Seattle City Council blog:

Selected highlights of the Resolution include making Seattle climate pollution-free by 2030; prioritizing public investments in neighborhoods that have historically been underinvested in and disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards and other injustices; exploring the creation of Free, Prior, and Informed consent policies with federally recognized tribal nations; and, creating a fund and establish dedicated revenue sources for achieving the Green New Deal that will be used to make investments in communities, along with an associated accountability body.

This is a non-binding resolution, of course, so it’s easy to throw the kitchen sink at it. But it moves the needle on an issue that is very much in need of needle mobility.

Here are some of the transit and land use components. (Note this is the draft text that’s on the city’s website. SCC Insight posted an updated copy with some changes but I don’t see a final version).

Section 9. Road transportation made up about 62 percent of Seattle’s core emissions in 2016, with most of these emissions originating from passenger vehicles and the remainder from medium- and heavy-duty trucks. To reduce transportation-related emissions, the City commits to pursuing the following strategies:

A.                     Make transit more affordable, reliable, and widely accessible;

B.                     Support efforts by King County Metro to convert all transit vehicles to be fully electric and explore fare-free transit by prioritizing communities for whom affordability is the greatest barrier to transit, while ensuring that service and reliability are not negatively impacted;

C.                     Facilitate more transit-oriented development, with at least 25 percent of all such development affordable to those at 30 to 60 percent of area median income;

D.                     Create a comprehensive system of dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes across the entire city;

E.                     Prioritize use of the public right-of-way for moving people and goods, not for moving single-occupancy vehicles, and conduct all transportation planning and construction accordingly;

F.                     Pilot new electric vehicle and transportation projects in communities with the greatest need for transportation options;

G.                     Expand transportation options, including connected infrastructure for biking, walking and rolling, to provide viable alternatives to driving;

H.                     Create a citywide goal of 100 percent electric vehicles for ride share, carshare, and freight by no later than 2025 and develop a plan for achieving this goal;

I.                     Implement a congestion pricing plan that is equitable and creates revenue to support transit expansion to benefit low-income, historically marginalized, and transit-disconnected communities first and foremost; and

J.                     Encourage City departments and businesses in Seattle to allow employees to telecommute.

Section 10. The City commits to continue implementing comprehensive strategies to mitigate development impacts and prevent displacement of vulnerable communities. In addition to the anti-displacement initiatives identified in Section 2 of Resolution 31870, which the Council adopted concurrently with Ordinance 125791, implementing the mandatory housing affordability program citywide, the City will pursue the following strategies:

A.                     Encourage the creation of more housing, particularly affordable housing, locating this housing near transit hubs, green space, and neighborhood amenities to reduce dependence on private vehicles;

B.                     Explore anti-displacement strategies and alternative housing models, such as community-owned cooperative housing, community land ownership, and community land conservation that will allow communities to grow and prosper within Seattle, particularly on City-owned land not currently used for housing that could be repurposed to address the housing crisis;

C.                      Continue to increase housing density as a means to meet both current unmet demand for affordable housing and projected future population growth;

E.                     Require that landlords who participate in City weatherization programs limit rent increases for ten years to ensure that low-income renters are able to remain in place and receive the benefits of weatherization;

F.                     Prioritize low-income housing, especially for people earning 30 percent or less than area median income;

G.                     Coordinate the City’s approach to measuring displacement and risk of displacement to advance anti-displacement efforts, and publish this data on the City’s website in a clear and easily-accessible location;

H.                     Remove financial barriers and increase outreach regarding accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for low-income homeowners seeking to build an ADU on their property;

I.                     Provide support and capacity building to ensure that residents of neighborhoods currently experiencing displacement or at high risk of displacement can engage in conversations with developers regarding proposed projects in their neighborhoods; and

J.                     Develop a centralized hub of information and expand outreach to people at risk of displacement.

A solid list, to be sure. I hope this council or the next one runs with it.

54 Replies to “Transit and land use in Seattle’s ‘Green New Deal’ resolution”

  1. Article says “But it moves the needle on an issue that is very much in need of needle mobility.”

    how exactly does this move the needle? Serious question. A lot of these ideas are already in play.

