This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
I’ve been reading Suburban Nation (available at the library once I turn it back in), which has inspired me to come up with a few ideas for Seattle. One section discusses how to bring some of the successful features of malls to downtown. Malls always have anchor stores on opposite sides of the mall, requiring at least two walks through the mall past every store to see both anchors. However, cities put parking right at major destinations (arenas, convention center, etc.), completely ignoring this potential foot traffic.
Here’s the idea. With Link and Sounder we have less demand for parking at our stadiums. How about removing the North parking lot (which is single-level anyway) and put in small-footprint 5-story buildings complete with pedestrian-only streets? Instead of walking from Link or Sounder through a (boring and dangerous) parking lot, we could be walking past dozens of stores and restaurants. When there’s no game, this becomes transit oriented development and extra shopping for downtown.
On top, put offices or condos. Who wouldn’t want to live or work a block from transit?
(second image is my attempt at laying out what this would look like. ok, so I’m no architect, but it’s a start.)