Why transit nerds are so jealous of Seattle - Curbed

February 20, 2018

 

The first thing you might consider after looking at the Twitter feed of Seattle’s chief traffic engineer Dongho Chang is that he may possibly be two, or three, or even four people.

 

It does not seem logistically feasible for one person to be at this many places in the city at once, surveying the installation of bike lanes, supervising the construction of new sidewalks, and guiding the larger decisions that move Seattle residents.

 

And he does it all, for the most part, on a bicycle.

 

“I do some riding around early in the morning and take a look at concerns at the end of the day,” says Chang (who is, in fact, in Spandex bike pants when I speak with him). Today’s concern, for example, is a report from a fellow city employee that a person in a wheelchair was having difficulty on a curb ramp. Chang says he has a “pretty simple solution” which he’ll investigate in person this evening and then deploy within a few days. “If you don’t know about [those little issues], no one will ever get to them, so it’s nice to hear there was a corner we can fix.”

 

The fact that the city’s traffic engineer is out there personally responding to accessibility issues is impressive, but, then again, Seattle has championed good civic engagement tools.

 

In addition to soliciting feedback through traditional channels like social media and a 311 app, the city launched the Your Voice Your Choice program, where community members can prioritize the types of public space and streetscape improvements that they want in their neighborhoods. This provides transparency around who wants what where, and gives transportation planners a chance to streamline the process for rolling out these small changes across the city.

 

Click here to read the full article: https://www.curbed.com/transportation/2018/2/9/16992932/seattle-transit-bus-ridership-dongho-chang

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