Stephanie Pollack Leaving MassDOT to Join Biden’s Federal Highway Administration

Sec. Stephanie Pollack at the 7th annual LivableStreets StreetTalk event in 2017. Courtesy of the LivableStreets Alliance.
Sec. Stephanie Pollack at the 7th annual LivableStreets StreetTalk event in 2017. Courtesy of the LivableStreets Alliance.

MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack has been appointed to the new Biden-Harris administration as the new Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Pollack has led MassDOT since 2015, at the beginning of Governor Charlie Baker’s first term. Before she joined the state government, Pollack had been Associate Director for Research at the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, and an attorney and director of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF).

As a CLF attorney in the 1990s, Pollack helped negotiate a package of significant transit improvements that the state promised to build as mitigation for its “Big Dig” highway projects (editor’s note: CLF is also the nonprofit fiscal agent of StreetsblogMASS).

But while the Big Dig’s highways were finished by the mid-2000s, the transit mitigation projects remain incomplete to this day.

Many advocates had hoped that the CLF advocate who had fought for those transit projects in the 1990s would finally make them a priority once she took the helm at MassDOT. And under Pollack’s leadership, MassDOT did manage to shepherd struggling projects into construction, including the Green Line Extension and the South Coast commuter rail project.

But other key promises of the Big Dig, like a proposed connector between the Red and Blue lines under Cambridge Street in Boston, remain unfulfilled, and the state has all but given up on others, like the proposed restoration of the Green Line to Forest Hills.

Pollack also oversaw the creation of the Massachusetts Complete Streets funding program. Though its budget is modest, the program incentivized dozens of municipal governments to adopt Complete Streets policies and implementation plans.

“Stephanie Pollack was an integral contributor to the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) coalition in its formative days. While we disagreed with many of her decisions during her tenure at MassDOT, she deserves respect and appreciation for her transportation advocacy and research over many decades,” said Chris Dempsey, Director of the T4MA coalition, in a press statement on Thursday morning. “We wish her well in the Biden-Harris Administration and look forward to working with her to reform the nation’s highway system to make it more equitable and sustainable.”

Governor Baker has appointed Jamey L. Tesler, the current Registrar of Motor Vehicles, to be the Acting Secretary of Transportation following Pollack’s departure for Washington. Tesler has previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary for Procurement for MassDOT.



Extensiones de bordillo/banqueta con vegetación en ambos lados del cruce peatonal localizados en la intersección de Somerville Avenue y Merriam Street a lo largo del camino de bici en la Ciudad de Somerville. Extensiones de bordillo/banquetas hacen la calle más angosta y ayudan a reducir la distancia que la gente tiene que cruzar.

Nuevas Normas de Diseño Para Calles Mas Seguras y Verdes

El mes pasado, funcionarios municipales y estatales se juntaron para anunciar las primeros normas de infraestructura verde en Boston, con el fin de aumentar la resiliencia de la ciudad contra el cambio climático por medio de pequeñas instalaciones en las calles. Read the article in English.  En una junta de prensa en Central Square Park […]
A photo illustration of a proposed new shared-use path. A wide, paved path runs through the middle of the image and is lined on both sides by trees and shade. To the left is a wooden guardrail and a two-lane roadway.

DCR Proposes New Trail Connection from Hyde Park to Blue Hills

Monday evening, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) presented conceptual design plans to connect the Neponset River Greenway to the Blue Hills via new and upgraded multi-use paths.  Spanning 8.2 miles, the Neponset River Greenway begins in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester and runs along the Neponset River through the neighborhoods of Hyde Park, […]