Scottsdale welcomes new transportation and streets director

August 14, 2020

Scottsdale has announced Mark Melnychenko as transportation and streets director, an expanded role that will oversee transportation planning, transit, and traffic engineering, along with streets, which previously was a separate department.

“Merging the two departments into one has already been a great success improving communication and coordination between planners, operators and maintainers,” said Public Works Director Dan Worth in a prepared statement. “Finding the right director to lead this new, expanded team was a critical final step in the reorganization.”

The city conducted a lengthy nationwide search, including two rounds of recruitment, before finding a good fit to fill the transportation director position that had been vacant since September 2019, according to a press release.

“Mark’s breadth of experience, which includes planning and delivering capital projects for Phoenix, as well as in-depth experience in the transit field, made him stand out,” said Mr. Worth.

Mr. Melnychenko brings more than 24 years of transportation planning experience to the position. He most recently served as deputy director of the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department after serving more than 16 years in their Public Transit Department. Prior to working for Phoenix, Mr. Melnychenko was a transportation planner in the private sector.

“My experience has given me an understanding of all aspects of transportation, including coordination between internal departments, between the public and private sectors, and between Scottsdale and other organizations, including the Maricopa Association of Governments and neighboring cities,” said Mr. Melnychenko.

While at Phoenix, Mr. Melnychenko was the first planner to move into the Street Transportation Department, which had been primarily engineering-focused before, the press release stated. He was also part of the team that helped develop the Phoenix Transportation 2050 plan that linked streets and transit together into one initiative.

Much of Mr. Melnychenko’s experience also includes improving multi-modal transportation. He worked on the Grand Canalscape that developed a multi-use path from 1-17 to the Phoenix-Tempe border and led efforts to implement complete streets in Phoenix.

“We passed ordinances, a policy and design guidelines that considered all users of the streets, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and those connecting to transit,” said Mr. Melnychenko. “This was a big move for Phoenix, which is a very auto-oriented city.”

As a 30-year resident of Scottsdale and a former Scottsdale Transportation Commissioner and Chair, Mr. Melnychenko also brings an in-depth knowledge of and love for the city.

“I’m excited for the chance to make a difference where I live,” said Mr. Melnychenko. “I’m going to do what I can to add to the livability side of Scottsdale transportation.”

Former transportation director, Paul Basha, resigned from his post last September amid an internal investigation  outlining allegations of violating city policies, values and ethical standards.