King County has far outpaced neighboring counties and the current regional plan in employment growth since 2010 (data: PSRC & Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The region’s economy has logged strong growth since the end of the Great Recession with 26% more jobs than in 2010. That growth has been led by King County, which has contributed 74% of the increase in employment in the four-county Puget Sound area in 2008-2019. Regional leaders are planning to force a redistribution of employment growth with less job growth in King County, and more jobs closer to communities in Pierce and Snohomish County that have seen fast housing growth.

The concentration of employment growth in Seattle and Bellevue has been a mostly positive feature of the recent boom. With more jobs have come more housing in the heart of the region, and growth in Seattle’s urban housing stock has outpaced the growth in suburban subdivisions. The more sustainable urban development has many obvious advantages. But housing growth hasn’t quite kept pace with jobs growth, bidding up rents and home prices. The frontier of affordable housing has been pushed into burgeoning bedroom communities in Pierce and south Snohomish counties. Politicians in those counties have blamed Seattle for not building enough housing, though more of the fault rests with King County suburban cities which have restricted new housing and grown more slowly.

The increased centralization of employment has been good for transit ridership. People who work in densely developed places are more likely to use transit to get there even if their homes are in the suburbs. 48% of downtown Seattle employees arrive by transit and downtown drive-alone counts have fallen even as employment has grown. Transit ridership has grown consistently even as it has fallen in every other major US city in recent years.

Politicians on the PSRC board, particularly those from Pierce and Snohomish counties, perceive this as a jobs/housing imbalance. Their residents face long commutes to distant Seattle and Bellevue. If they could shift more employment to their own county, their residents would find jobs and a shorter commute in their own geographic area. For this reason, the draft preferred alternative includes “a policy-driven shift of 5% of the region’s forecasted employment growth from King County to the other three counties”. Over the life of the plan, 60,000 fewer jobs would be created in King County, and would instead be shared among the other three counties.

The King County share of new jobs has been 74% in the past decade, and PSRC models anticipate it would average 64% through 2050 given the various other policy steps and housing trends in the Vision 2050 program. The PSRC Board has directed an additional 5% be carved from the King County plan, reducing King County’s share to 59% in all of the plan alternatives. These jobs would be redistributed to Pierce (+2%), Snohomish (+2%) and Kitsap (+1%) counties.

Compared to the baseline forecast, the Vision 2050 plan shifts 5% of regional jobs growth from King to other counties (data PSRC & Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The differences in the EIS alternatives are only on the distribution of jobs within counties. So the transit-focused growth alternative places growth closer to transit in each county than the current development pattern, but simultaneously directs employment growth out of higher transit-share King County to other lower-transit share counties.

Balancing the number of jobs with housing is an uncertain path to shortening commute distances. The jobs may not match the local workforce who might end up commuting long distances in many directions rather than just to Seattle. The nation’s most conspicuous experiment in distributing employment across many centers is in southern California. Their commutes remain long and congestion high.

The draft plan, closely based on the EIS ‘Transit-Focused’ growth alternative, redistributes employment away from King County to achieve jobs/population balance. All values are an index, with the region average=1.00 (image source: PSRC)

The implications for regional transit ridership are not likely to be good. Shifting employment from centers with high transit shares to those with lower transit shares is likely to reduce total ridership. In doing so, it may increase auto congestion even if more Snohomish and Pierce county workers can commute to jobs in their own counties. It will fail more dramatically if Pierce and Snohomish are not more successful at directing growth into Tacoma and Everett than today. Both counties have seen relatively slow development in their primary city and far more on the suburban edge.

One might ask if it matters that regional politicians set targets to shift jobs away from King County? After all, the recent past doesn’t much resemble the current plan. The plan didn’t compel Russell Investments to abandon Tacoma, Weyerhaeuser to leave Federal Way, or REI to leave Kent. Seattle and Bellevue are simply more attractive places to hire workers and are likely to welcome new or relocating businesses even if it doesn’t fit a regional plan. The PSRC plan will impact transportation investments some, but it’s not clear the regional planning toolbox is equipped to dissuade businesses from locating where the economics make more sense.

