New Department Proposed in City Budget

New Department Proposed in City Budget

Last week we wrote about the City of Pittsburgh’s 2017 budget and five year forecast.  Contained in the budget is a proposed new department, called the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, the goal/mission of the Department will be to “provide a safe, sustainable, and efficient system of transportation and accessibility”.

The details are fairly light beyond that: the budget for the Department would be around $479k with salaries and benefits accounting for $429k of the total; 4 full-time positions are proposed, including a Director, who, once hired, “…will be tasked with establishing the organizational structure, goals, and objectives”.

Currently in the Department of Public Works there is a Bureau of Transportation and Engineering, and in that Bureau the Division of Engineering and the Division of Traffic Operations have responsibilities that, on paper, read awfully close to what the mission of the proposed new Department would be:

“…engineering safe, affordable, functional, attractive, multimodal, and responsive infrastructure projects in a timely and proficient manner using Environmental Best Management Practices (BMP’s) whenever possible for roadways, bridges, retaining walls, sidewalks, steps, trails, and ancillary structures”

“…safe, efficient, and contextually sensitive movement of vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and goods along the City’s streets”

Perhaps these two divisions will be pulled out of Public Works and be housed under the new Department.  Whether by coincidence or not the FTE count in the Transportation and Engineering Bureau is slated to fall by 4 FTE from 2016 to 2017 though there is nothing noted in either Department’s narrative indicating such a move.