Neal Patel will be leaving his position as planning director at the SF Bicycle Coalition to join the SF Municipal Transportation Agency's Livable Streets team, bringing his talents in community outreach to city government.
Patel said the details on his position at the SFMTA are still taking shape, but that he'll be working on pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic calming projects "in some way, shape or form."
"I'm really excited to be moving over there, although it's been an amazing experience" working for the SFBC for the past six years, he said.
"While sad for us, this is great news for San Francisco," the SFBC wrote in its newsletter yesterday. "Neal will bring his knowledge, diplomacy and passion for bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects to the city, where he can help make great change to our streets."
Patel has led the SFBC's advocacy efforts, reaching out to residents and merchants to build support for recent bike lane and pedestrian improvements on streets like Fell and Oak, Masonic, and Polk.
"It's been an incredible opportunity," said Patel. "I've learned a lot about community planning for transportation projects, and what's probably been most rewarding has been working with our members, who live in every corner of the city, who come from all different backgrounds, and who, in lots of different ways -- whether it's sending in a support letter or coming to a community hearing -- have been really at the forefront for all of these changes that we're seeing on the streets."
Patel is the second SFBC staffer to take up a position at the SFMTA recently. It was exactly one year ago that Andy Thornley, the organization's former policy director, announced he would join the SFPark team.
The SFBC said Patel's last day at the organization will be on June 20 at the organization's Golden Wheel Awards.
Aaron was the editor of Streetsblog San Francisco from January 2012 until October 2015. He joined Streetsblog in 2010 after studying rhetoric and political communication at SF State University and spending a semester in Denmark.