    After 25 years in Seattle, I’ve seen committees, charettes, and proclamations on a myriad of very worthwhile issues. Based on the past results, I don’t consider writing a long wish list of things to combat climate change without money or a plan to be doing something.

    Tell me the city council will take transit, or that they won’t be flying around the world to see best practices in other cities – now those would be actions to combat climate change. Sending well wishes, not so much.

    1. If they do D and E that would make a huge difference. Seattle needs to follow the lead of better-functioning cities and prioritize walking first, SOVs last. The Seattle Squeeze plan had high aspirations for downtown transit lanes and building more of the downtown bike network but it got mostly watered down to maximize SOV circulation. Aurora should have full BAT lanes like Shoreline and South King County do on their part of 99. Other arterials should have transit-priority lanes: Interbay, 45th, Rainier, 23rd, Denny, etc. Not just a few blocks here or there. There are some segments where transit priority is infeasble, like Market Street on the west side of Phinney Ridge that has only three lanes total and no room for widening and no nearby parallel streets, but these are few, and don’t excuse the lack of transit priority on the rest of 45th/Market. If we had transit-priority lanes there would be less clamor for Link everywhere.

    2. Icelandair Flight 682, leaving at 7:10 tonight, arriving Reykjavik Iceland 9:25 tomorrow morning. And one excellent espresso later, choice of flights to wide variety of European cities with transit experience well worth whatever my councilmember’s ticket will cost me.

      Express train ride out of Copenhagen Airport is a fast and spectacular trip to both Gothenburg, Sweden’s fine streetcar system and Oslo, Norway’s waterfront plaza, to see what our waterfront can look like when we put the streetcar tracks back.

      Brad, an age including 25 years in Seattle can make you into a voter to whom a youngster of mayoral or city council age will willingly listen and cooperate with. Especially if you stay in touch with them. But it also imposes an obligation not to short the youngsters on their education.

      Mark Dublin

  2. “Selected highlights of the Resolution include making Seattle climate pollution-free by 2030”

    Where have I seen that 2030 date before? Oh yeah, Vision Zero. “Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.”

    1. The World Bank has also called for all countries to implement universal healthcare by 2030. The UN has set the goal to make internet and literacy universal by 2030. Turns out decades make popular milestones. Unless… something more nefarious is happening? Is there a secret cabal plotting to make the world a better place? *cue x-files theme*

      1. I was speaking more to the Vision Zero enthusiasm lasting only about a year to two. That it was the last mayor’s deal. I’m suggestion this current resolution might similarly lose steam when the cameras are gone and its patrons have changed jobs.

      2. Vision Zero is still an ongoing project in cities all over the world, Sam. It started in Sweden decades ago. Not sure what’s wrong with working towards a city with zero traffic deaths but sure blame Durken and the city counsel for some reason if it makes you happy…

  3. The phrase “federally recognized tribal nations” has a blind spot to the main tribe in town, the Duwamish. They have never been recognized by the federal government, nor gotten the support of the City to get that recognition, despite being signatories to the Treaty of Point Elliott, and much of Seattle being on the land this tribe sold, but never got paid for. It is high time to stop committing more injustices against the Duwamish. A first step would be specifically mentioning them in this resolution, and then following up by formally supporting federal recognition.

    1. The main obstacle to federal recognition for the Duwamish is not their omission from symbolic city resolutions but the implacable opposition of the Tulalip and Muckleshoot.

      1. Nothing to do with the Tulalip and Muckleshoot… The feds don’t want to pay for tribal benefits and have denied their request for over 150 years. According to the feds they don’t “always live in a cohesive community” which is a requirement for federal recognition. (They actually won recognition and GWB retracted it.)

      2. The argument is that they haven’t had a strong tribal structure continuously. The ironic thing is that tribes who waged war with the settlers and remained more-or-less separatists received recognition — their separatism is that tribal structure the feds are demanding — while tribes that cooperated with the settlers like the Duwamish became more assimilated and so didn’t maintain as strong a tribal structure — and now the feds are using their cooperation against them!

    2. Off topic slightly, I find it interesting about how people can be so upset with the way tribes were treated, by forcing them off their land, with treaties and payments. But those same people are completely satisfied that the government can use it’s powers to take someone’s property for the “greater good” which is identical to what happened over 100 years ago. Ironic.

