Housing Complex

Klein to Chicago

Transportation Nation was first with the news that former DDOT director Gabe Klein is off to head Rahm Emanuel's Department of Transportation in Chicago. Seems to resemble a certain former mayor of D.C....

Here's what Klein says about it:

I am excited to announce that I will be joining Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration in Chicago on May 16th to run the Chicago Department of Transportation.  I am excited for a new exhilarating adventure and to serve the wonderful people of Chicago (I am amazed at how friendly everyone is here btw).

I am sad to leave my wonderful friends, family, and former coworkers in Washington D.C. but as Helen Keller said “life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all,” right?

This is an opportunity to continue public service in the 5th largest urban economy in the world, for a leader every bit as reform-minded and results oriented as former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty; to make Chicago an example nationally for innovation in transportation and public space, and most importantly, to positively impact quality of life for the 2.6 million residents of Chi-town.

Thanks for your continued support, and to everyone at CDOT: I can’t wait to meet and learn from you, build on your great work thus far, and accomplish great things together.

I'd say this'll last until Emanuel manages to get thrown out, but that city is used to high-handed, forward thinking mayors. So perhaps Klein will have time to realize his transit-oriented dreams there, if not here.

  • Really

    Heard zip cars went public. I guess the part owner using the District as an incubator has it perks.

  • H Street Landlord

    But wait, he was a worthless nobody, right?

    Another brilliant Gray decision. Ridiculous. Good luck in Chicago Mr. Klein.

  • Concernedaboutdc

    Chicago gets a sidewalk food vender to manage their transportation network. Good for you. And Gabe thought District residents were hard. Chicagoans are can be very ruthless. Particularly the Aldermen.

  • BiLL

    Good luck in Chicago Mr. Klein! You did a fantastic job while in DC, and it's a shame Gray stopped the great progress you started. You will be missed.

  • The Waiting is the Hardest Part

    So, Emanuel wins election on February 22. Appoints Gabe Klein today (about 2 months after election), and is set to take office on May 16.

    Gray effectively won the election on September 15, 2010. He actually won election on November 2 (a month and a half later), takes office on January 2 (two months after that) and officially dumps Klein, and we sit here now, 3.5 months after that, still waiting for an appointee to head DDOT - seven months after Gray's primary victory.

  • noodlez

    LETS GET SOMETHING CLEAR. KLEIN THE CLOWN DID NOTHING TO ADVANCE THE PROGESS OF WHATEVER IT IS YOU ALL ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    HE FUCKED UP DURING SNOWPOCALYPSE, HE FUCKED UP THE STREETCAR DEAL, ZIP CAR HOADING VALUABLE PARKING SPACES AND GOT TRAFFIC LANES SO FUCKED UP THAT FOLKS WHO RIDE BIKES IN THE CITY ARE GETTING PUMMELED AT A RATE WORST THAN BEFORE HE TOOK OVER.

    WOW IF THIS IS TRANSPO PROGRESS I HATE TO SEE HIS FAILURES???

  • Really?

    Noodlez add NYC Ave, which is a mess and he blew his budget almost every.

  • Some Ideas

    Item a) Chicagoans do not refer to Chicago as "Chi-town" [ truckers on the CB maybe ] and as a native it is insulting.

    Item b) Gabe won't have Jim Sebastian in Chicago to make good on his bicycle lane promises.

    Item c) Gabe may have been able to deliver "good stuff" but the internal management and delivery of projects in DDOT is still a mess, except in a few limited cases.

    Item d) Too many big players in Chicago. Connections run deep and he will be an outsider with no political capital. Anything he receives will be dispensation by the Mayor. Prediction -- roadkill in 9 months.

    Item e) He has plenty of experience with brash political leaders who lead by crackberry and don't listen to professionals in their field of expertise...

  • Dan

    Think the appointment says more about Rahm than about Klein. Laughable that he does not have anyone on his Rolodex in Chicago who is qualified.

    Speaking as a former Chicago resident, people there know what effective city services are so you'll need to put up or shut up. Also, the people who know how to navigate the system will not be like the effete, fawning homeowners of Ward 3. Finally, no one will give a rat's a** about your zipcars, bike shares, or bike lanes. Good luck!

  • DC Resident

    When I sit in traffic on New York Ave NE, I think of the impact that DDOT has had on District residents and visitors to our city over the past few years. I think of the “new” traffic pattern on Alabama and Branch AVE, SE. A pattern so “jacked up” that I will no longer drive in the area during rush hour and avoid it at other times. I think of the nightmare at New York and Florida AVE. I am reminded of the man that was hit by a cab turning right onto Florida from 1st Street and pinned against the rear of a truck after the intersection was improved. I think of all the streets that were converted to two-way traffic and all the motorist that now sit in the backup for hours. I think of all the useless, underused bike lanes, the removed parking meters. Thank you, Klein. Good LUCK Chicago, you are about to get f_ _ _ed.

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