DOT Bike Chief Quits in Disgust

As first reported over at Streetsblog and followed up by the NY Daily News the NYC Department of Transportation's Bike Chief, Andrew Vesselinovitch, quit his job after 5 years of frustration in trying to improve bike safety in NYC.

It shows an inside look into the negative atmosphere at the city DOT toward cycling in the city. It appears that despite strong protestations to the dangerous bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge, Vesselinovitch was basically told to shut up by DOT deputy commissioner Primeggia.

See Vesselinovitch's departing shot at the DOT as he left work last Friday as originally posted at Streetsblog.

From: Vesselinovitch, Andrew
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 6:05 PM
Subject: Leaving DOT

Dear All:

As many of you know, today is my last day at DOT. As many of you also know, I am leaving to pursue a wonderful opportunity to study architecture, a lifelong interest. I want to thank all of you for having made my five years at DOT and seven years in city government productive and exciting.

I would also like to add that the motivation for my seeking to leave is not so happy for me or for the city. There is much more that the bicycle program could have done than it was allowed to do. The bicycle program, for example, could have produced plans for 40-50 miles of workable bicycle lanes each year. Instead, DOT installed little more than 15 miles, total, in the last two years. We could have saved the city settlements for lawsuits (and residents injuries) resulting from the puzzling addition of unusually high expansion joint covers on the Williamsburg Bridge. I brought this to bridge's attention in 2003 and was told by Michael Primeggia butt out.

I waited for a long time for the direction from the commissioner's office to change, or for the commissioner to be changed. I hope that you won't have to wait much longer.

Thank you and good luck,

Andrew Vesselinovitch
Bicycle Program Director
40 Worth Street, Room 1035
New York, New York 10013