Photo by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash

Keith Benjamin is working his last few weeks as the City of Charleston’s director of traffic and transportation, he told the City Paper Tuesday.

Benjamin, who has worked in his role for four years, said he is leaving “for personal reasons” in a June 7 email addressed to members of Charleston City Council.

Benjamin | Photo provided

In his letter, Benjamin said he was proud of his team’s work that “set a new precedent in how transportation is defined in our city and larger region.” During his time as director, the city received $18 million in federal funding for a dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River. The city is currently updating its comprehensive plan, which maps out goals and plans for the next decade.

“I cannot say enough about the opportunity the Mayor gave me four years ago to not only lead the Department of Traffic and Transportation but represent the city in facing various challenges with equitable mobility, economic development and community engagement,” Benjamin told the City Paper. “It was with both the mayor and council’s openness, as well as the commitment of the over 60 employees in the department that allows us to move the needle in the right direction when it comes to transportation for all and not just some.”

Asked what his next move was, Benjamin told the City Paper, “At this time I am staying prayerful and considering my options with my family.”

Mayor John Tecklenburg said he hoped Benjamin would “ensure we’re on the cutting edge of traffic solutions” when he was hired in June 2017. Before landing in Charleston, Benjamin worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In a statement Tuesday, Tecklenburg praised Benjamin’s tenure:

“Keith Benjamin is a remarkable public servant and has been a great asset to the city of Charleston during his time as director of Traffic and Transportation. While we’re sad to see him go, his outstanding efforts to improve mobility, enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, and build critical regional partnerships will strengthen our transportation efforts for years to come.”

The new director will oversee a department of 67 full-time employees with an operating budget of $5.6 million, according to a brochure accompanying the job opening.

Benjamin’s last day with the city will be July 16.

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