88 Replies to “News roundup: reopening”

  1. The past several weekends, I’ve been visiting Discovery Park, then stopping at Fremont for lunch, but the transit connection between the two is appalling, with out of the way travel, plus a transfer between two 30 minute routes. Even jogging the ship canal trail is faster than riding the bus.

    Is there any hope of Magnolia ever getting connected to more besides downtown in the foreseeable future? Maybe, when Ballard Link opens, and an east/west route could serve Interbay Link Station along the way?

    1. asdf2, is the walk across The Locks still closed for repair? Because one solution has truly got its tracks already in the ground. Whether businesses like bike-trails or not, there’s an actual railroad running right past the Locks’ Ballard gate. From my apartment window at Lock Vista, I’ve watched it hall freight cars past my parking lot.

      A right-of-way with definitely enough room to carry running-shoes, bikes, and streetcars all three. Possibly with a bike-rack trailer coupled with the car. All the way down to Fremont, and no reason not to follow the Canal to the University.

      Or since a bus is flex-itself, maybe Commodore to Emerson to Nickerson to Fremont give you fifteen-minute headway? If I were you, I’d use this down-time to maybe take a walk (or bike ride) and take some pics to forward to your reps.

      Express or slow-local, The Time Will Come.

      Mark Dublin

    2. Transit generally sucks in every neighborhood unless you’re heading downtown (or maybe the U Dist). That’s not unique to Fremont or Magnolia.

    3. The enjoyable way to get between Discovery Park and Fremont used to be to walk out (or in) the Park’s “northeast entrance”, use 40th W and W Commodore Way to get to the Locks, cross the Locks, maybe take a sideloop through the English Gardens, and catch the frequent #44 near the north entrance to the Locks. Unfortunately, incomprehensibly, the Locks have been gated off to pedestrian and bicycle use since March, barricading one of the nicest non-auto connections in the city.

      1. I got bit by this a few weeks ago, and ended going all the way around across the Ballard Bridge in an Uber.

        Probably some overzealous lawyer concerned about social distancing, or interpreting the locks as a “museum” that’s supposed to be closed, rather than a transportation corridor that’s supposed to be open. Never mind that detours onto the Ballard Bridge sidewalk or Uber cars aren’t any better for social distancing than the locks, themselves (that’s ok, since it’s not on their property).

        In any case, the Ballard locks is not a substitute for east/west bus service.

      2. @FBD
        Yup. That’s exactly the route I used to take, albeit in reverse, when I used to live in Wallingford and occasionally rode my bike over to Discovery Park. Cutting through the locks was the easiest way to get over there. So, yeah, I sympathize with folks like commenter asdf2 that the current closure of the locks prevents such an opportunity.

      3. My guess is the Army Corps of Engineers has no interest in enforcing social distancing on the narrow walkways.

        Public compliance with rules was already very poor pre-pandemic. I used to cross the Locks weekly since I live nearby. People would stand on the lock gates, not move for bikes or strollers, and routinely ignored the lock masters asking them to move. Even when the locks needed to open, I saw someone who wouldn’t move until they got the perfect photo.

      4. Maybe once the new BNSF bridge is built, the old one can be repurposed to bike and pedestrians?

      5. I agree, the best way to get to Discovery Park from North Seattle is via the Locks, and it’s definitely frustrating that that connection hasn’t been available for many months. When it is available again, there’s an alternate path that we like to use that goes through the Kiwanis Park that is on the other side of the BNSF tracks from the locks. The path isn’t on Google Maps but you can see the start of it just on the other side of the BNSF bridge over Commodore:


        In warmer seasons there’s plenty of berries, including the elusive thimbleberry, available for picking.

      6. RossB, that does look like the trail. I don’t remember it exiting the park except at those two locations, though it might depend on how good the maintenance is that year (not sure if the city is responsible or if it really is Kiwanis/Scouts doing the work).

    4. The 33 and 24 are timed opposite each other. So that means you could walk past 34th, on Government Way and take the first bus that arrives. If that is the 33, the route is fairly straight, as you connect at around Emerson and Gilman. If you catch the 24, then you basically tour through Magnolia, transferring at Magnolia Bridge.

      I’ve never liked the 31/32 combination. The 32 is poaching riders from the D. Emerson is a terrible place for a bus (it fails to make a decent connection with the D). One alternative is to send them both to Magnolia via Dravus, which has a lot more people than it used to have. Then it would split at 22nd, with one bus going to Discovery Park, and the other going to Magnolia Village. Just that right there would give you a direct connection from Discovery Park to Fremont (and the UW). That would likely be in the 20 to 30 minute range (as the combination runs every 10 to 15 minutes).

