Tonight the Seattle Planning Commission is having a release event for their “Seattle Transit Communities” report, which from my understanding has been in the works for the last few years. The event is at 5:30 at Pyramid Alehouse (1201 First Avenue S) accross the street from Safeco Field. While I haven’t seen the document yet the Washington State APA newsletter has a short blurb about it (1/3 way down) and it appears Dan Bertolet has. More after the jump.
My favorite part of the Seattle Planning Commission’s new report is its title: Seattle Transit Communities. Good on them for having the sense to jettison the clunky word “oriented” from the more commonly used planning term “transit-oriented communities.”
But yes, the report has a lot more than that to offer in terms of wholesome plannery goodness. In brief, the report identifies 41 transit community sites in Seattle (mapped above), outlines funding and implementation strategies, and finally, makes recommendations, including those for several specific transit community locations. Overall, the report is a much-needed synthesis of the opportunities and challenges (and a nice companion piece to this).
The Seattle Transit Communities (STC) report defines a transit community as a place in which “people can walk, bike, or take transit from their homes to accomplish many of their daily activities including getting to work or school, picking up groceries, or going out to a restaurant or a special event.”
What strikes me about this definition is that it avoids any mention of density, which is the most fundamental ingredient of communities with reduced car-dependence. Without sufficient density, transit cannot operate efficiently, and travel distances become to great for walking. Yet the STC report seems to tiptoe around the subject throughout.
Go here to read his whole post or attend the event. I’m excited to read the report but honestly I have to say we already know what Seattle needs to do, and we know Seattle isn’t doing it nearly fast enough or to the degree necessary.