SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program - Ombudsman

David SmallMy name is David Goldberg, the ombudsman, or community liaison, for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.

What is an ombudsman? The U.S. Ombudsman Association defines a public sector ombudsman as a public official who receives citizen complaints about administrative acts of government and conducts an “impartial and independent investigation” of them.
As your ombudsman, my role is to look into issues that you or other members of the community raise, and to try to work out a resolution where possible. Members of the community could include nearby residents, users of the transportation system, community-based organizations, elected representatives or other affected stakeholders.

Why an SR 520 ombudsman?

Megaprojects like the SR 520 Program in Seattle can deliver numerous benefits for many people. In this case, we can look forward to safer bridges that can withstand earthquakes; neighborhoods reconnected via lids over the highway; more reliable transit trips with better places to wait for buses; a world-class, regional biking/walking trail network; and smoother driving connections between the east and west sides of Lake Washington, from I-5 to I-405. 

Ombudsman Video

But building such megaprojects also comes with impacts, challenges and trade-offs for members of the community. Throughout the next several years of construction, WSDOT and Washington’s governor and Legislature want to ensure that citizens have somewhere to go with concerns about issues such as noise, dust, work lights at night, and disruption to traffic patterns or routes for walking and biking. The state also wants people to be confident of a fair hearing by decision makers at the highest levels.

That’s now my job.

Who I am

As I help you address your concerns, I will draw on a long and varied background. I have worked as an investigative reporter looking into the operations of a state DOT and other government agencies. I’ve been a neighborhood activist, fighting for my little corner of the world. I’ve also been a national advocate for safe and complete streets, better transit systems and smarter urban planning. In Seattle I have been a member of the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Board and continue to be involved in civic activities. I care deeply about the quality of life in this city we are forever making, and I have been drawn to the work I do because I care about people, their aspirations and their health and safety.

I won’t claim to be a miracle worker or to have the ability of solving every issue. But I do pledge to do all I can to foster clear communication, make sure questions are answered, and elevate legitimate issues to the highest appropriate level. I will have my ears and eyes wide open as I learn about SR 520’s complicated set of projects, their ramifications for neighborhoods and the city, and the concerns of community members throughout construction.
I look forward to hearing from you and working together.

How to reach me

Phone: 206-770-3659
999 3rd Ave., Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98104