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.
“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.”