Polly Trottenberg moved from Carroll Gardens to some other places and then back to Cobble Hill

Hot to Trot-tenberg! New roads czar hits ground running in Cobble Hill

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hello, neighbor!

Polly Trottenberg, the newly minted commissioner of the city Department of Transportation, has made the move to Cobble Hill. Trottenberg arrived in the center of the universe from a sleepy backwater called Washington, D.C., but she used to live just up the road a piece and her latest move brings her back full circle, she said.

“It has been wonderful to come back to Brooklyn,” Trottenberg said. “I previously lived in Carroll Gardens and am now just a short walk away in beautiful Cobble Hill.”

But do not think her first days here have been all contemplative strolls. Janette Sadik-Khan’s replacement has been busy pressing the flesh.

“I have already gotten to know some of my new neighbors and local elected officials like Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Dan Squadron and Council Member Brad Lander,” she said.

The new roads czar has said she will champion Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero plan to bring city traffic deaths down to zero by 2024.

“I look forward to working with them and their colleagues on our shared vision of making Brooklyn streets — and all of New York — safe and accessible,” she said.

Councilman Lander (D–Cobble Hill) first broke the news of her arrival.

“I am thrilled to have her in the district,” he said. “She is no stranger to Brooklyn.”

She comes to the job of ruler of New York’s roads from a post as second-in-command at the federal transportation department under President Obama and, before that, transportation policy advisor to Sen. Charles Schumer (D–New York), whose wife famously wants to rip out the bike highway on Prospect Park West.

Road safety activists are wasting no time in pushing projects for their new neighbor to pursue.

Brooklyn Heights is set to get the “slow zone” treatment from the city within the next three years and Boerum Hill got its designation, the borough’s first, less than two years ago, so a go-slow plan for Cobble Hill is a logical next step and would make busy Atlantic Avenue safer, according to one road warrior.

“These three communities together could implement complete street redesigns on Atlantic Avenue itself, calming this deadly arterial [street] that pours speeding traffic into their residential roads,” said Keegan Stephan of the car critic group Right of Way. “If they do, this stretch could become a beautiful example of what a future New York City could look like.”

Trottenberg, for her part, thinks some belt-loosening measures are in order.

“One big challenge is the diversity of amazing food options in the neighborho­od,” she said. “I pledge to try them all, but stay in fighting shape as we work to meet the city’s transportation needs.”

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Welcome to the neighborhood. Are you sure you are in Cobble Hill?...

BTW slow zones don't slow down the major through streets. They are in the neighborhood streets not the major Atlantic Avenue. Atlantic avenue needs enforcement. Speed cameras and speeding tickets...
Feb. 13, 2014, 9:35 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
and you don't want to push the traffic into the neighborhood slow zones streets anyway. You want to move it out of there and keep it on the through streets. Taking a traffic lane away during rush hour has slowed traffic on Atlantic avenue although off hours still are a problem as are illegal turners and failure to yield. all enforcement issues.
FYI I am on the CB2 Traffic committee, as Vice Chair.
Feb. 13, 2014, 9:40 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Janette Sadik-Khan did a great job building out the bike lane, implementing the Citibike program, and many other measures. It's encouraging to hear that Trottenberg has pledged to implement Vision Zero and build on Sadik-Khan's legacy.
Feb. 13, 2014, 10:55 am
Transpo from NYC says:

It takes a combination of methods to improve street safety. Not only do we need aggressive enforcement, but we could use significant street redesigns citywide. This includes aggressive traffic calming like speed humps, neckdowns and chicanes. Basically, enhanced slow zones.


I agree wholeheartedly.
Feb. 13, 2014, 5:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I honestly, don't feel that redesigning streets is a good idea. Keep in mind that it costs a lot to do that. Even if more slow zones and other traffic calming was placed, we still have the rogue cyclists and jaywalkers that are constantly placing themselves into harm's way by flouting the laws. Trottenburg should look at everyone who uses the roads, not just a certain and have everyone be subject to enforcement as well.
Feb. 13, 2014, 6:17 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Of course you have to redesign streets.

You have to have contracts, and bids on those contracts, and there is graft to be had when you have that!

Re-timing lights? No money to be poured into the troughs for the piggies!

And when it fails (Think Ft Hamilton Pkwy) you pull it all out and start again. More money in the trough!

We are aiming for ZERO traffic deaths, an impossible goal, so we will ALWAYS be looking for change, then another change, and one more after that.

Remember when "congestion" was baaad? Now it's a feature.
Feb. 13, 2014, 6:23 pm
TOM from Brooklyn says:
Sadik-Khan's legacy? How soon we forget it's the Mayor's decisions that count.

Bike Share was only possible with the private financing from Bloomberg's friends, and the PPW bike lane would not have stood long against the Schumer assault except for the strong and direct backing of the Mayor.

Of course, he's also good for a job when it's needed.
Feb. 13, 2014, 7:01 pm
horses from Brooklyn says:
Let the bike lanes be shared with the horses. The horses can first and are a greener form of transportation than bike - horses need no manufacturing nor destruction of natural resources make them, only mother nature who knows best!
Feb. 14, 2014, 10:23 am
resident from Cobble Hill says:
I like the shared bike/horse lane idea and am shore the horse riders will be a lot more courtious than cyclists.

As for speeds;, 20 mph for 1 lane, 25 mph for 2 lane, 30 for 3 lane (that's total, either direction). Make it universal and make it simple.
Feb. 14, 2014, 10:29 am
resident from Brooklyn says:
Don't you know that slow is fast and fast is slow!

- 20 mph on 1 lane streets
- 25 mph on 2 lane streets
- 30 mph on 3 or more lane streets

You can make it simple, make it universal, make it safe.

May Brooklyn set the path
Feb. 15, 2014, 12:36 am

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