Sunrise Route 10

This is an open thread.

64 Replies to “News Roundup: Happy Thanksgiving”

    1. Well, I’m thankful I have a home. I feel sorry for folks who rent, and given the information you linked to — I feel more sorry than ever for them.

      The articles about growth in Northgate was interesting and show how absurd our “urban village” plans are. You have an apartment building with 146 units that will be torn down and replaced by a bigger apartment building once rent gets high enough. You have another 207 unit set of buildings that they are hoping to do the same thing to. No wonder folks in this city get confused, and become overly concerned about displacement. That doesn’t explain why some think that supply has nothing to do with demand — but the Urbanist isn’t opposed to publishing absurd articles (this makes the idea of close I-5 through Seattle sound down right sensible).

      Anyway, the problem, as always, is that building new units is expensive. If you only allow 4 story buildings where 3 story building currently exist, then rent better be sky high before you build anything. But that is precisely the type of growth that the city allows. Those apartment buildings, while not exactly Belltown, are way more densely populated than most of the city. So rather than allow cheap construction (ADUs and DADUs) they force development in places that are extremely expensive.

      1. Yeah for sure. Lower Queen Anne is another good example of this – there are a lot of 2 to 4 story buildings being torn down and replaced by 4- 6 story buildings. By the time any substantial upzone happens, there will be an these expensive new buildings that no developer will want to tear down for decades.

        For Northgate, some of the issue is a lot of the excess zoning capacity is on land owned by the mall, which isn’t interested in redevelopment.

    2. Anyone who’s tried to argue with global warming skeptics will get a bit of deja vu with the approach to arguments and evidence taken by the housing shortage denialists over there.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. This Urbanist article is not unique, either. If you read The Stranger, you will often encounter people who say things like “we have a lot of new cranes, but rent keeps going up”. In other words, folks on the right deny global warming, while folks on the left deny basic economic theory (supply and demand). In both cases folks don’t want to address an inconvenient truth. If you believe that greedy developers (or the Chinese, or some other outside force) is responsible for the problem, then you don’t have to deal with it. You can pass your housing levy, lobby the city for more peanuts, and ignore *most* of the city, which is locked up. You don’t have to deal with the hard work required in changing the zoning in single family neighborhoods.

      2. The article has a point that there’s not just one rental market; there are different ones at different price points. If new buildings are $2000 and old buildings have risen to $1200, that still locks out people who can only pay $1000 or $800. At the same time people who doesn’t want a ratty place won’t look at anything less than $1600 because if it’s less it must be run down. So we need the current construction to continue so things don’t get acceleratingly worse, but we also need to realize that current private construction doesn’t solve the problem of those who need something at less than $1100. The 3/4 of the land that’s locked in single-family zoning is preventing both those markets from easing. Because rents ultimately come down to the effect of demand on the vacancy rate — how many people are competing for each vacant unit at the various price points.

  1. Better retail districts

    Ground floor retail in new construction is almost always going to be occupied by national retailers because landlords prefer tenants who have deep pockets and a proven concept. Older buildings, smaller businesses, local owners and unique neighborhood charm are wonderful–but when those buildings get torn down for modern urbanism–what replaces them? Multi-story, multi-million dollar investment properties owned and managed by national or international corporations that are very risk averse. Therefore, the new tenants for those properties will almost always be chosen from a pool of applicants that are usually publicly traded companies bringing tried and true concepts to the marketplace. If Starbucks had never been started, and in 2016, I took the concept of an upscale coffee shop selling European style beverages to any of the leasing companies in Seattle, I would be shown the door and laughed out of the building.

    The landlords also prefer a single tenant who will occupy a large chunk of the property instead of multiple tenants. Property managers prefer to collect one check every month instead of trying to collect ten checks. Also, if there are ten tenants there is likely to be some failure which requires dealing with legal notices, evictions, finding new tenants, negotiating leases and all the overhead costs of property management. It’s so much easier to lease the whole space to one tenant who is guaranteed to send the rent check every month.

    There aren’t a lot of ways to combat the “big and rich” bias. I’ve suggested a leasehold fee/tax that could be applied to large scale leases or large scale businesses. In real estate transactions, when a retailer signs a long term lease with a landlord the property managers who negotiated the lease get a cut of the total value of the leases (usually 6%). If the city collected a fee on large scale retail leases and applied a threshold test that exempted small scale transactions there might be an incentive for some landlords to consider renting property to smaller companies and start up businesses. But until there is some financial incentive for property owners to make better retail districts, expect more of the same-old, same-old.

