Seattle DOT to Head in a Different Direction

A change in mayoral administrations means a change at the top of Seattle's Department of Transportation. After almost four years, Peter Hahn will make way for a new director. Lynn Thompson examines his accomplishments and hints at what may be ahead.
November 26, 2013, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Add Seattle to the list of cities looking for a new transportation czar. "Seattle Director of Transportation Peter Hahn resigned late Thursday after being informed by Mayor-elect Ed Murray that he wouldn’t be kept on in the new administration," reports Thompson.

On Friday, alternative transportation advocates mourned his departure: "With his lovably gruff demeanor, Hahn has been instrumental in shifting the mindset at SDOT to start viewing streets as places, 'not just pipes for cars,' as he put it." 

"Hahn, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director, has been one of the highest-profile of McGinn’s department leaders, helping the mayor implement high-priority projects such as an updated Transit Plan and advancing planning efforts for high-capacity transit corridors," notes Thompson.

How could transportation priorities change under Mayor Murray? "During the mayoral campaign, Murray said he wanted an integrated transportation system in which all the different elements, including roads, buses and light rail, would work well together," writes Thompson.

“Murray wants each mode to complement each other and not compete. Let’s talk about moving people and goods and look at the data to tell us how the modes should be prioritized,” Murray spokesman Jeff Reading said Friday.

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Published on Friday, November 22, 2013 in The Seattle Times
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