As a veteran of Metro Council (our elected regional planning authority) — including a seven-year stint as president from 2003 to 2010 — David Bragdon has been around the block when it comes to Oregon transportation politics. And for the past decade he's been executive director of TransitCenter, a nonprofit foundation that funds and conducts research and advocacy to improve public transit across the U.S. Before that he led a planning office for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Suffice it to say, Bragdon has a mix of experiences in advocacy and government that I feel BikePortland readers could learn a lot from. So when I heard he was leaving his post at TransitCenter and was making a stop in Portland to visit family, I figured it was a perfect time to invite him into the Shed for an interview.
We ended up talking about a range of issues including: how advocates can influence government, what PBOT should look for in their hiring of a new director, PBOT's budget woes, why he doesn't trust ODOT (which he refers to as the Oregon State Highway Department), TriMet and transit governance, and more.