    1. True, but a first step is requiring or encouraging several of the ground floor retail units to be small spaces. This act alone removes a large percentage of the national chains who can’t operate in 900-1,200 square feet areas.

      1. But what kinds of businesses are you going to get in small retail spaces? The kinds of places that make urban living practical and affordable? Or the kinds of places that you drive past to get to Fred Meyer every time you need basic stuff?

        There was at least one meeting maybe a year or two ago about mixed-use development in Northgate on county-owned land (south of the mall maybe?) where the big question from residents was whether it would include a grocery store. By the standards of SF5000 density and “everyone drives everywhere” the QFC at Northgate/Roosevelt is close enough (i.e. too close to compete with), but even a car-light lifestyle requires a lot of practical destinations within walking distance. Maybe on the way home from the grocery store you can stop by the “upscale coffee shop selling European-style beverages”. Or, because of how Starbucks did indeed turn out, maybe you can stop there inside the grocery store…

      2. Exactly. A lot of owners might prefer one large chain, but they will have to tough it out with several small ones, just as a lot of owners would prefer no ground floor retail at all.

      3. Not sure what your point is, AI. Of course walkable neighborhoods require a few large spaces for things like grocery stores. But if you consider that a new TOD neighborhood will likely have multiple new buildings with ground floor retail, once you get one grocery store the rest of the space can be divided in multiple ways–either a small handful of large stores (a drugstore, a FedEx, a sprawling Starbucks, another drugstore for some reason) or 10-20 small stores that are suited for local ownership. The grocery store takes care of 95% of your daily needs, the rest is gravy–the stores, bars and restaurants that make urban living enjoyable.

      4. My point is just that it can’t all happen in tiny stores — at least not in a city with one foot still in auto-dependence. I’d really rather see a focus on narrow, deep storefronts along key streets rather than overall size of the space, personally. Some of the really shallow spaces in buildings where parking infrastructure spoils a lot of ground-floor depth are too small to be very useful and don’t provide great storefront-density.

        Maybe there are some retail districts in Seattle where we have too many big spaces on the ground floors of big mixed-use buildings, but I’m not sure I’ve seen them.

    2. This is a bit like saying that if you build new housing, the only people who can afford it will be rich Californians that just moved here: if they are the only ones that can afford it, there isn’t enough of it being built.

    3. Except this isn’t the case in Capitol Hill and other gentrified neighborhoods where it’s the local businesses that are strong and its the national chain stores that are dropping like flies

  2. There seems to be a lot of worry about how to get residential developers to pay for lower income housing w/o the fees causing rents to simply go higher. But I don’t follow. The reason rent is high is an increase in people who want to live here. The reason a bunch of new people want to live here is a bunch of new high paying jobs. So why don’t we make the affordable housing fees on new office space?

    1. That’s kind of what I propose above in the leasehold fee or tax. Don’t impact the cost of construction with fees but do tax the commercial leases that are signed once the property is built (subject to a threshold test that would allow smaller businesses to lease property without a tax or fee).

    2. Tanking the economy wouldn’t necessarily stop people from wanting to move here. We still have a state university that will be attended by as many people as admissions will allow, and a growing in-state population of young people who would like to go to college. And the mountains will still be beautiful. And people everywhere are still having babies faster that people are dying.

      Despite what some may push, building multi-story apartments on top of surface parking lots will not displace anyone.

      The height limits lowered from the original proposal seem to be designed to discourage the properties from being developed at all. Same with the fees. That said, I’d support higher fees if the height limit could be raised substantially. If we can’t build taller next to UW and next to the stations closest to UW, where can we build up and house people densely?

    3. That would likely decrease the amount of commercial space in the city, while it spread to suburbs all too happy to have new office towers. This would, inevitably, lead to more sprawl and more difficult commutes (as it did the past when the last wave of suburban office growth occurred).

      It makes more sense to simply have everyone pay for low income housing while allowing the market to build middle income housing. The former wouldn’t cost so much if we allowed the latter.

      1. (Unless suburban office growth is in downtown Bellevue, Lynnwood, or other transit accessible locations. But otherwise, yes.

