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BREAKING: Rahm Emanuel Names DC's Gabe Klein as Chicago Transpo Chief

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 11:38 AM

File Photo: Gabe Klein in Washington, D.C.  (Photo: DDOT)

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Transportation Nation has learned that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked his transportation chief. Gabe Klein, former head of Washington D.C.'s Department of Transportation, will become the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation in mid-May. An announcement is expected later this morning.

Klein tells Transportation Nation that he hopes to build on the innovative programs that were put in place in Washington, D.C. and transform Chicago into a world class transportation city. During his tenure, D.C. launched a bikeshare program, expanded bike lanes and installed several electric car charging stations.

As we've reported here before, Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, is largely supportive of public transit, is a cyclist himself, and has said he wants to build 100 miles of new bike lanes during his first term.

His transportation plan when running for mayor was, in essence, a transit plan. Emanuel also impressed local transit and transportation activists with his interest in the topic and detailed knowledge of the issues including having a specific favorite bike-lane design.

Now Chicago has a pro-bike, pro-transit pair in charge of transportation policy.

UPDATE: Several other Emanuel appointments were also announced today, including the head of the Chicago Transit Authority.

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