58 Replies to “Regional plan to shift employment from King County”

  1. The last paragraph is key. It isn’t likely that this process significantly impacts actual job creation and it’s location. The question is, what if Everett or Tacoma wanted to radically change the jobs picture in their cities. What could they do?

    1. I think the best thing they could do is find out what employers their commuters actually work for and if there are enough of them. Work on convincing said employer to open a satellite office in their city. That to me at least is the most likely path to moving some employment.

      1. At least for the large tech companies which are driving high-wage employment growth (and housing prices), they appear have made a conscious choice to not have small satellite offices around the region. Their senior management evidently believe it is worth the cost of operating private shuttles and subsidizing parking, in order to get the benefits of having their engineers and other white collar professionals in the same physical space.

        They have been more than willing to locate their low-wage jobs in transit-inaccessible warehouse parks at the urban fringe, so they certainly know what their options are.

    2. This means more money going to rural areas – for fewer people.

      Thanks, PSRC

      I would wish Seattle played games better to get the right growth designations, but the PSRC is becoming actively harmful.

      1. No, I would argue shorter commute distances = better climate goals for all.

        Plus some leveling off of the skyrocketing growth of home values in Seattle. Housing affordability matters, right?

    3. They (Tacoma, Everett, Federal Way) need to make themselves the destination and demonstrate superiority to Seattle. As price of housing goes, that’s already a done deal. Tacoma is making good strides in developing and supporting a culture and variety of thriving small businesses, and, quite frankly, resembles Seattle circa 2005 more than Seattle 2019 does. What did I love about Seattle 15 years ago? Year round not-cold weather, a waterfront run path (Green Lake), an inclusive culture, educated young people, mom n pop bars and restaurants, and proximity to some of the best hiking in the US. Yep, Tacoma = waterfront (Ruston Way & Point Defiance), inclusivity from the natives and the Seattle ex-pats, young indebted college grads without piles of cash for Seattle rent, small businesses on 6th Ave and Hilltop, and a similar drive to Snoqualmie and Mt Rainier. Federal Way – given waterfront parks at Dash Point, a 40 story limit in downtown, and a new performing arts center – is making itself more attractive as well. It will take time for the image and reality of garden apartments, strip malls, and cul-de-sacs to fade and make way for all that is new. I honestly see Tacoma-Federal Way looking a whole lot like Bellevue-Redmond in another 10 years.

      1. Tacoma absolutely will have a renaissance, it’s just a question of when. The continued expansion of UW Tacoma will bring more life to downtown than Russell or any other single employer ever could. Eventually students will decide to stay after they graduate, more and more already are.

  2. The key point is that these business have moved from areas with bad or mediocre transit transit to areas with very good transit (or future major improvements). Tacoma, in particular, considers mass transit a big part of Russell’s decision to move, and it’s hard to imagine that it wasn’t a factor for Weyerhaeuser and REI.

    So, getting Link there will be a big factor in getting employers to go there and stay there.

    1. Indeed. Somehow getting turning the Sounder into a real commuter rail line would do a similar job.

      Real = 16 hours a day every 2 hours, more during commute times, both ways, a stop in northern downtown Seattle.

      1. Yes! Unfortunately, they are almost completely at the mercy of BNSF when it comes to increasing their track usage. But yes, when I rode the sounder, almost everyone hopped off and immediately ran down to the bus tunnel to go somewhere else. Weekend service other than for a sportball game would be amazing too, but even without that, a longer run time would be amazing. The problem with that though is that (at least in Kent) everyone has to drive to the sounder. There isn’t a ton of housing close by yet, and there also isn’t enough parking. I’ve heard the same for Puyallup, and there’s no housing near the Tukwila station either.

      2. I believe improvements to connecting transit would be more valuable then more Sounder runs. There are ST express buses that go to Seattle when the Sounder isn’t running.

