Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., the legendary Baltimore mayor who broke ground on the Jones Falls Expressway more than half a century ago, had a political machine to help keep him in office. JFX Foursquare mayor Donna Green has an iPhone and a strong desire to stay connected with her friends.
By "checking in" about every other day during commutes to her job as a registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the 29-year-old Towson resident has logged more trips on the 9.7-mile expressway than any of the other 15 million users on the location-based social network, earning the recent New York transplant the distinction of being "mayor" of the JFX on its 50th anniversary.
As of this afternoon, Green had checked in to the JFX 38 times in past 60 days, according her Foursquare profile.
We thought her fellow motorists might like to meet their leader, who, despite her status, would blend right into any rush hour backup in her Honda Civic. Here's what Green, just "Donna" on Foursquare, had to say in an email interview:
What has you traveling/checking in on the JFX so frequently?
I check-in to the JFX so frequently because it is the main highway for me to get to and from work.
You work in health. Is the JFX safe? What tips do you have for newbies?
The JFX has lots of sharp curves, especially on cement. I would recommend that people slow down. I've seen lots of accidents in the rain.
What's your favorite landmark along the JFX? Why?
My favorite part is exit 10A, that's my stop!
It seems that almost everyone who commutes on the highway has a JFX story. What's yours?
I don't really have a story, just a new face in the Baltimore area just trying to fit in.
If being Foursquare mayor gave you actual executive power, what would be your first official act?
My first official act as mayor would be to re-pave the older parts of the highway with asphalt and probably add another lane or two to reduce traffic.
Thanks for your time, madam mayor. If you know where to find money and space for those things, you might consider checking in at the city Department of Transportation.