      If Seattle cared that much about Native American rights, they would recognize Duwamish themselves, even without Federal recognition. And you know it’s all corrupt with other tribes put up barriers for others to be recognized. The Cowlitz were recognized in 2000 and recently received untra-prime land near Vancouver, right on I-5 and built a huge brand new casino. Their recognition and right to land was opposed by numerous other tribes (several which already had casino’s that were set to lose money with a new casino opening). It’s not about being recognized as a place in history and their way of life, it’s about the mighty dollar and special status. The new casino is run by a company that has no Native American connection other than casinos. Is that money really getting to those in the tribe to help them? I’d like to see the money trail. So if Seattle really cared, they would do something, but then as it’s been mentioned, they’d get opposed from those who will lose gambling customers…nothing to do with the real purpose of being recognized as a tribe.

      1. Basically the root of it all, from stealing land to opposing people’s rights to take it back, comes down to money. No one should be surprised by that.

      2. Seattle does recognize the Duwamish, more so in recent years. It supported the establishment of the Daybreak Indian cultural center in Discovery Park as a compromise between giving them nothing and giving them the entire Fort Lawton land when the army surplused it. The city consults the Duwamish on issues it’s sensitive to like a school mascot (I think there was one in West Seattle).

        There’s an ongoing public debate now on whether the “settlers” should do more. Some people have started making “rent” payments — voluntary donations to the tribe’s social-service fund for members’ medical/education/welfare expenses, as a symbolic payment for the land and pending a general settlement. Fa’aumu Kaimana wrote an article about incorporating Lushootseed place names in bus destination signs, which led to a discussion about adding the names to street and neighborhood signs. All these debates are ongoing and will continue and may lead to something.

        Are you asking for the city to issue a certificate giving formal recognition? What good would that do beyond the symbolism, and is it something the tribe really wants and has asked for?

  4. All electric freight by 2025??? Does the Council want to abolish the Port of Seattle? Even if they did, the State would have a lot to say about that. None of it “positive” or very temperate at all.

    Sometimes my team embarrasses itself.

    1. It does seem implausable that we can expect interstate trucks to electrify on Seattle’s schedule.

  5. More housing and more transportation mean more concrete. Concrete creation is a massive component of greenhouse gasses (8% worldwide), is harmful to topsoil near it, and requires environmental destruction in terms of gravel mines and gravel/cement trucks to haul materials.

    The transit and land use components of this “Deal” are neither “New” nor “Green”. They make a climate pollution free Seattle by 2060 laughably impossible. You can’t be green and pro “Build, baby. Build.”. That’s radically irrational, and a little disingenuous. It artificially deflates Seattle’s carbon footprint by ignoring the footprint of Seattle’s demands on the rest of the region. Those gravel and food shipments? Not Seattle’s footprint until it crosses city lines.

    Apparently displacement of people isn’t enough for Seattle. Now it has to displace pollution too.

    1. Most high-profile emission-reduction strategies have tradeoffs and hypocracies that can cancel out the reduction or make it an increase. The answer is not to do nothing but to be vigilant as these plans are designed and executed. Different strategies can use a greater or lesser amount of concrete. The status quo is not sustainable: if we don’t build any more buildings or make our transit infrastructure more robust to at least reach the industrialized-world average, we’re giving people no choice but to drive extensively, squeeze into existing undersized buildings, and have much larger Hoovervilles of people who can’t find housing. There will probably come a time when construction and long-distance shipping are no longer feasible, and we must build a more resilient city before that happens.

      1. As long as population controls are off the table, new, denser construction is necessary. Sustainable construction is possible in the form of mass timber and energy offsets; increasing road use density (via mass transit) can limit need for new concrete roads. Replacing driving lanes with rails with grass medians reduces the need for new concrete significantly.

      2. Sure, but we aren’t doing that or advocating for that. Nobody’s talking about building with Roman Concrete, despite it having a lower carbon footprint and radically better endurance (2 of the 3 Roman Concretes we’ve reverse engineered, actually). The cement mixing companies won’t make it because doing so would decrease their profit margins. Their lobbyists clearly have more pull than the citizens and this non-binding resolution combined. This is nothing but putting lipstick on the “do nothing” pig.