    2. So, getting Link there will be a big factor in getting employers to go there and stay there.

      Not really. Link in Tacoma and Everett only go one way from those endpoints — toward Seattle. The closest cluster of housing to Tacoma along Link is and will probably continue to be Federal Way. Folks living there would have to “double-back” eastward to FWTC or South Federal Way station to catch link whereas they can just drive on 509 with relatively little traffic.

      The situtation is very similar in Everett. Link will make that jumbo diversion to Paine Field severely discouraging ridership into the city proper. There won’t even be any “South Federal Way” stations since the “preferred alternative” is to follow the I-5 cut instead of Highway 99.

      Transit routing by political committee is a sure-fire “alignment” to failure.

      1. Is Federal Way Transit Center no longer getting a Link light rail stop? I’ve lived in Federal Way. 316th-320th is the very definition of South Federal Way.

      2. AJoy, I think Tom is talking about people from way out in Browns Point/Dash Point not using Link to get to Tacoma. Yes, both Federal Way T.C. and “South Federal Way,” which ST is defining as the Costco-Lowes area, are getting their own stations. The density that Federal Way has zoned for their “downtown” areas will ensure a good population base.
        Tom’s argument is equivalent to “People from West Seattle won’t use (MLK) Link to get to downtown because they’ll need to double back.” It’s true. But it’s also true that Rainier Valley has enough population base to support ridership. So will Federal Way’s City Center area once developers start building. We have a shortage of housing and Federal Way will allow construction of high density mixed use buildings walking distance to a transit station with direct connections to Seattle, the airport, and Tacoma.

      3. This reply is mostly for A Joy (who didn’t have their own reply button)

        The South Federal Way station will be somewhere between 348th and 356th, and between I-5 and SR-99. I don’t remotely understand the “no South Federal Way station” remark, which has no basis in reality.

        If 320th is South Federal Way, this is the first time I’ve even heard this in my entire life. 320th and 99 is where Federal Way started and is the very center of Federal Way.

      4. Federal Way’s original city limits go all the way North to 272nd. Star Lake is within the original Federal Way City Limits. While 320th is the technical center of Federal Way, the bulk of Federal Way land South of 356th is old industrial and still forested. 272nd to 320th is where Federal Way truly exists. That’s where you’ve huge population blocks like Camelot (on Military Road near 288th), and job centers (the old Mall Sprawl). Most people in Federal Way don’t even know Dash Point exists.

      5. 320th is downtown Federal Way and will be the main Link station and an emerging urban center. South Federal Way Station is around 340th; I’ve never been there but Google maps says there’s a concentration of businesses there. That will be Federal Way’s second village. (I’m assuming TOD but haven’t heard specifically.) 272nd will have a bit of development but it doesn’t sound like much.

      6. Mike Orr,
        South Federal Way Station is being pitched at a location somewhere between 348th and 356th, so, just slightly south of SR 18. As I mentioned, this is in the vicinity of the current Costco & Lowes.
        Since everybody is getting this wrong, here are links to official documents.
        Tacoma Dome Link Extension (South Federal Way is part of this):
        https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/tacoma-dome-link-extension
        Federal Way Link Extension (Federal Way Transit Center is part of this):
        https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/federal-way-link-extension
        Have a great day.

      7. Sorry. In the Everett paragraphs it should say “South Everett”. I expect everyone mentally did that. Thank you.

        Engineer, we can hope that the two Federal Way stations have enough ridership to equal a couple of the RV stops, but there sure is a lot of open space left for a place where a train is supposed to be stopping in three or four years.

      8. It’s OK for an extension to be built before the growth as long as the growth actually comes and is complete growth. Building before growth is the only way to avoid a mobility bottleneck, which is what we have on the highways now and the buses are stuck in. The streetcar lines were built before the streetcar suburbs were, and MAX Eastside and Westside were built into what was still partial farmland. The problem is not if growth lags for five or ten years, it’s if it never comes at all because restrictive zoning and NIMBYs and parking minimums stunt it.

