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July 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Murray names new city transportation chief

A former big-city transportation deputy with experience in developing transit, street cars, bike lanes and pedestrian routes is Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s choice to lead the city transportation department.

Scott Kubly, who was previously a deputy transportation director in both Washington D.C. and Chicago, will take over the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) July 28 on an interim basis before the City Council holds confirmation hearings in August and early September.

The current acting director, Goran Sparrman, was a candidate for the job, but withdrew from consideration in June. The former SDOT director under Mayor Mike McGinn, Peter Hahn, resigned after Murray’s election in November.

Murray praised Kubly as a “transportation visionary” who will not pit cars against bikes against buses, but will work to build a more effective and integrated system for moving people around Seattle.

In remarks at a morning news conference to introduce him, Kubly said the rapid growth Seattle is experiencing means the city needs to offer more transportation choices. He recounted his experience in Washington D.C., where he said car ownership decreased over a period of growth because the city invested in alternate ways to commute.

“People aren’t leaving their cars behind because they have to. They are leaving their cars behind because they want to. It’s easier or more pleasant to get around by riding a bike or taking a bus,” Kubly said.

Kubly is currently the acting president of Alta Bicycle Share, one of the largest bike-share operators in North America. He holds a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Texas and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kubly will earn $180,000 a year.

Comments | Topics: Peter Hahn, Scott Kubly, Seattle Department of Transportation

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