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caption: Greg Spotts, the new director of the Seattle Department of Transportation prepares to bike along the protected bike lane on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
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Greg Spotts, the new director of the Seattle Department of Transportation prepares to bike along the protected bike lane on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
Credit: Ethan Bancroft / SDOT

SDOT ready to hit the road with new leadership

The Seattle City Council has signed off on Greg Spotts becoming the next director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Spotts just needs to be sworn in by Mayor Bruce Harrell to make it official.

Spotts has been serving as the acting director of SDOT since the start of the month. He used to be the executive director of the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services. He's said that he's leaving his car behind so he can better understand how people use bikes, transit, and rideshare services to get around Seattle.

As he starts the job, Spotts is hitting the streets of Seattle for a listening tour. He is asking for Seattleites to take him around their neighborhood via walking, biking, bus, or other. The idea is to get a sense of the ups and downs of Seattle travel. You can request such a meet up here.

In an SDOT blog post, Spotts says that he grew up to be an avid walker and was raised with a love of bikes, living outside of New York.

"A bike was your ticket to freedom," he said. "This made me a lifelong cyclist from an early age, and I still enjoy the sense of freedom I get while biking."

In a previous life, Spotts worked in the music industry, mostly in the 1990s. His LinkedIn resume states that he founded a "boutique talent management" company that helped produce albums for the likes of REM, Jewel, and Alanis Morissette, among others.

In his post on SDOT's blog, Spotts said he filled his office with "Seattle vibes" when he first came to the department.

"I played some of my favorite Seattle grunge songs by Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Screaming Trees," he said. "I know there is so much more Seattle music to listen to, but that was an awesome start."

A few recommendations for the new SDOT director, to help cover other corners of Seattle music: Murder City Devils, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Hoot Hoots, and Beverly Crusher.