        Parking minimums are a lost cause because we can’t even get them reduced significantly in most of Seattle so we’re hell no not going to achieve it in Federal Way. So the future of Federal Way’s urban centers will be more like Los Angeles or San Jose than Manhattan. But still that’s a significant step up from where it is. My concern is I don’t have a lot of trust in these suburbs to really follow through. But I hope they think big.

  3. Can the PSRC really direct job growth, or is this an academic exercise? I’m straining to see what advantage the PSRC adds to our region, other than overhead and jobs for people with urban planning degrees.

    1. Other than advocating for tax breaks or special zoning changes. All they can really do is just push marketing for cities other than Seattle. It helps some, but they definitely can’t dictate in a direct way where anyone sets up shop.

    2. This is the same PSRC that considers Silverdale an Urban Center, but considers Ballard nothing more than a busy intersection.

      I wouldn’t write them off, because they do useful long term planning and forecasting, plus distribute funds to projects that have regional impacts. But like any regional authority, there’s always political wrangling that happens behind the scenes, like smaller cities in the region thinking that jobs can be passed around like commodities.

    3. PSRC, maybe not, but they can be the catalyst for legislative changes. Like additional CTR provisions. I can conceive of some sort of scheme establishing a maximum % of workers at a worksite commuting from more than x miles away (e.g. “no more than 30% of workers at any site should have commutes exceeding 30 miles”). Then incent businesses to stay under that number (and discourage the opposite) in a revenue-neutral way.

  4. Given how we have committed to high-frequency light rail service all day — along with potential overcrowding on Link in the peak direction, employment growth further out (reverse commuting) can be a good strategy for transit as the off-peak direction seats will be available.

    Having said that, we live at a time and place where regional decisions are not made on good forecasting. We essentially decide major transit investments politically and without public input or forecasting discussion. Thus, I don’t see this technical change on future land use assumptions changing anything.

    1. Central Seattle will surely grow the same size regardless of what happens in the burbs. If some businesses don’t move in, others will. That was the whole kerfuffle of what if Amazon moves away? Then other businesses will move into the buildings in SLU, and the same number of people will commute to them. So increasing jobs in the suburbs won’t affect peak-direction overcrowding; it will just make north-south ridership more balanced so the trains aren’t running so empty reverse-peak.

  5. I honestly think the “centrality” of UW contributes to the employment growth. Adult education is a huge activity, and making everyone come into UW for it forces this hub growth.

    Of course, UW intends to massively expand the core campus (most new buildings at least 1/4 mile away from Link) rather than elevate Tacoma or Bothell to being large campuses, or expand Bellevue College to be a bigger school. Our public campus planning process will make employment decentralization harder.

    1. This is true. Having a local higher education center (doubly so if it has name recognition) is a big driver in acquiring and keeping higher end jobs at your local. Getting the UW was probably the smartest decision the city of Seattle ever made.

    2. UW is massively expanding. It has built several multistory buildings along Stevens Way in the past few years and at least two are under construction now. There’s a big new business school, a new building in the former large open space near 43rd, a larger Burke Museum, etc. Five new dorm buildings went up on Campus Parkway since 2008 (replacing two former ones), a 3-block walk from U-District Station. The Condon law school building is just storage but I assume it will be rebuilt eventually. But UW’s biggest plans are in the Montlake parking lot and southwest campus (south of Pacific Street around University Way). Students are used to walking long distances between classes, and there are now campus shuttles and Metro buses through campus for those who don’t want to walk.

      UW Tacoma and Bothell should grow. They’re about as centrally located as you’re going to get for satellite campuses. UW Tacoma is on Tacoma Link and close to Tacoma Dome Station and downtown destinations. UW Bothell is on 522 Stride, sort of on 405 Stride, and it will probably have a 372 successor, and Swift Green will come to it as soon as CT finds funding. Pity it’s not in downtown Bothell.

