About DOT

Leon Heyward, Deputy Commissioner Sidewalks and Inspection Management

Leon Heyward was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Sidewalks and Inspection Management in June 2003. Previously, he had been Deputy Commissioner for Street and Arterial Maintenance since October 1998. Prior to that, he held a series of management positions in the agency.

Mr. Heyward came to DOT in 1988 from the Department of Sanitation, where he served as a Project Manager and as an Assistant Group Manager. As a Project Manager, he managed the operational implementation of the Department's Curbside and Apartment Building Recycling Programs. As Assistant Group Manager, he supervised the monitoring of the 59 Household Collection Districts as they joined the recycling program. His work in developing the Department's mandatory recycling program was successfully implemented.

From December 1992 to October 1994, Mr. Heyward was Assistant Commissioner of DOT's Operations and Support Division. He was responsible for establishing policy and objectives and managing five units: Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, Facilities Maintenance, Communications, Real Estate and Capital Projects. He oversaw the establishment, direction and monitoring of all preventive and corrective maintenance programs for agency vehicles, guided the planning and direction of work performed by in-house trade forces, initiated capital projects through engineering staff and directed the dissemination of transportation information related to unusual and emergency traffic conditions and traffic surveillance operations. Prior to being appointed Assistant Commissioner, he served as Executive Director for the division and was responsible for formulating policy for the five units, overseeing all aspects of a $15 million expense budget including, hiring, overtime control and headcount and OTPS budget reduction initiatives.

During 1994, he served as Acting Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement, with a headcount of over 2,000 people and an operating budget of $57 million. He managed a smooth transition of the Bureau of Enforcement at a time when the Bureau had to absorb significant cuts in its budget.

In October 1994, when a reorganization of the agency led to the creation of Borough Commissioners, Mr. Heyward was selected to be the Bronx Borough Commissioner, with responsibility for the coordination of DOT's operations in the borough and serving as senior transportation representative to the Borough President, Community Boards and other elected officials. He also had overall responsibility for the direction of Traffic Enforcement, Street Maintenance and Borough Engineering.

From January 1996 to October 1998, he served as Borough Commissioner for Manhattan. He played an instrumental role in initiating three projects that addressed long-felt quality of life needs Citywide: curb replacements, vacant lot fencing and bus pad installation. For a period of seven months, January to July 1997, he served as Borough Commissioner for both Manhattan and the Bronx.

Mr. Heyward earned a Master of Science degree in Public Management and Policy Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University in 1983 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics at the University of Vermont in 1981. He is involved in community outreach, both as a public official and a private citizen. In a private capacity, Leon is a member of Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene where he serves in the Men’s Ministry and on the Public Safety Team. He is on the Alumni Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for the Transportation Research Center at the University of Vermont. And he is an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity where he participates in activities directed at advising high school youths on the importance of obtaining an education and being responsible members of the community.

As Deputy Commissioner for Sidewalks and Inspection Management, Mr. Heyward is responsible for sidewalk repairs, pedestrian ramp installations, and Citywide concrete programs. The Division also includes the Highway Inspection and Quality Assurance (HIQA) unit, which enforces the rules that govern the way utilities, plumbers, contractors, homeowners and other governmental agencies work on the City's streets and highways. HIQA enforces these rules to ensure that contractors restore and maintain the roadway in good condition. The DOT Office of Special Events also is part of the Division of Sidewalks and Inspection Management.