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Biography of Commissioner Weinshall

Iris Weinshall was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT) in September 2000. Under her leadership the department has made the city's streets and sidewalks safer for the millions of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who share New York's public spaces. She has also taken important steps to address congestion, improve traffic flow and better maintain the city's aging infrastructure.

Along Queens Boulevard, for example, the department significantly reduced pedestrian injuries and fatalities by slowing traffic, changing traffic signal timing and adding new signage and pedestrian fencing. During Commissioner Weinshall's tenure, pedestrian fatalities in New York have fallen to their lowest level since 1910.

To enhance traffic flow in the city's most congested area, Midtown Manhattan, Commissioner Weinshall and Mayor Bloomberg announced the 2003 THRU Streets Program. This program, which prohibits turns off of designated streets between 3rd and 6th Avenues, has reduced cross-town travel times by 25% and increased vehicle speeds by 33%.

Over the past 5 years, the department has also taken important steps to rehabilitate and better maintain the city's bridges and roadways. The nearly $3 billion rehabilitation of the city's East River Bridges is nearing completion and, thanks to incentives clauses for contractors, much of the work has been completed ahead of schedule. Also, in 2005, DOT filled a record 260,000 potholes and was able to respond to pothole complaints reported to 311 in 4 days, on average.

In addition to her role as DOT Commissioner, Commissioner Weinshall was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. In September 2003, Commissioner Weinshall was appointed Special Transportation Advisor to the Mayor. In that capacity, Commissioner Weinshall is responsible for shaping a transportation strategy for the city and guiding the Taxi and Limousine Commission in their pursuits.

Commissioner Weinshall is a graduate of Brooklyn College and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Administration.

A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Weinshall has two daughters and is married to U. S. Senator Charles Schumer.

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