Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
NACTO

NACTO 2012: Leading City DOT Commissioners Talk Transportation Politics

11:05 AM EST on December 18, 2012

"To me, the single most fascinating element of politics is the alchemy by which something becomes an issue," said Chris Hayes, MSNBC host and moderator of the commissioners' panel on the politics of transportation at the October NACTO Designing Cities conference.

The panel, captured in its entirety by Streetfilms, featured NYC DOT's Janette Sadik-Khan, Chicago DOT chief Gabe Klein, San Francisco MTA director Ed Reiskin, Boston transportation commissioner Tom Tinlin, and Philadelphia deputy mayor of transportation Rina Cutler.

To get things rolling, here's Hayes, a lifelong New Yorker and self-described bike-riding partisan:

At the most micro level, transportation is incredibly political ... But at a broader level it's completely absent from our national political conversation. And this is bizarre.

Select highlights from the 53-minute panel after the jump.

    • 09:00 - Reiskin: We need to make public transit accessible, reliable and enjoyable
    • 11:30 - Klein talks about young people and transportation's vitality to a city
    • 15:14 - Cutler: "Money matters."
    • 17:23 - Tinlin: "Mayor Menino has said, 'The car is no longer king in Boston.'"
    • 23:50 - Klein talks gas prices in Netherlands vs. U.S. and transportation infrastructure
    • 31:03 - Sadik-Khan: We need to find partners in creating public spaces in NYC
    • 33:30 - Hayes refers to cars as "speeding machines of death"
    • 36:56 - Sadik-Khan: "Two-thirds of New Yorkers get around without a car, less than half own a car."
    • 48:21 - Hayes asks the panel about public criticism from the media and advice for future commissioners

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Have Questions

What's an optimal rebate to get people to buy e-bikes without wasting money on those who were going to buy one anyway?

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Just Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Streets for Skateboards

Aaron Breetwor on skateboards for transportation and designing streets for safer skateboarding.

February 29, 2024

Agencies Need to Use Federal Funding to Buy Land for Transit Oriented Development

Transit agencies do not prioritize transit-adjacent housing development often because they lack funding to acquire land.

February 29, 2024
See all posts