      1. The majority of growth in future higher education enrollment is coming from part-time students. That’s a very different trip-making behavior than the standard “full-time college-age” student behavior we are traditionally familiar with. These are often not the hearty young students that have time and energy for distant walks to buildings far from Link stations.

  6. I’m struck by the disconnect of end-of-line Link stations for Tacoma and Everett and changing this employment growth pattern. Why are we stopping Link at Tacoma Dome and Everett’s Amtrak Station without going the extra half-mile or so for actual stations in eager existing downtowns?

    Changing forecasts is talking the talk. Changing the rail plans is walking the walk.

    1. Because ST3 wasn’t large enough to reach Everett Community College and Tacoma Mall. Those are the ultimate termini the subareas want, and in ST’s long-range plan. ST had to balloon the budget just to reach the Paine Field detour (and Ballard), and it wasn’t willing to go higher.

      The Everett alignment will turn west to downtown Everett, then north along Broadway to the college. The Pierce alignment will go southwest to Tacoma Mall, where Tacoma has promised a new urban center. (It won’t go to downtown Tacoma.)

      1. I have to disagree that it’s the ST3 funding that is the issue. The issue was not considering making the downtowns of Tacoma and Everett be attractive regional employment destinations in the pre-ST3 corridor definitions. That’s why ST3 essentially ended their lines at parking facilities and not downtown destinations.

      2. I disagree with that. ST usually defers to what the cities want. ST had to stretch the budget to its limits to get Everett and Paine Field in, and any increase beyond that would require proportional increases in the other subareas. I never heard any boardmember say downtown Everett wasn’t ready for it; and they knew it would take twenty years so plenty of time for it to build out. ST accepted Issaquah and Totem Lake on much flimsier assumptions and lower expectations.

      3. Mike, I’m talking about ST3 and not merely ST. ST3 was indeed a collaboration of cities and staff.

        Clearly, the Pierce and Snohomish conversations were about getting to SeaTac and Seattle primarily, and to get to that low-density Paine Field area (lots of sped-out jobs). The notion of creating denser end-of-line Downtowns walkable from Link was not considered —and it should have been.

        Finally, Issaquah may not be thought of as that urban but the areas near the future station there appear to be urbanizing fast — even though light rail is 22 years away. Their density already puts the Tacoma Dome and Everett Amtrak Station areas to shame.

      4. I find it hard to believe that the couple of hundred million it would take to get to ECC couldn’t be cobbled up. Tacoma Mall is more of a stretch because of the topographical problems, but two and a half miles of elevated and one more elevated station — heck, it could descend to grade at the edge of the campus — couldn’t have been a budget buster.

        What cost so much is the deviation.

      5. I do have to say, though, that ECC is a lousy terminus. To get to it buses would have to exit I-5 just south of Marysville and use poky Highway 99 all the way across Spencer Island. Now if they took a pair of Red Lanes and upgraded with the lights…..

      6. ECC is for Everett city, not the exurbs in the north. They can come down to Everett Station like they were planning to originally.

      7. The distance between Everett Station and Everett Community College is 2.5 miles. Small enough to be a rounding error for buses from the north, and about the same distance as for Issaquah buses going to either South Bellevue Station or Mercer Island Station.

    1. 1996: Anybody with a college degree and a good job can afford to buy a modest house after a few years in the workforce in the city or suburb of your choice.
      2019: If you want to own any sort of property and haven’t already bought in, you had better be mid- to upper-level management, or plan on buying a crackerbox 35 miles away from the best-paying jobs.

      Who would have guessed in 1996 that West Seattle would be unaffordable for nurses or teachers today? Who would have guessed that Seattle’s real estate market and stubbornness about up-zoning would have resulted in a homelessness and housing crisis that has made homeownership impossible for most young people who don’t have help from parents?

