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Scott names FDOT boss

by John Kennedy | April 18th, 2011

After apparently mulling the decision for months, Gov. Rick Scott didn’t look far in naming a new chief of the state’s road-building agency, which lawmakers look to as a potential job creator in a punishing economy.

Ananth Prasad, an 18-year Florida Department of Transportation veteran, was named the agency’s new secretary Monday by Scott. Prasad rejoined FDOT last July after a two-year hiatus in which he was vice-president of a construction services firm.

The $7 billion agency oversees road-building,  land acquisition and highway maintenance, along with port dredging, an area close to Scott, who wants Florida ports better positioned to compete for trade. Prasad had been an assistant secretary for engineering and operations.

Prasad succeeds Stephanie Kopelousos, who left FDOT when former Gov. Charlie Crist’s term expired, and is now with the U.S. House Transportation Committee, under chairman Rep. John  Mica, R-Orlando.

 Prasad had been recommended to Scott by the Florida Transportation Commission, along with two other finalists, Thomas Conrecode, a vice president of Collier Enterprises; and former Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Goodin.

“Florida is facing challenging times and FDOT plays a significant role in the kind of private-sector job creation that this state desperately needs,” said Bob Burleson, president of the Florida Transportation Builders Association.

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One Response to “Scott names FDOT boss”

  1. Craig Chester Says:

    Unfortunately, Prasad’s appointment is disastrous for anyone who chooses to walk, ride a bicycle or use any other alternative means of transportation in Florida. Prassad, a career FDOT bureaucrat, recently made a series of embarrassingly backward comments on Capitol Hill regarding sidewalks and cycling paths. These comments were the subject of a post on TransitMiami.com post only a few weeks ago.

    Here is the post:

    http://www.transitmiami.com/fdot/florida-dot-dont-build-sidewalks-when-economy-is-down

    Nothing like some fresh, progressive-thinking leadership to head the FDOT and change our state’s dubious reputation as having the 4 most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the USA. (Orlando, Tampa, Miami/FLL and Jacksonville, respectively)

    Oh wait…that’s not happening. The FDOT is flying directly into the headwind of reality by continually failing to sufficiently accommodate pedestrians and cyclists in their roadway designs – even on the FDOT roadways that pierce through our urban corridors like Biscayne Blvd and Brickell Avenues in Miami. More and more people are choosing to bike in the face of soaring gas prices and yet the FDOT’s auto-centric designs are putting us on the path of Ireland ahead of the great potato famine.

    After a series of fatal and serious accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists on ill-designed FDOT roads, no local Miami official has been able to effectively influence the FDOT to make safety for pedestrians and cyclists a priority. Simply put, the FDOT is a rouge agency, accountable to no one, and the appoint of Prasad is terrible news for anyone optimistic for the development and fostering of complete streets in Florida.

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