Update (daimajin): That’s a well dressed live blogger!

Good morning! I’ll be liveblogging from the Urban Land Institute’s Reality Check workshop today.

This workshop is about understanding growth, and planning for our urban layout as 1.7 million new people are born and move here by 2040. Where will they live? How will we move them?

Governor Christine Gregoire is currently standing in front of a breakfast with about 250 local leaders – from elected officials to business leaders to prominent researchers – explaining what we’re going to do today.

Wow, she’s just said (and I paraphrase): “What international city has on-street parking? What international city has two-way streets downtown?” She’s also just pointed out that I-5 brings us congestion – and that mass transit is part of the solution. The rail system we expected to start in the 1970s has been delayed nearly 40 years.

08:40 Update: She’s discussing funding mechanisms for transportation, and who permits development – the fact that we need to streamline permitting, for instance, where we now have a mishmash of city, county, state, and federal, rather than an integrated system.

She’s addressing framing very well here. She’s pointing out that we are not forcing anyone out of their cars, or to move to places where they don’t want to live, but rather we’re creating affordable housing and transportation that people will choose to live in, and choose to use.

She’s brought up LA and Houston as examples of cities where the choices made, where the planning used, did not effectively address growth – and that we don’t want to go that way, but we need to work together now, because we don’t have more time to wait.

It looks like we’re moving into the workshop room shortly. I’ll post again once people start.

14 Replies to “Liveblogging from ULI Reality Check”

  1. Yipes, I thought* she was one of the people that was trying to push off the ST2.1 vote until 2010. I hope this speech means I’m wrong.

    * no insider info here, it was on some blog posting I read.

  2. It’s refreshing to hear somebody talk about mass transit/planning with this kind of language. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the tiny minority who talks about choices instead of “getting people out of cars.”

  3. It’s a proven fact the public are a bunch of morons, our elected officials need to just do what needs to be done. In Vancouver they don’t put things for a vote and delay them forever, making it costs so much more…grrr…

  4. Justin, in Vancouver (and in Canada overall), municipalities are differently organized in general. I don’t know the politics, but Translink is much like Sound Transit, but with stronger taxing authority backed by the municipality – the GVRD.

  5. Translink gets a good deal of provincial funds, something I could never imagine sound transit getting.

  6. cale,

    Isn’t transit’s goal to get people to take it instead of driving? So it’s not always bad to say “what will make people want to get people out of their cars”, but it’s definitely bad to say “What can I do to force people out of their cars?”

  7. I think many people on this blog aren’t worried about forcing others out of their cars as much as making the region as transit-friendly as possible so *we* can get rid of our cars. (And other people will, too, of course!)

    I think an issue is that making a place “as transit-friendly as possible” often is at odds with the type of sprawling development that is associated with a lot of American cities, so people feel like their current way of life is being challenged.

  8. Yeah there seems to be this antagonism between americans attitude of “god-given-right-to-drive” and transit/TOD

  9. I would argue that any language involving an implication that someone should get out of their car will automatically put them on the defensive.

    Transit’s goal is to take people from point A to point B in an efficient way that creates as small a physical and environmental footprint as possible. It should comfortable, convenient and safe. If we can create a sufficient personalized image of the true benefits of mass transit in people’s minds, they won’t even think about their cars when voting yes.

    What do you love about mass transit? Share that with people and they will get interested.

  10. cale, exactly. The framing has to be all positive, and all about choice. We don’t have to do anything to “make” people take transit, they’re happy to do so when it’s convenient for them.

    What this workshop was about, really, was ensuring that our urban development makes it possible for that to be convenient!

  11. What international city has on-street parking? What was Gregoire thinking? On-street parking is good for cities. Visit Kemper Freeman’s parking garage hell of downtown Bellevue, and it’s pretty clear lack of on-street parking leads to a fairly sterile environment.

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