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You should join the Bike Advisory Board (or any of these other boards)

Do you have 3–6 hours of available time each month for the next two years and want to learn more about how transportation stuff actually gets done (or not) in Seattle? Well then, you should apply for one of the city’s advisory boards. Yes, you. Members do NOT need to have special training or professional insight of any kind to serve on these boards. In fact, as someone who has attended many of these meetings as a journalist and observer, the most effective members are just regular people with a desire to listen, learn and hold the city accountable to its stated goals.

If you are interested in learning more about serving, SDOT is hosting an online Microsoft Teams meeting at noon on June 2. Applications for this round are due June 4 and will be considered for positions that become available over the next 6 months. You can apply for one or more of the following boards:

  • School Traffic Safety Committee (STSC)  
  • Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB) 
  • Seattle Freight Advisory Board (SFAB)  
  • Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB)  
  • Transit Advisory Board (TAB)  

The next couple years are going to be big for transportation as Seattle prepares and tries to pass a replacement funding measure for the Move Seattle Levy, which expires at the end of 2024. The city also has a lot of work to do to fulfill the promises made to voters back when they passed that levy in 2015. The advisory boards can play an effective role in helping to steward this work.

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Also, if you join the Bicycle Advisory Board, you can say that you are on the same board Bill Nye once served on:

More details from SDOT:

Promoting Diversity

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) community members, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, young people, seniors (over 65), immigrants, and multicultural and/or multilingual community members to apply.

Time Commitment

The length of position terms varies depending on the board or committee, but generally, volunteers are expected to attend 2-hour meetings on a monthly basis. In response to COVID-19, these meetings are currently being held remotely.

Volunteers should also expect to spend an additional approximately 1-4 hours per month to:

  • Work with communities to understand transportation priorities  
  • Advise the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on transportation policies  
  • Review City documents and plans from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and other City departments as needed (depending on the topic at hand)
  • Draft letters to provide input, recommendations, and feedback on projects related to the board/committee
  • Occasionally coordinate outside regular meetings on special topics  

Leadership roles on the boards/committees, such as co-chairs and secretary positions, do require a greater time commitment.

Each board/committee has a unique focus detailed further below. As noted above, the City of Seattle is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and strongly encourages people to consider applying who are both interested in serving, and are in groups who have been historically underserved or underrepresented in government.

Interested in learning more while considering if you want to apply?

You can check out past public meeting details using the web links listed below, or sign up for email update listservs to stay informed. (Please note: you can search for specific transportation advisory boards, committees, and other SDOT topics you might be interested in, if and when you sign up for email updates).

Application Process

Interested members of the public may apply via the City Clerk’s website. You can apply to multiple boards at the same time. Applications received in the last 6 months will be considered. New applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis for remaining openings. Applications received for boards with no current vacancies will be reviewed for any partial-term openings or at the next open recruitment period.

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