    2. People get smarter over time. It took a while for the idea to spread that transit isn’t the highest goal, it’s the second-highest. The highest goal is walkability so you don’t have to use a vehicle at all. The U-District is like that. Thousands of people live in the dorms, frats, and apartments, and do most their school, work, shopping, and recreation within the district, and only leave it once a month or so. (Or only leave it regularly for work.) Even with that many people not taking transit, there are still tens of thousands of people who do, moreso than anywhere else outside downtown. That’s typical for a large urban center.

  7. Seems like moving jobs out of King County will only be an environmental benefit if public transportation is improved accordingly. I live in Lake Forest Park. Many of my neighbors work in Amazon, and they tend to commute by bus. Some of my neighbors work for Microsoft and they drive because taking multiple buses to Redmond just isn’t efficient (and in fact, Google Maps suggests the fastest way to go from Lake Forest Park to Redmond by bus is via UW or downtown Seattle).

    Now both Lake Forest Park and Redmond are in King County. But the difference between driving and public transit will be even larger if people are trying to commute from, say, Brier to Everett.

  8. If for whatever reason it wasn’t feasible for me to live in Seattle anymore I would probably move out of the region. Seattle proper is worth the high cost of living. I can live in a suburb anywhere and in most places the cost is a fraction of the Seattle ‘burbs.

    With proper transit Seattle could easily handle double the current population. Isn’t that essentially the point of this blog?

  9. In previous years we used a different word for this kind of decentralization and its effects on a region. We called it sprawl. It’s been considered a bad thing for decades. We’ve spent billions of dollars in infrastructure designed to put a stop to this very activity. But now, as money talks and the needs of people walk, suddenly it is a positive redistribution of job sectors and not intentionally spreading the region’s growth further and further out.

    This is especially curious given the current anti-suburb sentiment many here have espoused in terms of Link light rail lines. This makes a case for less intra-Seattle lines. Heck, this makes a case for more inter-county lines. Bye bye Ballard -> UW.

    This really seems like either the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, or a conscious attack on urbanization. Neither of which is a good look.

  10. Six years ago when I moved here, Intercity Transit could reliably get me from Olympia to Tacoma most days.

    And it was still a worthwhile use of my car to scout out two lane routes that’d let me trade time in motion for time stuck in traffic. Based on a couple recent weekend’s experience…..those were the Good Old Days.

    Time to get politically moving on many, many square miles of transit lane-preempt and signal – priority, isn’t it? Also, routing the 574 from Olympia Transit Center to Sea-Tac Airport would be worth a free-fare legislator pass to secure. And no reason not to terminate Sounder at Lacey instead of Dupont, is there?

    And those Estonian hydrofoils do just fine over similar Baltic distances…don’t they? “The Future is Now” has never been a cliche, has it?

    Mark Dublin

  11. A 5% shift isn’t much and King County will still get the majority of jobs, so we mustn’t overreact. The reason Snohomish County is so keen on Link is to attract jobs, both to address the severe imbalance (some 70% of Snohomans commute to King County) and to generate tax revenue. Tacoma wants Central Link for the same reason (I haven’t heard specifically from Pierce County). Maybe the urban villages at Tacoma Dome and Fife stations will have lots of jobs.

    The problem with redirecting jobs outside of King County is it will be harder to get to them on transit. If they’re near a station, great, but if they’re on some random arterial then no. Most Snohomish-King commuters probably do not work at the big tech companies or Boeing; they work at thousands of smaller companies scattered all around Seattle and the Eastside. At least Metro has semi-frequent transit to many of those places, like in Ballard, Licton Springs, Sand Point, the north Kent industrial area, etc. Transplant those jobs to comparable Snohomish and Pierce locations and the transit is much worse. Also, in inner Seattle and the core Bellevue-Redmond-Kirkland triangle, you can get to a supermarket, big-box store, churches and community centers on RapidRide and frequent buses. In Snohomish and Pierce you often can’t, or it requires a ridiculous 3-seat ride taking an hour or more. Seattle has had some success limiting parking in apartment buildings, but that doesn’t fly in the suburbs where there’s no bus route to all the places people are used to going to, or it’s infrequent or a long walk away. Snohomish and Pierce should significantly improve their land use to make transit and walking more feasible, and a few urban centers aren’t enough. It needs to be more widespread along all the arterials. The issue isn’t just density; it’s the variety of businesses in an area, and the walking path from their entrances to the bus stop and each other. Those seven-story apartments on the Bothell-Everett highway or Ash Way P&R are impressive but they’re towers-in-the-park: a long walk to anything, and an incomplete selection of businesses and activities along the Swift line. That’s what Snoho and Pierce need to focus on. If they don’t it’s just more sprawl, and a few urban centers will have limited impact because only the wealthiest can live or work in them, and they may not have a complete choice of destinations either. The suburbanites should study Capitol Hill/First Hill, the U-District, and Ballard-Fremont to see why they work so well, and build neighborhoods like that in the suburbs.

