Former PBOT manager Ciarlo is new Metro planning director

Ciarlo at the 2022 Alice Awards hosted by The Street Trust. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Catherine Ciarlo is the new director of planning, development and research at Metro. Metro is our regional elected government that oversees long-range planning and serves more than 1.7 million people in the Portland area with a jurisdictional boundary that spans 24 cities and three counties.

Prior to accepting this position at Metro, Ciarlo had worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation for over five years. She began as Active Transportation and Safety Division manager and most recently served as acting group director of Development, Permitting & Transit. She’s also worked at CH2M Hill (now Jacobs), a planning consulting firm, and she was transportation policy advisor for former Portland Mayor Sam Adams from 2009 to 2012.

Ciarlo has deep roots in Portland’s bicycle advocacy scene. She was the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now The Street Trust) from 1998 to 2005.

Here’s more about Ciarlo from a Metro press release:

As a consultant, Ciarlo managed transit projects and multi-modal street improvements for multiple clients including TriMet, ODOT, Clackamas County and the cities of Spokane, Astoria and Milwaukie. At PBOT, Ciarlo was responsible for managing teams to design and deliver programs that advance the City of Portland’s climate and equity goals. Her portfolio included the city’s bikeshare program, e-scooters, Safe Routes to School, Sunday Parkways and the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative.

In addition, Ciarlo has overseen programs to encourage community use of the right-of-way, and has provided strategic leadership for the Portland Streetcar system.

In each of these areas, Ciarlo says she has worked with her teams to re-orient priorities and programs to serve Portlanders who have not historically had a voice in transportation and planning.

“The Metro region is faced with big challenges and major opportunities in the coming years,” Ciarlo said in a statement. “I am honored and excited to work with community members, elected leaders, and diverse stakeholders to help our region be the equitable, vital place we know it can be. Metro’s leadership is critical to making that happen.”

Ciarlo takes over this role as Metro Deputy Director of Planning Margi Bradway was just last week named as director of community services for Multnomah County.

With the absence of Ciarlo, PBOT now has two holes in its executive team as they continue their national search for a new director.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago

Never really been a fan of the same people continually rotating among positions while nothing seems to change in a positive way.

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Generally agree with disdain for revolving door politics and politicians. Hopefully Ciarlo is smart and able to adapt to Portland’s new reality. The priorities of the 90s are shifted and borrow bikes and sharing scooters do not address Stumptown’s current needs.

nuovorecord
nuovorecord
1 year ago

“Ciarlo takes over the role just vacated by Margi Bradway…”

Bradway served as the Planning Dept. Deputy Director. Ciarlo was hired to be department Director. Not the same position.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
1 year ago

Bravo Catherine! I will never forget the night just over 20 years ago your predecessor, Andy C. voted to keep the arterial bridge option off the table for the Columbia River Crossing! Trust you keep on the right side of history and steer our region asap to Zero Carbon!!

Jakob Bernardson
Jakob Bernardson
1 year ago

She called me a “trouble-maker,” years ago during an event at the 4th Avenue side of City Hall. The only thing between us was my yellow custom-frame S & S coupled fixie.

I, a normally intelligent practical cyclist, apparently lay athwart her self-aggrandizing bureaucratic ambitions. Are selfish women more prone to this disease than similarly motivated men? Hard to say.

Consider long departed Leah Treat, the Artemis of “Vision Zero,” progenitor of gross increase of automotive deaths. No one maintains that she actually understood what she was advocating. But VZ in PDX served her well, a useful rung on her way up the ladder.

And what about the Frisbee nomination from Earl’s staff to TriMet’s board? Does she know anything about BRT? What is her staked position on IBR, rising from the DRACULAN tomb of CRC?

Buffy, in her first day at the new school, spilled a clutch of stakes from her backpack.

Where is Miss Summers when we need her?

Brendan
Brendan
1 year ago

Really wish this was submitted on a Wednesday.

Anon
Anon
1 year ago

Seems like a sexist comment. Don’t see how the gender of the transportation planners is relevant to this discussion

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago

As much as I like and respect Catherine, this is mostly about a bunch of mid managers who push all the right buttons within the bureaucracy playing musical chairs.