, reliably, and efficiently by transit, on foot, or by bike, and to support the Boston Green New Deal by accelerating the shift towards low-carbon transportation.
The new leadership team will be charged with delivering on the promise of a Streets Cabinet budget that will enable greater scale, scope, and urgency to build streets that work for all modes of travel. In addition to the new roles, the Streets Cabinet is launching a major hiring push. The FY23 budget includes 46 new positions throughout the Boston Transportation Department and Public Works.
The leadership team and expanded Cabinet will oversee a nearly doubled investment in dedicated bus lanes, a 45 percent increase in funding for the strategic bike network, and increased investments in safe streets, bikeshare, multimodal corridor projects, street-lighting, and accessibility.
“Boston must lead the way for sustainable, safe, and innovative transportation to connect our communities, and I’m so excited to build our team and embark on this important work,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Now more than ever our transportation system and streets infrastructure are foundational to how our City functions, and I can’t wait to fill these roles for safe streets, smart design, and continued progress toward a Boston Green New Deal.”
“The Mayor’s far-reaching vision represents a historic opportunity to make Boston the best city in the nation for walking, biking and transit as we bring the Green New Deal to life on our streets and address longstanding inequities,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief of Streets. “We will need a committed and visionary leadership team to make it happen. I am excited to announce the search for these critically important leadership roles and look forward to working alongside them and the dedicated employees of the Public Works Department and Boston Transportation Department to carry out this vital work.”
The Deputy Chief for Infrastructure and Design will oversee all City of Boston’s streets, sidewalks, and bridges projects from conception to implementation including community process, design, construction, and evaluation.
The Deputy Chief for Transportation will be responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the Boston Transportation Department, including oversight of traffic management, parking enforcement, permitting, signals, and signage. They will also serve as Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department. They will work with leadership across the Streets Cabinet to build alignment around a shared mission of operating a safe, equitable, multimodal transportation system, transforming our streets to reduce our overreliance on single-occupancy vehicles.
“The Deputy Chief for Transportation and Deputy Chief for Infrastructure & Design will be crucial for the future of Boston’s streets and transportation across our city,” said Brad Gerratt, Interim Commissioner of Transportation, who is retiring in the fall. “Filling these positions and growing our workforce will expand our current staff’s ability to make Boston safer, greener and more multimodal. It is an honor to work with the incredible people at the Boston Transportation Department.”
As the search for these key leaders commences, the Streets Cabinet will also begin a major hiring push to fill critical staff positions across the cabinet. Open positions include planning roles in active transportation, public transit, neighborhood planning, and new mobility. The Streets Cabinet is also hiring key engineering roles: Senior Civil Engineer, Assistant Civil Engineer, and Bridge Construction Engineer. Additionally, the city will fill three small scale safety positions to ensure rapid response to pedestrian safety concerns: Junior Civil Engineer, Vision Zero/Small Scale Safety Planner, and Assistant Traffic Engineer.
At this pivotal transitional moment, the Streets Cabinet will also undertake discussions around structure of the cabinet, finding ways to ensure current and future staff are positioned to deliver on the vision of safe, sustainable streets that work for everyone.
“Every day, the hardworking men and women of the City of Boston Public Works Department make sure Bostonians get the world-class city services they deserve,” said Mike Brohel, Superintendent of Street Operations. “As the Streets Cabinet grows our leadership team, we will keep prioritizing safe, clean streets that work for everyone.”
“This expansion of the Streets team will accelerate the realization of community-driven visions for our streets and reduce timelines to implement planning initiatives and street designs,” added Vineet Gupta, Director of Policy and Planning. “We will continue to work with neighborhood and advocacy groups to achieve our goals of encouraging transit and biking to reduce emissions.”