- The Seattle Weekly’s blog has a photo of a chandelier going up in Mt Baker station. I still haven’t been inside that station.
- I agree with the first letter
here for the most part, that basically density requirements around transit stations make much more sense in Seattle than in Sumner and I’m not really sure density requirements around Sounder stations make sense at all. Sumner, for example, has 8,500 people in 6.7 square miles. That’s less than two people per acre net density. Even if you get a net density of 10 in the half-mile radius around the station there, you add 5,000 people to that city, more than 50% of its current population. Does anyone believe that all of those people would take one of the eight daily Sounder runs? Thankfully that requirement got striped out of HB 1490, it really only made sense in Seattle where zoning was that high anyway.
The second letter there is good for a laugh.
- We now know the name of the bus driver arrested for selling drugs on the number 42 bus, Ricky Beavers. He’s out on $50,000 bail, and I think I know where the money came from.
- I think my coverage of the stimulus has been much better than Mike Lindblom‘s, if I do say so myself, and I don’t mean that as a complement to myself. That Times piece is nothing more than paraphrasal of the PSRC’s press release. No wonder the Times is running out of money and the P-I is ceasing print production.
10 Replies to “News Round Up”
I have to disagree about the Sumner density. I do think 50 would be too high, but requiring zoning changes makes sense; maybe 20 or 30 density/acre zoning would make sense in the case of outlying stations. Remember, this does not require anyone to build anything, only for the zoning to allow building. How could it possibly hurt to rezone a strip mall to C40 (or equivalent) to allow (not require!) a building to be commercial on the ground floor and 3 stories of apartments or condos above?
A small strip, sure. But 500 acres (aka a 1/2 mile radius) is crazy.
I don’t know there’s any significant opposition to a strip mall being rezoned to allow the sort of development you’re talking about (retail ground/residential above). Downtown Redmond has seen a lot of this and it’s worked out well. I’m sure Sumner would welcome this development and people moving to this area would welcome the ability to buy nice housing that they can afford and still have an easy commute.
Every discussion keeps coming back to the conclusion that every station is different and zoning needs to be on a case by case basis. That was my initial view on reading this bill. The damage from the publicity this bill has caused won’t go away no matter how it’s amended or even if it fails.
It would be extremely hard NOT to be better than Lindblom’s coverage! Setting aside the fact that you are more passionate, concerned and knowledgeable about the issues than he ever will be, Lindblom’s coverage of mass transit in Seattle has been almost unversally negative and dismissive. I would liken it to being a rock critic who is only sent to cover rap concerts when the same critic only likes Bob Dylan! In other words, it would be a perennial mismatch and nothing good would come out of the coverage and would only serve to annoy rap fans in the process.
I guess that’s true. I wasn’t trying to toot my own horn, I was just trying to point out how little information Lindblom has been putting out there.
This is why I think blogs can beat newspapers. The idea that newspapers have better research or more contacts or whatever is not lie true, and here’s proof.
Andrew, you have every right to toot your horn! Lindblom is not the right choice as a transportation writer for the Seattle Times as he hates pretty much everything he writes about. I always remember an article on the return to service of the Monorail in Seattle and it was written by one of his more sympathetic colleagues, but then when the monorail was next out of action, the paper sent Mike to cover the issue! Seattle would be better served by less scepticism of transportation in the region, coupled with some enthusiasm, a little pride when things get done close to being on time(and not point out ad nauseam the fact the project is over budget and/or behind time). After all, nothing gets built or done that hasn’t been voted on and it hardly seems fair to go after Sound Transit as if it shouldn’t exist and that the voters were wrong for letting it. OK, so Link is three years late and shorter than it was first conceived and voted for, but it is still an impressive achievement and deserves to be seen as such.
From experience with Mike, I’d completely disagree… What makes Mike good is that he actually listens to criticism and he does his best to educate himself on issues and projects.
That’s much more than I can say for a number of other reporters around this city I’ve had to work with. Even the “pro” ones are often in such a rush to push their agenda that they fail to learn the most basic ideas some times.
If you don’t like something Mike writes give him a call or drop an e-mail. And if you actually have some credible information to impart or are in a place to give a news-worthy quote he might just contact you back or meet with you.
You can’t deny though that he accentuates the negative in all his reports and pretty much ignores the positive. If I were to dedicate all my time to defending Sound Transit against his criticisms of the agency, I would have no time left for anything else. I’ll never forget an article he wrote once on businesses affected by Link construction in the Rainier Valley and he went on and on about the one business he had found and largely ignored the likely positive development around the stations. All I am saying is that he needs to be more aware that voters approved both ST1 and ST2 and sure, there have been and will be hiccups along the way, but the overall vision has and is sound and articles by a transportation reporter need to keep that in mind. If the voters could see that last November, we need to keep moving forward with that in mind and not harp on too long about delays (yes there will be tons) or cost over runs (probably loads of these too) at the expense of incremental progress towards the end we voted for.
He’s told me that he doesn’t like light rail.
Actually, the chandelier is Sound Transit’s Photo of the Week, and they’re not installing chandeliers, just drilling holes to be ready when the chandeliers arrive.
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