Ryan Russo has 20 years of progressively responsible experience in multi-modal transportation and city planning. He was appointed in May 2017 as the first permanent Director of the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT). OakDOT pursues a vision of a more equitable, safer Oakland with improved access to housing, jobs, schools and services. It is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the city’s over 800 miles of roads and 1,100 miles of sidewalks and represents Oakland with the region’s transportation partners, such as BART, AC Transit, MTC and Caltrans.
Under Ryan’s leadership, OakDOT has become a national model for incorporating equity into transportation planning, policy, programs and operations. From paving plans to emerging mobility, OakDOT is working to center racial equity in every organizational aspect and long-neglected communities are now being more authentically engaged and collaborating with government.
Previously, he served as Deputy Commissioner with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). Working under New York City Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio, Ryan led innovative and transformative safety, pedestrian, cycling and transit projects over the last decade including North America’s first on-street parking-protected bike lanes, the pedestrian plazas at Times & Herald Squares and the nation’s first Vision Zero action plans. In total Ryan oversaw the design and implementation of more than 600 miles of bike network enhancements including 70 miles of protected bicycle lanes and projects that reclaimed hundreds of acres of former road space for walking, transit and bike riding—taming some of the city’s most dangerous roads and yielding the fewest fatalities in more than 100 years of record-keeping in New York City.
Ryan currently serves as the Affiliate Member Representative on the Board of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).