There is so much for which to be thankful, despite the harrowing year. At Civil Beat, we have never been more thankful for readers like you. As we head into the final stretch of 2020, we’re asking you to support our local, nonprofit newsroom.
Civil Beat has raised $25,000 towards our $200,000 goal!
Honolulu’s Transportation Services Director, Wes Frysztacki, is stepping down weeks before his term officially expires.
Frysztacki, who’s served in that city cabinet role since 2017, will leave the Department of Transportation Services on Thursday to spend time with family on the mainland, according to an agency spokesman.
DTS Deputy Director Jon Nouchi will take over as acting director, agency spokesman Travis Ota said.
Wes Frysztacki has left the DTS director post weeks before his term expires.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Frysztacki, a longtime civil and traffic engineer, worked on Honolulu bus and rail initiatives before joining Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration at the start of its second term.
He helped usher in some health-friendly and environmentally friendly alternatives to car travel, including expansions of Honolulu’s bike-lane grid and the long-anticipated Biki bike-share network, while soundly rejecting the rental e-scooters that inundated other cities. DTS under his leadership implemented changes to make some of the city’s streets safer for pedestrians while also removing crosswalks across Honolulu.
We want you all to join us in saying farewell to our Director Wes Frysztacki, who will be leaving us to spend more time with his family in Washington. pic.twitter.com/U27kLWj6HL
Frysztacki also helped oversee the city’s bus system and the Handi-Van, which continues to struggle as one of the nation’s most heavily used paratransit services per capita.
As transportation director, Frysztacki also served on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board and was heavily involved in the process to close traffic in the city’s urban core for utility relocation. Those efforts have since been put on hold and project costs have soared.
He also recently sided with his boss, Caldwell, in arguing at those board meetings to cancel the so-called “P3” contract procurement. HART has nonetheless disregarded those calls and continued with the P3 process.
Nouchi, meanwhile, served as HART’s deputy director for planning and environment before joining DTS in 2016.
Frystacki’s predecessor at DTS during Caldwell’s first term was Mike Formby. Formby will return to Honolulu Hale next year as Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s managing director.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Before you go . . .
For the past several months our nonprofit newsroom has worked beyond our normal capacity to provide accurate information, push for accountability, amplify smart ideas and new voices, and double down on facts and context to write deeply reported local stories.
The truth is, our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.
Reader support keeps our small newsroom afloat. If you value the work of our journalists, please consider making a tax-deductible gift.