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Chris Osgood

Chief of Streets, Boston

Chris Osgood
Chris Osgood made a name for himself as co-founder of the celebrated Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), a role in which he worked with partners on relatively cheap projects meant to deliver IT-style solutions to all sorts of problems. Among them were the Street Bump app, through which citizens’ smartphones automatically flag possible potholes for the city government, as well as the Public Space Invitational project that sought to crowdsource ideas for street work through artists, designers and engineers.

While former Mayor Tom Menino named Osgood to his post at MONUM in 2010, it was Mayor Marty Walsh who last year named Osgood to an entirely new role in Boston city government: chief of streets. In his new capacity, in which he bridges departments handling public works, transportation, parking and bicycles, Osgood is tasked with getting public officials to work together in order to do their jobs more effectively.

But he’s also been handed a task no less monumental than leading the charge on the city’s transportation vision for the next 15 years. The plan, called Go Boston 2030, has already involved an extensive public comment process involving 5,000 questions and input from more than 600 people. The plan will prioritize projects around the key goals of access, safety and reliability. Early aspirations include quadrupling the number of people riding bicycles and cutting the number of people who drive alone in half.

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Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.