        “We must build a more resilient city before that happens.”

        This is exactly the problem I’m talking about. There is no us vs. them in climate change. We can’t wait until “we get ours” to take this problem seriously.

        We cannot wait until we have an ideal city to act. We have to act now. With full scale action. Half measurements are ineffective and pandering. If we wait until all our affairs are in order, we’ll be waiting forever. Because another affair to put in order first will always present itself. That way lies the madness of the “Do nothing.” ideology. Instead of “Do nothing.” it becomes “Do nothing of consequence today.’. We live in a world scarred by the results of that thinking. That’s what brought us to this point in the first place. Our recyclables being rejected by the rest of the planet shows the ineffectiveness of such half strategies.

      3. I’d start by maximizing what we have. Identify stable structures that can be repurposed with minimal added carbon footprint. I’d break the back of the concrete lobby to get less polluting options on the table. I’d replant square miles of the Olympic and Rainier temperate rainforests, millions of trees. I’d work on carbon sequestration.

        Note that half of that is literally impossible given the current political climate. It also involves very little building of new facilities.

        Now, onto transit specifics, since this is a transit blog. I’d road diet everything. Even the freeways. Especially the freeways. Lanes of traffic resulting in more congestion issues is a scientific proven fact. If you build lanes, they will drive. So I will remove lanes. Long before increasing transit and housing infrastructure. The supply-demand curve must be manipulated to make mass transit infrastructure as self filling as SOV focused infrastructure is now. The good news is that Central Link shows us we can pull this off successfully in the region.

        Inverting mass transit vs. SOV dynamics will also benefit the current housing issue. It will shorten the average distance between a home and needed amenities, reducing food and mass transit “deserts”. It will localize infrastructure in a way that reduces the number of longer distance trips, as they would be unnecessary.

        Most of that is beyond the scope and range of this agreement, and requires little in the way of new building. It also will never happen in my lifetime. There’s simply no profit in it for enough moneyed interests.

        Only after the lifestyle and mindset of the average Seattleite is completely changed would I focus on putting down new concrete. Then light rail lines on things other than repurposed roads and serious upzoning can have their full impact on the issue and region. Then you’re not just rearranging CO2 deckchairs on the climate change Titanic. Then you can intelligently recore Seattle, encouraging growth between the urban villages to create an urban center capable of taking in massive immigration while still keeping an outer ring of SFHs within city limits.

      4. We need something that can make it through the current political climate. It may take decades to change Seattlites’ minds, change the city leadership’s mind, change the legislature’s mind, and change congress and the administration’s mind. We need something we can do in the meantime. If we can’t get P&R expansions eliminated from ST3, how are we going to take lanes away from SOVs? That’s literally what I recommended in the second comment, converting existing GP lanes to transit-priority lanes (exclusive, BAT, or some other type). How do we get from here to there? How do we overcome the people who vetoed the improvements to 35th Ave NE and their counterparts in the other districts who may elect a less transit/environmentally-progressive council the next term?

      5. We need something that can make it through the current political climate, yes. We need to do something that does something. This agreement is doing something that does nothing. It is pure feel goodism, words on paper that can be proudly pointed at while no substantial change occurs.

        It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

      6. I agree the manifesto is worth only the amount it’s implemented. This is a first attempt and is just getting public scrutiny now. Nobody has outlined an implementation yet so we don’t know how good that will be, or if the next council session will honor it. All this will unfold (or not) over the next year.

        I have concerns about some of the items. The 25% affordable development sounds like the same the same “mandatory affordability quota” that has floated around for some time. There have been arguments both ways on how successful this is, whether it discourages developers from building, and whether it’s enough housing for everybody who’s cost-burdened or displaced from the city. I’m concerned that a heavy-handed one-sided approach like this is steamrollering over the issues.

        But it’s a generally good idea and it’s a start, and we’ll see how many of the details make it through and whether their impacts are good/bad/effective.

