Turns out plenty of people would like a shot at running the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The city has received 44 applications for the open transportation director job, officials say.

It's been a hot seat to occupy: Mayor Charlie Hales fired former PBOT Director Tom Miller before taking office in January after catching criticism for a backlog of street maintenance. Interim director Toby Widmer followed Hales' instructions to find money for road paving—but when Widmer cut a sidewalk project on Southeast 136th Avenue, he was caught in a furor after a 5-year-old girl was killed by a car as she crossed that road.

Miller was handpicked by former Mayor Sam Adams to run PBOT. But when Hales appointed Widmer early this year to fill the cracks, he that he would conduct a national search for a new director.

The 44 applicants is less than the city garnered in its last national talent hunt. In 2011, Commissioner Nick Fish received 65 applications to run Portland Parks & Recreation. He made an internal hire, promoting Mike Abbaté. 

UPDATE: 2:15 pm: The mayor's office says that exactly half of the 44 applicants come from within the state of Oregon, and 10 live in Portland.