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In keeping with our tradition of interviewing new hires, we asked our new Director of Planning, Danielle Berger, a few questions so that you all can get to know her. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi! I’m Danielle Berger (rhymes with merger). I’m a native San Diegan and have lived and worked in Toronto, New York, and most recently Salt Lake City. My professional work is focused on increasing livability through sustainable transportation, public space activation, recreational access planning, and event programming.  I’m a graduate of the University of Toronto and Columbia University and a founding member of the APBP Utah Chapter. Outside of work, you can find me skiing, boating, flyfishing, and exploring by bike.     


How did you become interested in Circulate San Diego? 

I first worked with the Circulate team back in 2016 on the Chula Vista Elementary School District Safe Routes Master Plan. When a position opened with Circulate I knew it would be a great opportunity to transition to a local nonprofit doing meaningful work at the forefront of active transportation and advocacy. 


What is your biggest achievement to date?       

Wow, that’s a tough question… I’d say becoming an all-season bike commuter is up there on my list of personal achievements! I tried biking to work for the first time on Bike to Work Day with a friend several years ago and have been hooked ever since. Even during my time in Utah I was a year-round commuter, which entailed biking in every kind of weather imaginable including snow, winter inversions (a high-altitude weather phenomena), rain, scorching heat, and the occasional wildfire. 

A wise bike commuter once said to me, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only a bad outfit.  


If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as a mentor? 

Janette Sadik-Khan - former New York City Transportation Commissioner, author of StreetFight, and possible reincarnation of Jane Jacobs. She’s a transportation and urban design visionary who’s ability to redesign the built environment for pedestrians and bicyclists is remarkable. During her tenure with NYC DOT, she implemented 400 miles of bike lanes, 60 pedestrian plazas, seven bus rapid transit routes, and launched the Citi Bike bike share program in only 6 years. I’d love to understand how she’s been able to successfully implement bold, often contentious projects when it can be a challenge just to convince a city to stripe a bike lane!