First the Olympics, then Seattle Transportation: Meet Nicole Freedman

As Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Department of Transportation Director, Scott Kubly, tout the $930 million Move Seattle transportation levy, their common refrain is, “we can’t build our way out of congestion.”

But with no space to widen roads, Seattle has to figure out how to maximize what infrastructure and resources it has. Improving transit is critical, but much of the answer lies in increasing the number of people who walk or bike.

In the name of just that, SDOT recently hired its first “Active Transportation Director,” Nicole Freedman, whose career already contains no shortage of bike-related victories. As Director of Boston Bikes – the city of Boston’s bike program that she helped to launch in 2007 – Freedman helped to build the city’s first bike lane network, double the number bicyclists, start the Hubway bike share system and transform what used to be one of America’s worst cities for biking, among other things.Oh, and she was an Olympian.

As she wrapped up her second week at SDOT, I asked her a few questions.