I’ve moved and I don’t have the Internet at home yet, so I won’t be able to post all these in their own post, but each is worth a post, so check them out.

  • The City Council wants to to provide increased zoning for developerswho build with affordable housing or benefits to the neighborhood. The article mentions huge up-zones near light rail stations, as tall as 15 or even 20 stories. I think density near stations makes tons of sense, though I think incentive zoning is screwy. I suggest: don’t bother with incentives, just up the zoning and make them build affordable housing no matter what.
  • Tukwila is already planning to build something huge next to their Light Rail station.
  • Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips have an op-ed in the West Seattle Herald urging those in West Seattle to vote yes on Prop. 1.
  • The Car-Free Sunday was a hit. Did anyone go?
  • The State’s Road builders are out of money, so they may look to private partnerships.

8 Replies to “News Round Up”

  1. The car free day on Rainier in CC was excellent. The spontaneity of the participants in organizing music and activities ought to put to shame any critic who was not there to see what folks made of a major road shut down. I expect Columbia Citizens will try pull this off on their own in the future.

  2. I was a volunteer redirecting traffic around the event. Kids were having a great time playing, riding their bike in the street, and creating street art with chalk. It seems that many of the drivers coming by didn’t know what was going on. Some did not even have the patience to wait for me to answer the person in front of them and honked. One cursed the event, one resident swore at me while trying to get to his house on the other side of Rainier claiming he knew nothing about the event, and a lady whined about needing a new mayor. What is needed is better public information and better detour signage or more drivers will be pissed off. Of course the number of people enjoying themselves a block away was much greater than the few inconvenienced and I was happy to see that.

  3. Other news (which has not been published anywhere as far as I know, either because no bloggers noticed or no one cared) –
    Metro Transit failed to notice that Bumbershoot was taking place this weekend, and didn’t increase bus schedules at all. So the MT 8, which runs from Cap Hill to Seattle Center and only runs every 30 minutes on the weekend, was swamped and turned away dozens of riders. Around noon on Saturday it was filling up at the Broadway+John stop and then flying by the Olive Way (by Starbucks) and Bellevue Ave stops, plus the stop near Stewart. This happened on at least two of the schedules on Sat (I only saw the ~12:30 and ~1:00).

    A 30 min schedule is way too infrequent for any day, but this weekend really showed just how bad it can be. Both buses were double-length articulated buses by the way. I’m not saying there weren’t other options (bike, walk, run, cab, drive), but things like this turn people away from transit and give it a reputation for being unreliable/useless.

    1. Isn’t that business as usual for Metro? The 30 (formerly 74 local) to Seattle Center is always packed during events. No extra buses. And my personal favorite is the 194 from the airport during holidays–limited service, extra passengers!

  4. Great to hear it [jcdk] and [Oran]!

    Take a look at the comments after the KOMO story. They’re right along the line of those in the original PI article announcing the car-free days: hateful. It didn’t take many comments to call Nickels a communist in this one, the last one they jumped straight to Hitler (evoking Godwin’s law in near record-breaking speed). It’s going to take a lot of work to convince car-loving Seattleites to give us space to walk and play. But it’s worth the battle.

    There’s one more chance to hit the streets. Alki this sunday from noon to 6.

    (sorry if this is a repost, my comment didn’t seem to show up)

    1. Regretfully, I read some of those comments. I think I stopped once I realized where it was going (around the communist remarks). It sucks that people have to be so short sighted and dimwitted. Certainly this guy:

      “Also what about the fact that it is a public street. I mean how can a Mayor collect tax on people for the city street and then deny access to it for no real concrete reason without being in violation of some kind of law or right or something. It just seems awful Un-American to me. It feels wrong.”

      has no real sense about him in that he can’t get out of his car for two seconds to realize that the people were, in fact, using the public street. Somewhere along the way, the collective has associated public streets with cars, no longer people. It must have been somewhere around when people stopped thinking of “traffic” as a good thing, the conveyance of people or goods, and started thinking of it as a traffic jam.

  5. I think density near stations makes tons of sense, though I think incentive zoning is screwy. I suggest: don’t bother with incentives, just up the zoning and make them build affordable housing no matter what.

    Amen brother. Incentives sound great, but they don’t seem to work. We’ve seen how much Seattle and King County have changed in a few short years, because developers aren’t forced into building affordable housing. What we get is nothing but high-end condos…I would like to see government take a much more assertive role in zoning and development.

    And how does that apply to rail? Because a lot of the people who are against ST, are that way because they fear it will lead to mass density and even more gentrification. While they take out their fears on ST, the real fight is over zoning: what we build, and where. If you can transfer those misplaced fears to the real culprit, then the remaining “NO on everything” crowd would lose out everytime ST was on the ballot.

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