      2. @AJ — Office growth in Lynnwood would spread sprawl and commuter hardship just like every other “transit accessible location” in the U. S. More sprawl to places like Snohomish, while pretty tough commutes from places like Ballard, let alone Auburn. OK, it wouldn’t be that hard to get from Ballard to Lynnwood. Just drive north. Eventually, though, the “reverse commute” becomes just another commute, as it did with Bellevue. It is nothing like a downtown commute, which is reasonable and almost always preferable to driving.

      3. No – the beauty of Link, rather than buses, is the reverse commute is identical to the primary commute. Trying to reverse commute by bus to Snohomish or Bellevue from Seattle stinks because the bus schedules are biased against it, and none of the express lane are available.

        With ST2, it will be much much easier for all the young professional who work for Microsoft to live in Seattle & get to work. With ST3, it will be just as easy to get to a job in Lynnwood from West Seattle as it will to get to downtown Seattle from, say, Mill Creek or Bothell. If I live in Edmonds, I can take a Sounder train to work with terrible frequency – or hey, I can take a frequent SWIFT bus to a job in Lynnwood – and that job doesn’t even need to be by the transit center!

        The Puget Sound area will become a multi-nodal system, and there will be no such thing as a “reverse commute” as there will be a dozen+ major job centers. Sure, downtown-bound Seattle trains/buses will have the most crowding because it will be the biggest node, but our transit system will no longer be (as) biased in favor of suburbs to downtown commuters.

        If by “sprawl,” you mean increasing density and TOD within the Urban Growth boundary, then yes please.

        Remember, Bellevue will have 2 rail lines, 2 BRT lines, and at least 1 Metro RR bus line. Lynnwood will have rail, BRT, and two SWIFT lines. I don’t know why you just assume people will drive if a job isn’t downtown – that’s surprisingly pessimistic for an avid transit advocate such as yourself.

        I work in Bellevue – most of my coworkers would rather ride a bus than sit on 405, but right now taking a bus is even slower, so they drive. Pretty much all of my younger coworkers would like to live in Seattle, but it’s too expensive and/or the commute sucks.

        We need suburban cities like Lynnwood and Federal Way to grow aggressively – a booming Seattle cannot fit everyone. These suburbs will likely remain much more affordable than Seattle, for both people and for businesses.

    4. Commercial and office space also pays property tax, which is turn funds much of the city’s budget. For example, the housing levy hits all property not just residential, I believe. The levy was just doubled this year.

  3. About Tigard… gotta say I was recently down in that part of the world. Don’t get why Tigard barely voted to study surface light rail – three words for streetcar, but, “By a wide margin, Tigard voters turned down a gas tax increase to pay for repairs and improvements to the city’s streets.”

    One would think you’d want to fix your city’s streets, fund better Trimet services and then maybe revisit this. Guess not. Trimet right now is having so much, er, turbulence with labor & safety I think Trimet needs to heal thyself.

    Part of my problem with Trimet is to me if you’re going to fork over the cash and lay rail down, you better do it the Sound Transit way. Hire the best players in the country, mold a team together and get a good right of way.

    1. The problem with Trimet’s LRT will probably always be their decision to run through the streets of downtown Portland. The suburban rail runs near highways and in old rail corridors is pretty effectively separated and it wouldn’t be worth the money to pay for further separation.

      Downtown at grade rail, however, both puts hard limits on car length and frequency. It will be very expensive to fix these issues and its much easier at this point to do relatively cheap extensions until there is sufficient population downtown to demand and fund grade separation.

      1. Thanks. Let me just add I don’t think Trimet should expand until they can protect their drivers, resolve their labor issues, deal with their maintenance issues, and can tunnel under Downtown Portland. Even if the tunnel is just one line at a time, OK…. at least they’re getting grade separation for downtown & some reliable Willamette River crossings (the Steel Bridge ain’t so great).

        That said, I’ve rode the lines out of downtown Portland and once out of downtown, Trimet MAX does do OK. Started a photo album of Trimet photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFZAnc2

    2. Significant parts of the light rail planning process here are handled by the Metro regional government. They are an elected government, but they don’t wind up operating what they plan. They tend to favor political favors. For example, MAX orange line had to serve both OMSI and the OHSU south waterfront area as part of political favors, and thus we wind up with a light rail line that doesn’t have such great ridership numbers.

      The problem with the Tigard line is that it will be next to Interstate 5 for a significant distance. This part of Interstate 5 is similar to the part going north out of downtown Seattle: on a steep hillside, so the development potential along the freeway (and thus along the light rail line) will be very limited. This is in addition to the well known issues of building a line next to a freeway in the first place.