  12. I’m reminded of the “Wedges and Corridors Plan” for the DC region, adopted and published in 1964. It set up an approach for distributing employment growth in the region. A copy is here: https://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/general_plans/wedges_corridors/wedges_corridors64.shtm

    Much of the land use success of Metro in serving areas outside of the DC core is traceable to this plan — Arlington Stations, Rockville, Silver Spring and even Reston as a job center.

  13. This is just loser envy from the “B” and “C” track kids. Their neighborhoods can’t attract high paying jobs, because they aren’t high skills people, southwest Snohomish excepted of course.

    Grant this is harsh, but the problems that the planet faces absolutely mean that people are going to have to live CLOSER together, not farther apart, except for those folks directly involved in growing, processing, and shipping food and other extractive products. The PSRC should incentivize — not discourage — continued growth in the urban cores.

    But, this means that Seattle and Bellevue have to go up. Yes, it would be great if they went up somewhat everywhere a la everyone’s favorite Gay Paree and Brooklyn, with corner markets and bakeries all over the place. But they won’t because the incumbent people don’t want the lights and noise associated with retail across the fence.

    So the cities have to up a lot in the few places where people are willing to allow it. The northern end of the RV; Aurora north of Green Lake; Lake City; Delridge in Seattle. The Spring District and Wilburton in Bellevue. Every one of those places should have high capacity rail lines but not like current Link. They need urban station spacing to make them “real” Heavy Metros.

    Wake up, people — especially you complacent “winners” in the various City and County Councils. The southwest is BURNING UP. Places like South Texas, Louisiana, and the Cotton South are going to be too hot for human beings to be outside in the summertime. It will occur frequently and happen soon. The migration to the “Sunbelt” will be seen for the catastrophic mistake it has been and folks will head back northward.

    Large numbers of them will come to the Pacific Northwest which will still [probably] have enough water for them and relatively mild winters.

  14. PSRC is a political entity made up of political leaders from across the 4-county region. Most of the decision-makers in the room at their board meetings are not from King County – it’s as simple as that.

  15. Today’s Olympian Newspaper says that there’ll soon be free rush hour express bus service running east to west between Olympia and its suburb of Lacey five days a week. Mentions some stops where bus will stay in lane.

    Have also wanted to add something about my own plan to connect Olympia with Sea-Tac Airport via SR Route 574. Critical detail is that from the airport, passengers will have a very fast Link transfer both north and east.

    Call it a way of fighting back against the forces that made me leave Ballard. Results of whose victory, though, make me glad I don’t have to live there anymore. Any move to fight sprawl rather than just chase it, count me in.

    Mark

    1. “connect Olympia with Sea-Tac Airport via SR Route 574”

      Not a bad idea. Although in 2024 it would only have to go to Federal Way.

  16. More jobs away from urban centers is good for climate goals because that means shorter commutes to job sites. It also means less pressures on Seattle.

    Plus this some leveling off of the skyrocketing growth of home values in Seattle. Housing affordability matters, right?

    Finally, I hope this means there needs to be substantive public transit investment & housing density by the outlying counties. But that’s me the 12 for transit.

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