The Mayor’s Office is seeking the input of Seattle residents into the qualities and expertise Seattle should emphasize in its next director of the Department of Transportation. There’s a very short questionnaire that asks you some general questions about your transportation priorities. If you’ve been following our SDOT coverage over the years, you’re well-qualified to answer these questions. Please do so by April 8th.

Beyond the obvious need for transit speed and reliability improvements, please also consider the emphasis on pedestrian and bike safety over car throughput, through SDOT programs like the road diet.

You can also attend the public meeting at Seattle Center this Saturday, if you RSVP online.

5 Replies to “What’s Important in an SDOT Director?”

  1. First requirement for chief of any department: willingness, ability, and guts to kick into Hell with a red hot steel-toed boot whatever agency set up a questionnaire that not only did not permit a respondent to finish, but would not permit deleting a thought without enough characters to finish.

    And that considered both spaces and above deletions as characters. The thinking here demonstrates the exact mentality and manners of current government that puts so many right-wing stickers on the bumpers of working people’s pickup trucks.

    I know I use too many words. But I generally choose them carefully, and will generally agree to an editor’s request to compress anything I write. But please, nobody ever again ask me to fill out anything that induces me to turn in something badly written without the ability to modify a forbidden count of “characters”

    That’s an insult to mine.

    Mark Dublin

    1. I filled out this questionnaire a few days ago and had no trouble editing my submission before submitting.

      1. If my problem was the only one, I’m very glad. I don’t like being interrupted.

        At a hearing on King County Metro’s budget problems, I recently watched Councilman Larry Phillips order an armed police officer to remove from the room two remove two men who kept interrupting him.

        Thought at the time this was an overreaction by someone I generally respected whose patience with local transit politics had simply reached the point of complete exhaustion.

        Since I’ve never worked as hard as Larry on anything, I don’t have same excuse for losing my temper over something this minor, and probably a website malfunction.
        Whatever set me off, it’s a good indication best thing I can do for any cause of mine to confine my political contributions to whatever money I can afford to give.

        To answer the questions posed, I would say that what any public official needs most is the plain brute stamina to keep making rational decisions until the coroner pronounces them dead, and to keep their temper awhile longer.

        Anybody who isn’t a heavy-weight should trade the boxing ring for the aikido mat. In politics, this means writing serious theory at best, and savage commentary on right-wing talk radio at absolute worst.

        Am taking the lesson a lot more seriously than my words deserve. Reminds me, I owe STB a posting on the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.


  2. Completed and submitted, I had no issues with editing my answers. I was on message, for what it’s worth.

    1. Received, and absolutely right. After some other things on the national scene where websites had problems, should be more patient when they don’t work. Should also have remembered that while websites don’t have feelings, the people who have to deal with them do- and crashes and other malfunctions are doubtless awful for them.

      But my own trouble is really a personal failing I am trying to get it fixed. Not the whole story by any means is that for a very long time, the politics of both our own transit system and our country have handed me several decades of unrelenting frustration and some serious personal damage.

      I believe in my heart that both problems will come to an end when the young generation now coming on the scene finally loses its aversion to politics at the party level. But being furious for fifty years of adult life finally takes its toll.

      Like a lot else in Scripture, what finally happened to Moses is very believably human. Having gained firsthand a shepherd’s knowledge of the desert, he knew that the rock formation in front of him had water underneath it. But forty years of leading a people who hated taking orders and were, and still are, very hard on their leaders, he finally wore through.

      Also suspect that the woman getting up in his face about the lack of pomegranates- forget the water!- was the last straw. Very, very typical of politics across the ages. If God had any focus groups on His decision about Moses’ getting into the Promised Land, His Staff would have informed him of wide popular approval.

      The Young and the Restless can do without the Old and the Furious- though that would make a great title for a soap opera or a sit-com.


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