      The termination of the line is currently planned to be in the middle of a parking lot in a suburban shopping mall. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that the mall in question is a higher end mall that mostly caters to a wealthy clientele. As best as I have been able to tell, people drive there just as much to show off their latest luxury SUV purchase as to actually buy stuff at the stores. So, I don’t picture this as being a great termination point for a light rail line at all.

      The interesting thing about the assaults on drivers figure is that crimes against passengers on TriMet has dropped about 40%. Another interesting thing about that assaults figure:
      http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2016/11/trimet_tries_to_rein_in_assaul.html

      The rise in attacks isn’t limited to the Portland area; transit agencies across the country have seen similar trajectories. The issue even caught the attention of Congress, which in its last transportation funding package directed the Federal Transit Administration to adopt new rules to protect transit operators.

      Things like the declining funding for decent mental healthcare and other issues are showing up on transit systems across the country, in my opinion.

      The other thing to keep in mind: the noise in the news is about assaults on drivers, of which there were 14 on the TriMet system. A 40% increase to 14 is still too many, but at the same time with several hundred buses operating a day it isn’t especially bad. There were times during the early 1990s that bus route #4 alone had somewhere around that many driver assaults.

      1. Thanks Glenn, I’m happy you chimed in here. I just think Trimet shouldn’t expand as much as heal thyself and get below downtown Portland.

        I mean expanding to an upper end shopping mall… Did the mall request MAX service? Were customers clamoring for the service? Are there buses serving the mall now?

        (Trust me, I speak from experience fighting for some museum that you need YES to all three to justify the line and good bus ridership to justify even having this conversation – I know Everett Transit prioritizes serving the Everett Mall.)

      2. There’s a decent sized park and ride that pre dates Bridgeport Village at the proposed terminus, I suspect it’s as much about serving that. Then again all the major shopping centers in the Portland region are well served by transit except for Bridgeport Village which is only 10 years old.

        Agreed this is seen as the Orange County type of mall in Portland for Orange County types.

      3. The park and ride lot isn’t that easy to get to from the mall due to traffic. It’ll probably wind up being like the Cascades Station: auto oriented development that is almost safe to access by transit.

      4. The sad thing about Cascades Station is the whole point of building the shopping area and the MAX line was to build a transit friendly retail area. What we got was one of the most transit hostile retail areas in Portland.

        Looking at Google Satellite View it looks like they at least have crosswalks now? When I went there two years ago or so, getting from MAX to Best Buy was like trying to cross a freeway without a shoulder. I never went back.

        There’s a restaurant of some sort inside the IKEA store too. Doesn’t open until 9:30 am. You might need to bring an alen wrench to put the toast together.

      5. I don’t know any level on which Cascades Station succeeds. I drove there to go to Ikea a while back and found it very difficult to navigate in a car. I had to do several u-turns to get where I was going. I think the GPS had a really hard time which was probably a big part of my troubles. It has a really confusing mix of things that seems like traffic circles and lights and is structured into a huge one way loop. Even though parking is ample, most of it is behind the shops and the access to it is cramped. I certainly don’t plan on ever going back.

    1. Construction is always a nuisance for local businesses, but it should pay off in just future as the area becomes more of a transportation node.

      Is this the say guy who refused to sell to ST and is facing eminent domain?

      1. Yep, and was asking for like $6 million or something for either that parcel of land the train stations is going on or the wnole building.

    2. What a lot of silliness. The owner is hurting his tenants to push his grievance with the state by way of anyone he can associate with trains.

      Surely far more people pass through Chicago’s Merchandise Mart to get to the L (there’s a stop that’s accessed from the building’s second floor), and in the winter we track road salt and grime all over the floors, but the building remains open. The traditional tenants of that building aren’t trying to attract walk-through customers at all. But these days the building has a food court near the L, and people that walk by it in the evening might stop there for breakfast or lunch some days. That works out better when those commuters are in the area on their lunch breaks, not off in the bigger city. Unfortunately the tallest building around Freighthouse Square is a commuter parking garage…

    3. It seems really weird to me for a business to complain about too much foot traffic. If he knew what he was doing, he’d be looking for a way to make money off of these potential impulse purchase customers instead.

      There are plenty of things you can sell to people passing through on the way to a train: Grab and go food, gloves, hats, umbrellas, soft drinks, coffee…

      Guess some folks don’t know how to take advantage of an opportunity…

      1. Well. The owner has a bit of a history in the local area. I think in general he has a bit of a difficult time dealing effectively with government entities. But he is hurting his tenants more than he is hurting ST.

