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A Roadside Chat with Becky Edmonds

Becky Edmonds wears two main hats at SDOT: She leads our community access and parking program and our car share program.

On the parking side, Becky works with neighborhoods and business districts to manage on-street parking needs that provide reliable access to businesses and homes. If you live near one of the future light rail stations in the University District, Roosevelt, or Northgate, you may have recently filled out a survey she put together to gather input on proposed on-street parking changes. She’s also currently working in the Little Saigon neighborhood of the Chinatown-International District to identify solutions that support access to the neighborhood and help small businesses there thrive.  

On the other side of her job, Becky leads our car share program. You’ve likely seen black Gig Car Share cars with bright blue bike racks on top or Zipcar vehicles that come in all shapes and sizes. Becky works with both those companies so they can keep offering a valuable service that helps people get around by car when they need to – and helps many people live in the city without owning their own car.  She also makes sure that the car share services align with City policy and goals. 

Becky cross country skiing
Becky taught herself to cross country ski this past winter.  

Outside of work, Becky is a self-described avid amateur athlete. 

During her time in grad school at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, Becky started playing recreational ultimate frisbee through DiscNW. With Ultimate on hold due to the public health crisis, she’s spent the last year and a half honing new skills including teaching herself to cross-country ski in the winter and to stand up paddle board in the summer. She’s also into biking, running, and open-water swimming. Becky is always down to learn something new and challenge herself physically. 

Adorable kitten looking into camera with big eyes

She’s a big fan of the Seattle Storm and OL Reign and even named her cat named Stewie after past WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart.

Inside and outside work, Becky cares about being an ally and is actively involved in anti-racist work.  

Four people standing in front of retro Metro bus
Becky with coworkers in front of a retro Metro bus the last night that buses drove in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel.  

Hi Becky, to kick off our Roadside Chatwhat do you love about your job at SDOT? 

This feels like an obvious answer, but what comes to mind first is the people. There’re so many incredibly thoughtful, smart, and committed people who work at SDOT and I get to call them my colleagues! I love getting to know people on a human level, both within SDOT and with community members I interact with. Also, I love that there’re always new challenges to tackle and new ways to look at old problems. I’m always learning and growing in this job. 

10 people posed with matching yellow sunglasses
Becky (third from right) with coworkers on the Curbside Management team.  

This June is the 51st celebration of Pride. What does Pride mean to you? 

When I think of Pride, I think of being able to live authentically and show up as my full self.  

I also think it’s important to know some of the history of Pride. It started with the Stonewall uprisings where queer and trans folks – led in particular by trans women of color – fought for the right to be themselves. I think of those people as my elders and I owe a lot to them for the freedom I have to be myself today. 

Whos someone in the LGBTQ community that you look up to, and why?  

There’re so many! First, Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet.” I found some of her writing when I was in high school and it really spoke to me. I remember being a teenager and reading this quote of hers: “That visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” This quote made me realize that yes, I can be visible and queer and strong and all these other things. Audre Lorde also introduced me to the concept of intersectionality and the idea that we all carry these multiple truths and that our liberation is bound up in one another’s.  

Closer to home, there were just a couple LGBTQ adults who I knew when I was growing up and I’m grateful to them for paving the way and for showing me that it was possible to just live a normal and happy life as an LGBTQ person.  

And lastly, I have to mention that I’m a huge fan of Sue Bird, point guard for the Seattle Storm, who is still balling out at the age of 40. It’s been great to see her transform in the last few years from someone who was really good at basketball, to someone who is still that, and also an outspoken activist for racial justice and gender justice.

Becky using a chop saw cutting a blank of wood
Becky volunteering at Camp Robbinswold, a Girls Scout camp on the Hood Canal where she used to work. 

I hear that you’re a lifetime Girl Scout. Can you tell me more about that?  

I was in Girl Scouts all the way through high school and earned my Gold Award which is the highest recognition in Girl Scouts.  

I spent my college summers working as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp in Arizona. When I graduated undergrad, I got a job at a Girl Scout camp called Camp Robbinswold that’s on the Hood Canal in Western Washington. That job brought me to Washington and I never left! I’ve been involved in a few different volunteer roles with Girl Scouts of Western Washington since I no longer work there. Right now, that mostly looks like going out to Camp Robbinswold on weekends and doing whatever physical jobs need to be done. This past weekend I was actually there and pressure-washed the moss off of a couple buildings.

Enjoy getting to know SDOT Staff? Check other Roadside Chats we’ve had with Pauh Wang, Marilyn Scott, Jess Kim, and more!