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Transportation Guru Interview: David Markley

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A series of to-the-point interviews with local developers, architects, designers, and movers and shakers. This week: David Markley, the Founding Principal of Transportation Solutions Inc. Thoughts on who we should talk to next? Email us at and let us know. So you do a lot of things. What's your actual job title?
David Markley: Corporately, I am President of TSI. Functionally, I am the Founding Principal.
What does that mean you do on a day-to-day basis?
DM: As President, it means I'm responsible for the major financial and administrative decisions. Founding Principal means that I lead and advise others on more complex projects involving alternative technical approaches, qualitative judgments, ethical decisions, development of creative solutions, and approaches to bring divergent perspectives together into a common vision. (It means I've been a traffic geek for a long time.)
So what's your guiding principle there?
DM: It's several things. [I work] to develop solutions that bring value to clients and communities by reducing costs and/or time, enhancing the built environment, and creating something that people enjoy – something of lasting quality. We do that by applying sound strategies and design elements in innovative ways. We work hard to bring stakeholders together with honest communication and understanding of opportunities and consequences – we try to contribute to a consensus of perspective and mutual trust.
Which projects are you most proud of or think most exemplify your style of work?
DM: Possibly, the Kingdome Traffic and Parking Plan because locating the Kingdome in downtown was very controversial, and the traffic plan was the last requirement for issuance of the certificate of occupancy. Many [people] thought traffic and parking would be the Achilles heel of that project. But more than a successful operational traffic and parking plan, we worked closely during the planning and after opening with the Pioneer Square, International District and Downtown neighborhoods to address their concerns and mitigate impacts on their businesses. Many of those community leaders continue to be my friends today and advocates for the strategy we developed.
What's a project you'd love to get your hands on and put your spin on?
DM: I don’t know that it would be a specific physical project as much as it would be a project that others say “can’t be done.” It would be to work with the owner, other stakeholders and neighbors (particularly those opposed to the project), and the agency staff to find ways to make the project successful. The process of developing new strategies and creative solutions and working interactively with others is something that really gets my creative juices flowing.

· Transportation Solutions Inc.

Qwest Field

800 Occidental Avenue, Seattle, WA 98134 Visit Website