        I feel the same way about the national Green New Deal. It’s still a vague concept, just something that points the right direction rather than a concrete policy that may be good or bad. It took Congress a year to define Obamacare and pass it, and that’s a more straightforward issue: the goal is to cover more people with insurance and reduce individuals’/society’s costs. A green new deal is much more ambitious and diffuse: it aims to restructure large parts of the economy and many public/private sectors. That will take more time to define and get consensus on, and we’ll see if ends up being reasonable pragmatic framework, a bunch of extremist prescriptions that go beyond what the facts support, or a bunch of ineffective hot air that can’t be passed or can’t get enough people into office to enact it.

      7. Time is a luxury we no longer have. Time told us, just as it told Ozymandius. If we still need time, we will suffer the same fate.

    2. “Solidia reduces the overall carbon footprint in precast concrete by 70%. In addition, the new product reduces the cement plant’s carbon emissions by up to 40%.”

      1. You’re missing the point. Does Solidia survive in a driveable state for centuries, maybe millennia, in an earthquake prone region? Roman concrete does. Does Solidia form primitive diamond lattices when exposed to seawater? A different form of Roman concrete does.

        Modern pavements are designed to wear out in less than a century. So that it will need to be replaced, and make the paving companies money on the repaving. We’ve got things like chipseal, which need to be laid down annually for five years at an inflated overall price before forming a semipermanent driving surface.

        Roman concrete can be mixed on site. No cement trucks that must race to the site and make it in 60 minutes or the whole load is ruined. Zero cement plant emissions. Zero cement plants, period. Orders of magnitude more endurance per unit of released carbon. Solidia doesn’t even compare.

      2. “Modern pavements are designed to wear out in less than a century.”

        Modern buildings are designed for a 20-year lifetime to recoup the initial investment and it’s assumed fashions will change by then. That’s another thing that needs to be changed. Pre-WWII buildings were made to last for a century with proper maintenance because the owners intended to keep them the entire time and pass them on to their children. Even up to the mid 1970s houses were more durable. But then came Wall Street financing and a disassociation between the people who built and financed the buildings and those who would live in them over the next century — often the former is several states away and has never seen the property and thinks of it just as a commodity like stocks. We need to get back to longer-term, more durable construction, and owners/financiers closer to the community. A state infrastructure bank would be a good example, even if it doesn’t directly affect private housing.

    3. Not building housing for people who would like to live in Seattle, where a lower-carbon lifestyle is possible, doesn’t make those people magically disappear. They just wind up living higher-carbon lifestyles somewhere in the suburbs because they can’t afford the city. Giving people access to a low-carbon lifestyle should be a priority. That being said, the city boundaries are a totally arbitrary boundary for this effort. The city could go carbon-neutral tomorrow by unincorporating, and then it’d be unincorporated King County’s problem. This should be a regional thing.

      Your comment reminds me of this thing I read about some town in Colorado whose method of reducing its emissions was by making it just about impossible for people to move there.

      1. That’s quite the Strawman you’ve made for yourself there. We totally need to build more housing. Smarter housing. The current build wherever, whenever policy is not building smarter housing.

        We are in agreement that the Seattle borders are arbitrary, and this is a regional issue. That’s why I brought up the sand and gravel mines of East King, Grays Harbor, and various other nearby counties. Seattle is effectively displacing parts of its carbon footprint, and this Green New Deal the city has dreamed up makes the problem worse.

      2. You just told me we can’t have more housing and infrastructure until we can dramatically decrease the concrete component. You said, “I’d break the back of the concrete lobby.” How is Seattle going to break the back of a national concrete lobby? The net result is that if we can’t build concrete-rich housing, and we can’t get the concrete component reduced in 5 or 10 years, then we’ll end up with no more housing.

      3. No strawman here. Go back and read your own comment again. Oh, you’re so close to getting it.

        Yes, Seattle is displacing its carbon footprint…. by making it too expensive for people to live in the city, where you can actually accomplish most of your daily trips on foot, bike, or bus! So instead people are pushed into the car-dependent burbs! As big a deal as concrete is, I’m pretty sure locally the bigger thing is transportation. You’re missing the forest for the trees. “Use less concrete” is an improvement at the margins. “Help everyone drive less” is where the progress can really be made.