        And that is all I’ll say about that.

      2. Well the signs were taken dowm after the news report aired and also got an earful from tenants afterwords who were not very amused by what he did or said. I don’t blame them and hope they keep the pressure on him if he pulls this again.

    4. During construction of MAX Orange Line, TriMet paid for advertising for a number of the most impacted local businesses to help drive up customers to them.

      Of course, it also helps to have an opening day party that helps introduce the region to all those local businesses along the line as well.

    5. I really wish they would have torn down all of Freighthouse square at this point. I do think there’s value in old buildings like which can give a home to businesses that require low rent in order to operate. And Freighthouse square has been a fun to place to visit from time to time.

      However, the addition of the Sounder and now Amtrak stations are going to change the building permanently. Another landlord would have run with that seeking investment to upgrade the rest of the building into something that served commuters. Instead, the landlord seems to be antagonistic to further changes.

      1. The building has a Pike Place Market feel, and it seems to be the best place in Tacoma to choose from a variety of meal cuisines at a good price. The south (retail) wing is like the lower floors of Pike Place that don’t have the mobs of tourists at street level. The city wanted to tear down Pike Place in the 70s for a hockey arena and office towers, but the citizens said, “No, restore it,” and by now everyone is exceedingly glad they did. Especially since contemporary architects won’t deign to make pre-WWI style buildings, with rare exceptions like the Pike Motorworks apartments (where I keep finding beautiful things, like a “Parking” sign on the west side). So we should keep Freighthouse Square for the long-term benefit, and the owner’s attitude is secondary. The city could perhaps reign the owner in with regulations and settlements, like Seattle has had to do with Sisley,

  4. Any metrics on how much of the 405 HOT lanes traffic is HOV3+?

    HOV lanes elsewhere in the system clog up during rush hour, though that’s with HOV2+. Eventually 3+ hovs will be a significant part of the HOT lanes traffic, if the region keeps growing, no?

      1. I was mostly fishing to see how high the HOV3+ volume is – if it’s suspiciously high then people are pretending to be HOV and avoiding paying the tolls, and the problem is enforcement, not toll price. Drivers self-identify as HOV or toll-payers, so there is ample opportunity for abuse.

    1. I seem to remember a significant percentage of drivers on the HOT lanes are 3+. Something that would actually imply that *more people* (not more cars) are riding in 3+ vehicles. I haven’t followed the details of the I-405 HOT project, but I believe they added two HOT lanes. It seems like they could simply keep one HOT and make the other 3+. I think that would pretty much eliminate the congestion on the 3+ lane. It still wouldn’t solve the part that people complain about most, which is the section to the north. The state promised smoother running overall, and that simply isn’t the case with this project. Opening up all the lanes, of course, would make things worse (as there would be no incentive to carpool or take the bus).

      As far as 3+ being congested, I don’t think we have any roads like that. 520 seems to run quite smoothly (from what I can tell). Maybe someone who rides a bus there can correct me though.

      1. It’s a mix – it’s 2 lanes between Bothell-ish (I think) and Bellevue, and only 1 lane between Bothell and Lynnwood. A 2nd HOT lane will be added (not taken from GP) in a few year, not sure if it’s fully funded but it’s certainly in progress. South of Bellevue, WSDOT is adding an entirely new lane and will be combined with the existing HOV lane to have 2 HOT lanes between Bellevue & 167. Between 167 & I5 it will switch back to HOV. I know the 405 South HOT project is fully funded; a GP lane addition (for 5 total from current 3) is planned but unfunded.

        The chokepoint going north should get much better once the 2nd HOT lane is added; any time a lane goes away, HOT, HOV, or GP, there is always going to be congestion.

        For 405 south, and flyover ramp is being built between 167 & 405 HOT lanes, which should do wonders for bus routes between South & East King.

        520 is HOV, not HOT, so it’s 2+. It backs up a bit but that’s only because the HOV lane doesn’t go all the way to I5 yet. I think once the HOV lanes go all the way it should run smoothly.

    2. 30% of HOT lane users on I-405 claim HOV status. At peak times, that would be HOV-3+. But off-peak it could be HOV-2+. (some unknown percentage are cheating, of course, but that was always true).

