Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 40

The Brooklyn-Queens Connector, designed by Sam Schwartz
Transportation Consultants, is the longest streetcar line in the U.S.,
running 17 miles along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront. The
project is a 2017 EEA National Recognition Award winner.

Schwartz left public service in 1990, and after a short stint at
Hayden Wegman Consulting Engineers, put out his own shingle in
1995. Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants currently employs
about 120 people and has offices in New York, Newark, Chicago,
Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida.
"Working in government was a great education," says Schwartz.
"You deal with things that no one in the private sector has to deal
with-all the obstacles placed in the way of public engineers."

Sam Schwartz addresses employees at the company's 20th
anniversary party in July 2015.

BUILDING A FIRM

Erich Arcement joined Schwartz's firm 22 years ago as an intern.
Today he is a senior vice president, heading up some of the firm's
bigger projects, including traffic engineering for the $4 billion
renovation of LaGuardia Airport.
In recent years, the firm has provided traffic and project expertise for the new Second Avenue Subway in New York, the pope's
visit to Philadelphia and several presidential inaugurations. During
reconstruction in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade
Center, the firm helped to restore transportation access to the site
and the surrounding streets.
"We often get called into major projects that are having difficulties," Arcement says. "Sam is a big thinker. He looks at everything
holistically, isn't afraid to test the boundaries of what can be done,
and searches for creative ways to solve problems."
One of the firm's areas of expertise is community relations, finding innovative ways to engage and incorporate community input
into the project. On the Second Avenue Subway project, for example, the community wasn't happy. "There was a lot of surface street
construction, but all the progress was happening below grade," says
Arcement.
The firm opened up a storefront community information center,
organized street fairs and even organized tours below grade to show
people the work that was being done.
"We were able to get people excited and more interested in the
project," says Arcement. "Equally important, though, is we listened
to their concerns and recommendations and incorporated them
into the project going forward."
Schwartz attracts like-minded people to the firm, says Arcement.
"They find their way here. They know the work we do and the
ethos of the company, and they want to work here.
"Every year we have an internal company slogan," he says. "A
40

ENGINEERING INC.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017

few years ago it was, 'We are bigger than we are.' To me that really
sets the tone of our company. We want to create something bigger
than ourselves."
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Schwartz has always had an outsized presence in his endeavors.
"He is, inarguably, the most beloved transportation engineer
alive," says Charles Komanoff, a New York City transport economist, who then adds with a smile, "Admittedly, there's not much
competition."
Schwartz, for example, is credited with inventing the word "gridlock," although he is always quick to credit the initial use of the
word to a colleague. Schwartz, however, brought it into the public
space and soon came to be known as "Gridlock Sam."
Since 1990, he has been writing a Gridlock Sam column in the
New York Daily News, answering questions from commuters and
commenting on transportation issues in the New York City metropolitan area. He also has a Twitter feed in which he regularly tweets
traffic and transit service updates from around the city.
"Sam has a unique skill set," says Charlie Gozdziewski, executive
chairman of Hardesty & Hanover in New York City. "He's an excellent engineer, a great communicator, and he has substantial political
skills. He checks all the boxes."
Schwartz is applying those skills right now as one of the prime
forces behind the Move New York initiative, which has its genesis all



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc - September/October 2017

Engineering Inc - September/october 2017
Contents
From Acec to You
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Eye on The Storm
Boost Profits, Reduce Loss
Innovations in Airport Design
Future Looks Bright for Vr
The Legend of Gridlock Sam
Focus on Philanthropy
Guest Column
Mergers and Acquisitions
Members in the News
Business Insights
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Intro
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Engineering Inc - September/october 2017
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover2
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Contents
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 2
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 3
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - From Acec to You
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 5
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Market Watch
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 7
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Legislative Action
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 9
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Eye on The Storm
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 11
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 12
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 13
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 14
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 15
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 16
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 17
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Boost Profits, Reduce Loss
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 19
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 20
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 21
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 22
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Innovations in Airport Design
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 24
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 25
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 26
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 27
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 28
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 29
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Future Looks Bright for Vr
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 31
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 32
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 33
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 34
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 35
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 36
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 37
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - The Legend of Gridlock Sam
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 39
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 40
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 41
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Focus on Philanthropy
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 43
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 44
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 45
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 46
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 47
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Guest Column
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 49
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Mergers and Acquisitions
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 51
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 52
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Members in the News
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 54
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 55
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Business Insights
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover3
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover4
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