From the PSBJ:
Over the coming year, Urban@UW will develop and launch pilot projects focused on urban issues. Examples might include addressing sidewalk accessibility, using data to assess community well-being, and transportation for disabled King County residents. Those projects could take the shape of a series of conversations, a small-scale research project, or other formats.
The Seattle area in many ways is the perfect place to launch such an initiative. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area added 61,373 residents last year, making it the 11th fastest-growing large urban area, according to census data. The economy is also surging, with a jobless rate below 5 percent.
It’s great to hear that UW wants to be a partner in solving transportation problems here in Seattle. Especially since the university has caused quite a few transportation problems in recent years. To wit:
- The inconvenient location of the light rail stop at Husky Stadium (inside the triangle would have been more convenient for everyone)
- Extracting $43M from Sound Transit & taxpayers to move light rail away from the physics lab
- Refusal to facilitate bus-rail transfers at said station and active opposition to a multimodal transit hub there
- Making bus-rail transfers at Mt. Baker worse than it needed to be by retaining its laundry facility for future development
- Dodging its responsibility to pay parking taxes
As a UW grad myself, I look forward to the new initiative, though I won’t hold my breath that the well-meaning folks running Urban@UW have any sway with the UW President or the Board of Regents who are responsible for the anti-urban transgressions of years past. But if the UW truly wants to improve Seattle transportation, there are plenty of opportunities in its own backyard.