      Between Bellevue and Bothell, WSDOT added a lane and converted a HOV lane to make two HOT lanes. They didn’t take any GP lanes, though they did take some exit lanes (which anti-tolling peeps will tell you is the same thing). Between Bothell and Lynnwood, WSDOT converted a HOV lane to HOT operations. There are shoulder-operations in the pipeline for 2017. There’s also a longer-term plan to add a second HOT lane, but that’s unfunded. Given that the current transportation bill runs through about 2030, it’s not likely to be built for a long time.

      South of Bellevue where tolling is not yet enabled, it’s still HOV-2 at all times.

      SR 520 is HOV-3+.

  5. When are they going to finish excavating the Roosevelt Station box and actually start building something?

  6. How does the route display on Metro buses get set? I’m assuming it’s automated now, in which case my wife and I experienced a bug on Tuesday. We were coming home from Overlake on the 545 in the evening, transferring to the 43 and then to 31/32/44 to get to the west side of Wallingford. The 43 we got on changed to a 44 around when it turned onto 15th. I thought that was odd given that I couldn’t recall any evening 43s continuing as a 44, but didn’t want to pass up our good fortune so we stayed on rather than getting off at Campus Parkway.

    We then got to experience a 20 minute delay at the infamous left-turn-of-doom onto 45th while sitting behind a line of 4 CT buses, and west-bound traffic bunging up the road. At Brooklyn, we heard the dreaded “This is the last stop” message and got kicked off the bus. Fortunately I managed to bite my tongue with the driver (probably not his fault) but understandably my wife and I were pretty pissed off.

    In the distant past, I remember drivers having to reach up and twiddle their display control panel, but I haven’t seen that in years. Is it fully automated now, or is it something that is set when the bus leaves the terminal and the display gets updated at a particular GPS location?

    1. From a passenger’s view, in the 80s they were scrolling signs like ancient books. Then they switched to electronic displays but the driver still had to set them. When the next-stop displays appeared in buses it became fully automatic; the driver may still set the run but the signs come on themselves, so it must be GPS or something. Sometimes at the first stop of a run the sign still says “To Terminal” or the last destination, and when I’ve told the drivers they say it’s automatic and they can’t do anything about it. The sign does change before the next stop, so it’s something about the location sensor being not always exact.

      A year or two ago Metro changed its policy on through-routes. The signs used to change to the second route right at Pine Street or Campus Parkway or wherever the second route starts, but now the signs change when the bus enters the periphery downtown/Belltown or the UDistrict/UVillage. So the northbound 131 turns into a 26 around Jackson Street, and the southbound 26 turns into 131 around Bell Street. A westbound 75 turns into a 31 around 36th Ave NE, and an eastbound 31 turns into a 75 around I-5 (I guess since I’ve never taken a 31 eastbound). The 7/49 when they’re joined also change on Jackson Street northbound and around 5th Avenue southbound. These changes have been propagated to Metro’s ridership counts, which caused some routes to get an implausable spike and others an implausable drop, but the change more accurately reflect the trips passengers intend to take (e.g., they get on the 131 in Belltown so they don’t have to transfer at Pine, or they get on the 31 in U Village intending to go to Fremont.

      1. Thanks, Mike, figured it was mostly automated now. You mentioning the 26/28 through-route with the 131/132 made me realize that Metro /must/ have some idea of which continuing route the bus is scheduled for, since the 131 is mostly connected to the 26, except for some early-morning runs, and same for the 28/132 except for some early/late runs connected to the 26.

        In any event, I submitted a complaint to Metro. Maybe they can fix whatever is connecting that particular 43 run to the 44 when it should be reading 43 or terminal. Half of my frustration is with myself, since I knew it was too good to be true.

  7. Why has Northgate developed more slowly than Roosevelt, despite its urban center designation?

    Here are some hypothesis:
    Roosevelt has sidewalks, while Mapleleaf local streets do not;
    Roosevelt has a tight street grid, while Northgate has super blocks;
    Roosevelt is several blocks from I-5, while Northgate is against it (the 8th v. 12th choice was among the good ones by the ST Board; the ST stations along I-5 in Lynnwood Link and Federal Way Link may also develop slowly; they cannot be pedestrian centers without a good street grid and freeways are barriers to pedestrians as dams are to fish);
    Roosevelt is closer to the urban core, so travel times are shorter and land more valuable.

    Consider the parallel pattern in Kirkland between Totem Lake next to I-405, the designated urban center, v. downtown Kirkland, with a tight street grid, sidewalks, and several blocks distance from I-405.

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