2018 has been a year of many firsts here at Toole Design. We opened our first international office in Canada; we celebrated our 15th anniversary with our first rebranding, replacing our first logo; and now, we announce our first-ever retirement, as Pete Lagerwey concludes his long and illustrious career.
After nearly 35 years, including nine years with our firm, Pete is retiring from the transportation profession. Personally, I owe Pete an immense debt of gratitude for everything he has done to further our work in this field, both at Toole Design and in his time at the City of Seattle. It’s the end of an era, and I am having trouble imagining this company – and the profession – without him.
Pete’s long career helped move the practice of transportation planning and design towards more people-centric streets. He was not only a consultant or a city employee, he was also a prolific author keenly interested in safety research. Pete pioneered the practice of installing road diets – before anyone ever coined the term, and shared his experiences working on these projects in Seattle in a report co-authored with Dan Burden. He was an early supporter of bike lanes, a force behind Seattle’s incredible trail network, and a talented teacher, training literally thousands of professionals on how to design safer streets for all users.
For his insight and efforts, Pete was recognized by the US Department of Transportation as a White House Champion of Change in 2015. In granting the award, then-secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx praised Pete’s “exemplary leadership in advancing transportation and championing innovation that will benefit our nation’s transportation system for decades to come.”
So thank you, Pete; for all the long nights preparing for the next day’s training; for being a calm presence and bringing an important, experienced perspective as a member of our Board of Directors; for sweating the many, many details of running an office; for all the times you mentored staff; for being such a positive force for change in our profession. You have been nothing short of amazing. I know I speak for the entire company and the profession when I say that we will miss you.
Jennifer Toole, President
Pete Lagerwey, Senior Planner and Seattle Director Emeritus, retired from Toole Design on November 30, 2018.