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Brian Ferris
Works at Google
Attended University of Washington
Lives in Seattle
798 followers|1,455,383 views
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Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
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Currently
Seattle
Previously
Zurich - Raleigh
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Googler - Transit and Mobility Hacker
Introduction
I work for Google in Seattle, doing cool things in a cool city.  I'm a bit of a transit nerd and I like helping people get from point A to point B.

Interested in transit issues?  Be sure to follow my transit-specific page.
Education
  • University of Washington
    Computer Science, 2004 - 2011
  • North Carolina State University
    Computer Science, 1999 - 2004
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Male

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Brian Ferris

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View from the south end of the Seattle viaduct, overlooking the South Portal of the new tunnel and related construction.

Every time I hear the word portal in discussion of the tunnel, I like to dream that this isn't some over-budget, behind-schedule transportation boondoggle. Instead I imagine that surveyors found something more than just dirt, muck and decades of accumulated trash in the in-fill around Pioneer Square. They found a gateway. A portal. And it was big. So big that it required the world's biggest tunnel boring machine to gain access. It was all going well, but that was no steel pipe that Bertha hit two years ago. They had reached the door and the ensuing delays and retrofits were all just a cover for what would come next: going through. Everyone knew that activating the portal would risky. Sink holes? No big surprises there.

The real surprise was when something from the other side pushed back. Time to seal the portal? You bet: https://twitter.com/MikeLindblom/status/693273614523600896
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Brian Ferris

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It turns out I actually own one of these gadgets.
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The fog last Friday morning was a bit eerie, but this time-lapse of the fog + sunrise is alternatively amazing.
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Programming note: Five Guys now has milkshakes.  Please update your waist-line as appropriate.
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A couple things about bikes:

* I live in Ballard and commute to Fremont by bike a couple times a week.  The commute is pretty easy (flat, Burke Gillman Trail) but there are two sketchy bits: crossing Leary Way and crossing Shilshole Ave.  The lack of a protected crossing for pedestrians and bikes on the 1/2 mile of Leary between 15th Ave and Market is a known problem that the City of Seattle and SDOT are working on in the form of a new signaled crossing at Dock Pl (along with turning 17th Ave into a greenway ala 58th St - cool!).  Shilshole still remains a problem and it's not clear it will get any better until the Missing Link is finally (if ever) figured out.

* Which is not to say people aren't trying.  Perhaps inspired by Seattle PARK(ing) day last Friday, someone hand painted a green bike box and crossing across Shilshole where the BGT terminates, along with a bike path along the sidewalk up to 17th Ave.  Ironically, the Cintas delivery truck was completely blocking the home-made path when I went by on my way to work.

* Meanwhile, bike-vs-car tensions remain high.  I've seen my fair share of both motorists and bicyclists blow through stop signs in Ballard, so no one is truly clean here.  That said, I watched a fun interaction between a motorist and a cyclist on Friday.  Motorist was at a stop-sign and pulled out in front of a cyclist who had the right-of-way.  The cyclist probably could have avoided the car, but chose to collide/kick the car to show their disapproval.  Much yelling ensued.  What was interesting is that there were at least four of us on bikes watching the whole interaction go down.  The 58th St greenway definitely gets some use by bicyclists ; )

* Today was Seattle Summer Parkways in Ballard, where 7 miles of residential streets were closed to vehicle traffic and opened up to pedestrians and bikes.  Lots of fun for families on bikes, but maybe not so much fun for the volunteers manning intersections who had to explain to motorists why the road was closed.  I did the full Ballard loop on my bike.  Pretty sure I saw former-Mayor McGinn out cruising.

* Bikes!
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Just watched 2014's Coherence, an indie-drama turned sci-fi mind-bender.  Brought back that good old "wait, what the hell just happened?" feeling that I don't think I've experienced properly since 2004's Primer.  I may never leave the house again.
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I've been working on my Spanish, which means reading in Spanish on my Kindle when I can (hello angsty young-adult lit, since I have the reading level of a pre-teen).  I don't always know every word and while hitting up Google Translate on my phone is one solution, discovering this free Spanish-to-English Kindle dictionary has been even more useful.
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Cuando ocupes practicar conversacion, me avisas!
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Have him in circles
798 people
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Brian Ferris

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"If the Big Dig were to be built today, it would benefit from the new tunnel-boring technology currently deployed in the Swiss Alps [...] and for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement at Seattle’s waterfront."

Based on Seattle's experience, I'm not sure "benefit" is a word I would use.

But an interesting article nonetheless as we consider where Seattle's big-dig may leave us in a decade.
The $15 billion project is a road paved with failures, successes, and what-ifs.
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...Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement at Seattle’s waterfront. You mean the one that's been broken/stuck for 2 years and just started moving again?
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Just 32 lbs of various flours.
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Though I do love that movie (see also the bendy-bus conversation scene), we were mostly just taking advantage of Bob's Red Mill's Cyber-Monday 50% sale + free shipping.
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Given the imminent traffic apocalypse in Downtown Seattle with Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit this week, I'm wondering if we all would be better off if he just AirBnB-ed it at Bill Gates' place instead.
The area from Fourth to Seventh avenues and from Lenora Street to Olive Way will be closed during the visit. Pedestrians will have to pass a police security checkpoint to enter the area. Even the South Lake Union streetcar will be affected.
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Gluten-free cheerios! Thanks +General Mills, it means a lot.
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It turns out baby proofing and earthquake proofing your house are roughly the same thing.
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Don't recall anyone with children having to strap down the water heater to avoid baby tipping it over. Other than that, you're spot on.
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Just a heads up that the playground is currently closed for renovation through early summer of 2016.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Quality food and cocktails. Some gluten-free options. Service was great.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Good location, food, and drinks. A nice addition to Pioneer Square.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
69 reviews
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Map
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Pulled pork and brisket were both tasty and I appreciated that they had a number of gluten-free options.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I think the fundamentals are good for your basic burger fan. However, big +1 for gluten-free bun + fryer options.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great views of Anacortes, especially at sunset.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago