Shaun Murphy, appointed in 2012 to be the city’s first-ever bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, said he plans to leave the post at the end of the month.
Murphy is moving to rural southwestern Wisconsin to work on an organic farm, and his last day with the city will be Feb. 28, he wrote in an email. City spokesperson Casper Hill said there are plans to hire a replacement “as quickly as we can.”
As bike and pedestrian coordinator, Murphy worked with city planners to develop the city’s non-motorized transportation infrastructure, advising on the creation of new bike lanes, paths and sidewalks. Murphy also monitored cyclist and pedestrian safety issues.
There was some controversy when the city first announced the creation of a coordinator position in the summer of 2011. Some questioned the city’s priorities when, at the time, it was laying off fire fighters. During his tenure, Murphy’s habit of riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet attracted some criticism.
Prior to his appointment, Murphy coordinated work on new biking and walking infrastructure projects funded by the federal Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program.
He said he’d been considering the move to Wisconsin for several months.
“Although I have run a small organic farm before, [it was] about 10 years ago before I moved to Minneapolis,” he wrote in an email. ” It was a fun adventure and I’m looking forward to it again.”