        Speaking of trees, I read that there’s a planned 12-story cross-laminated timber building in First Hill. Now there’s a great alternative to concrete and steel. You can also add a lot of low-rise infill housing using mostly timber.

      4. No, Seattle is displacing its carbon footprint by pushing carbon use outside the city. Expense of living is a red herring. It also isn’t due to Seattle city government. Building fees? Not excessive for a US city of our size? Zoning? Despite our outcries, we’re ahead of the curve.

        “Pushing people to the burbs” is a dog whistle. Millions of people don’t want to live in urban environments. They don’t want to commute to the urban environment any more than they want to live there. Part of localizing, eliminating food and mass transit deserts, and growing locally is reducing the need or desire to commute to an urban center. Or to commute, period. That’s how we reduce automobile emissions. We eliminate and/or reduce the need to drive to another community. You’re the one missing the forest for the trees here.

        Cross laminated timber is a solution? You do realize that living trees are still the predominant carbon reduction method on the planet, yes? That scientists say we can still halt global warming, but only if we plant billions upon billions of trees, yes? Heck, they’ve even drawn up a map of the best places on Earth to replant. We’re right there on the map.

        You literally can’t see the forest for the trees if you’re pushing laminated wood.

      5. We can have cross-laminated wood and billions more trees if we get the policies right.

      6. We can do lots of things we’ve never done before if we behave in a way we never have before.

        The sticking point is getting us to behave in a way we never have before.

      7. Sure, not everyone wants to live in the city. But lots of people do, and we should let them. Housing is expensive in the city, which suggests that there’s unfulfilled demand for city living. It’s way easier to live a low-carbon lifestyle in the city than it is to transform the suburban environment to make that possible.

        You can reduce long distance commuting by letting people live closer to where the jobs are, i.e. the city. People have been pushing telecommuting as a solution for decades and it has yet to really take off.

        So, you don’t want more concrete… and you also don’t want new buildings made of wood… it’s almost as if you’re arguing in transparently bad faith against building more housing of any kind. Looking forward to hearing your eugenics-based solution to climate change.

      8. We’re not asking for luxury single-sport stadiums or yachts or an SUV for every person, we’re asking for the basics of civilization, which is what we want to protect the climate for.

        City dwellers use half the energy of suburban and rural dwellers. Decentralizing cities is worse for the environment, not better. The problem isn’t the presence of downtown jobs, it’s the lack of housing in Seattle neighborhoods so that more people could live there, especially families with children. The buildings don’t have to be as tall as they are: 40 stories should be enough if we have enough of them. When most Americans lived on farms it was all human-powered and the population was much smaller; if you try to replicate that now you’d end up with energy-using machines and people traveling 60 miles to Wal-Mart because they won’t do without their suburbanish amenities.

      9. You really like setting up those Strawmen, Pat. We are supposed to be arguing in good faith here.

        I am supporting being smart about our carbon use. Where we can keep carbon sequestering trees, we should. Sturdy building materials are a need, certainly. So let’s use the best materials, ones that give us the biggest bang per carbon buck.

        That’s the kicker. We have better products shelf ready today. As a species, we intentionally choose not to use the best products and the best practices to maximize profit, in the case of housing to artificially inflate the rate at which housing needs to be renovated/replaced and the lowest payers replaced. Yesler Terrace style.

      10. Mike Orr, now there’s some meat to chew over. Thank you.

        Decentralization done poorly is indeed bad for the environment. That I agree with. I do think there is something to be said though for recentralization of highly decentralized locations. That’s what I’m stealth pushing for here.

        Let’s take North Bend. Last town/city before the pass. It’s not going anywhere. It’s far too out of the way to be a hub. It is also incredibly sprawly when compared to Seattle. With an Urban Growth Area that exceeds its city limits, it promotes small boutique wineries and other relatively fine businesses to pop up further and further into woodlands. By decentralizing some amenities and placing them in suburban areas, we keep our rural and unincorporated areas more undamaged.

        Creating new “cores” and fixing the broken ones we have is the key to absorbing more people with less of an ecological impact. It isn’t perfect. Carbon use is still there in terms of transportation infrastructure. But you end up with more and denser pockets of people rather than huge blobs absorbing everything around them.

