Michael Rogers, who was hired as the city’s first-ever transportation director a little over a year ago, is a finalist for a similar job in Austin. The Austin-American Statesman has him competing with five others for an assistant city manager gig that will “guide the city’s mobility efforts,” which certainly sounds familiar.
Rogers is a civil engineer who was hired away from Raleigh, N.C. in November of 2017 and immediately charged with creating the city’s first transportation plan, diving into rethinking how all of our thoroughfares—from freeways to roads to bike trails—influence transit, zoning, housing, and economic development. He was also hired to lead discussions with agency partners like Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Texas Department of Transportation.
Under his watch, the city has crafted policies to handle share bikes and scooters. The last bond package allocated a significant chunk of money for expanding the city’s bike trail system, which he is helping implement. He walked into the building just as the council’s mobility committee voted to study the impact of tearing out IH-345, the 1.3-mile freeway that connects 45 to Central and separates downtown from Deep Ellum. His next project will be working with TxDOT for guidance on how to redesign Interstate 30 east of downtown.
If he were to leave, he’d be the second high-ranking recruit to depart City Hall under the tenure of City Manager T.C. Broadnax in the last year. Raquel Favela, the assistant city manager over housing and economic development, decamped in October.
The Statesman says Rogers and the other finalists will be interviewed “in the coming weeks.” He is one of two people not from Austin. He’ll be competing with the city’s director of the transportation department, the public works director, its deputy chief financial officer, and Austin Water’s assistant director of engineering services. The other outsider is the commissioner for Boston’s transportation department.