        It is basically the same plan as I mentioned earlier for Seattle. Identify your urban villages, or the places in your small town that are clearly hubs not moving anywhere. Build between them and connect them into a single, dense core that can then justify and support better transit alternatives/more infrastructure. If there were nothing but high rises from Ballard to Beacon Hill, intra-Seattle subways would be a no brainer even to someone in Enumclaw. But instead Seattle is a hodge podge of pocket places in a sea of SFHs. The burbs may not have Seattle’s scale, but many of our local suburbs have same same design issues as Seattle.

      11. I like Chicago’s North Side as a model. Most buildings are 3-10 stories, lots of mixed use, and a good street and bus grid. There are still a few single-family houses scattered within it. Along the shoreline are highrise condos and parks, maximizing the number of people who can enjoy the lake views. Imagine Ballard to U Village and the Ship Canal to Greenlake like that. (Heights would taper down to the canal, to preserve its “center of the bowl” ambience, a kind of central park.) Now imagine some current or future suburbanites living there instead.

        The small towns can remain as they are as long as they don’t become huge sprawl (i.e., not like Covington or Mukilteo or Spanaway).

        The county has set the urban growth boundary at Issaquah, so Snoquamie and North Bend are outside it. They seem to be doing a moderately OK job; I just wish Snoquamie Ridge were in Issquah.

      12. The city of North Bend sets itself a UGA, and defines it as well outside its city limits despite having no legal ability to do so. That winery is a literal place, just outside city limits and owned by a family well connected in the Valley. They run it on property zoned residential to boot.

  6. Hilarious to see Gonzalez patting herself on the back from Denmark, while missing the vote. She also missed the streetcar vote yesterday to be on her boondoggle.

    1. Yes, there wasn’t a resolution for the council to travel less or take transit, what a glaring omission. They should be our role models.

      1. Typical political tripe: “We are excellent and don’t need to change our ways (like use transit to get to meetings and reduce carbon footprint and square footage in our homes). But the rest of you are evil because you theoretically don’t support climate change strong enough!”

      2. How do you know they aren’t taking transit? Have you surveyed all the councilmembers and verified what they do? At least one councilmember is a renter, and I assume that goes hand-in-hand with a smaller unit. Apartments typically range from 500-1000 square feet, while houses in the 1950s ranged from 800-1000 square feet, and houses now are 1500-3000 square feet.

  7. While displacement and emissions reductions are important issues, the ways to address them are not always beneficial to both. For example, should there be motivation to displace a person with way too much house and encourage them to leave so that they property can be more densely developed and house more people? Isn’t displacement for density good for emissions reductions?

    This reads like an O’Brien for Mayor platform rather than a policy directive. Otherwise, this would get to results-oriented localized action strategies like a ZEV city fleet and Walking School Bus programs.

  8. There was just an STB Roundup link that asked “Does Seattle housing policy help solve inequality?” The policy in question was about voluntary displacement; people moving out of communities where there are less opportunities, to communities where there are more opportunities. So which is it? Is displacement bad, or does it cure inequality?

    Sam. Comment Section Chief Meteorologist.

  9. the Insight version inserts “free” in section 9 A. The characteristic “frequent” is needed. Free is probably not fiscally feasible nor practical. We are in a market economy with prices to allocate scarce resources; transit is a valuable good. In Seattle, the farebox may cover 40 percent of the operating cost. It is fine to provide subsidy to poor households, but the farebox need not know how much the household paid for the ORCA.

    the Council could begin and consider the CCC Streetcar project in the context of Climate Change. The CCC construction would emit global warming gases. It would degrade the electric trolley bus network performance. The capital funds could be better used to provide key segments of electric trolley bus overhead (e.g., Route 48 on 23rd Avenue, Route 7 on South Henderson Street so it may connect directly with Link at the Rainier Beach station), implement RapidRide lines that are otherwise not affordable, and build sidewalks on frequent transit arterials that lack them (e.g., Greenwood and Auorora avenues North, north of North 115th Street). the needed service subsidy would be better used outside downtown Seattle where headways are longer. Downtown Seattle transit circulation could be provided by bus routes that are already funded and going through the CBD anyway. The 1st Avenue right of way priority could be provided to bus transit.

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