      Magnolia is challenging, because much of the peninsula is low density. That would be a cheap way to improve service. There are a bunch of combinations, of course. Another alternative is to have the 31 and 32 provide all of the coverage of the 24 (again splitting at 22nd). That would leave the 31 as the only bus to downtown (running more often as a result).

      Most likely, the next big shakeup will come when the close the Magnolia Bridge. At that point, the city has two likely options for a bridge replacement: either add another four lanes to Dravus, or add a new bridge over the railroad tracks at Armory Way. Either way, I would add bus lanes over Dravus (the new bridge would have two additional lanes each way). It would make sense then, for the 24 to head to Dravus, thus making it easy for pretty much all of Magnolia to get to Fremont (and the U-District).

      1. I thought about that. But, I think you really need a Link station at 17th and Dravus to make that work. Otherwise, you force all Magnolia->downtown riders onto the D-line, which means a slower route through Seattle Center, plus a transfer to a bus which could get stuck behind the Ballard Bridge.

      2. Good point about the weakness of the D-Line. You need at least one bus going to downtown via the fastest route. I think that is why you keep the 33, except loop it around, on 34th, ending at Magnolia Village, like so: https://goo.gl/maps/ifFtMnKzo6JMAPM48. Run that every 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you run the 31 and 32 on Dravus. Both go on Thorndyke, and end up covering for the old 24. The 31 like so: https://goo.gl/maps/aM6aGELt9srKH2iL9, and the 32 like so: https://goo.gl/maps/zrkqziXZDMidLb9t6. You would still keep the peak direction routes, much as the 17 still runs during rush hour.

        The 33 would give a lot of people a more frequent ride to downtown, as well as a better connection to the D (if they are headed to Ballard) or the 31/32 (for SPU/Fremont/UW). That corridor comes out way ahead. Thorndyke loses its one seat ride to downtown, but gains a far more frequent one-seat ride to SPU/Fremont/UW, and a frequent transfer to downtown via the combination of the D/33. For the most part, the places that lose out are those without apartments. The exception being 28th, and the big cluster of apartments on Manor Place. They would trade an infrequent trip to downtown for an infrequent trip to the UW (and a frequent transfer to downtown). That’s not ideal, but I don’t see a good alternative.

      3. RossB is correct. SDOT and Metro could redesign the Magnolia network sooner. such changes take effort. Route 31 has been in place since fall 1998 and has maintained low ridership is Magnolia. Route 32 was shifted to Interbay in fall 2012 when the former Route 30 was disrupted by the Mercer project; the Mercer project is complete; the deep bore project is complete. East of Interbay, routes 32 and 31 provide a useful crosstown function. The Magnolia radial routes are odd; Route 24 serves the Village but in an indirect way; Route 33 serve multifamily housing, but is also indirect. Perhaps the low income housing project going in will prompt change. West Dravus Street has shopping and looks like it should have service.

  2. While it’s great that the units above Capitol Hill Station are being occupied, I think it’s the ground-level uses that will impact what the neighborhood life will be like. The site has been inactive from daily life for 11 years and that has seemed to create two distinct pedestrian districts rather than one.

    Part of the charm of North Broadway is the large number of restaurants that connect to the street life. This is as much about interior layouts than merely about who the tenants are. These new buildings appear to be the generic glass storefronts which I think are naturally less conducive for connecting street life. As spaces get leased and built out, I’m hoping that the new linkage can be strong — but many similar recent Capitol Hill buildings in the past four years have seemed to go in the other direction.

      1. It is an electric bicycle without pedals. Hard to see how that will be any more successful than any of our other micromobility solutions. If you ignore what works in other cities, you are bound to fail (and we’ve failed).

  3. 1. When COVID “lifts”, any chance I could start being given the chance to add $5 a month on my ORCA card to help Seattle pay for the Bridge? My car’s suggestion, incidentally, not mine.

    2. Good to see the new apartments over Broadway. But farther on down the Broadway/Boren/Rainier trolleywire, some other residence I’m looking forward to:

    Homes (apartments and otherwise) my high-school passengers of 30 years ago can finally live in. Equalitized by wages earned working on the Recovery that’ll let us kiss COVIDIA g’bye.

    3. The Portland Business Community who voted down the transit tax: Can we have some examples of what business they are actually in? Mercantile? Banking? Insurance? Engineering, any chance, or Manufacture? Certainly hotels.

    My own plan to Connect three consecutive commercial and cultural neighborhoods by adding one new streetcar line between two existing ones is Business to the core. I need the line to be viewed as a smooth-rolling, comfy-seated large-windowed Investment.

    I really doubt our Founders viewed a tax itself as robbery. Be nice if their successors would expand their Representation demand to the residents of our nation’s Capital itself. But as elegant and park-gifted a city as Portland is, it should not be hard to reach a funding agreement.

    The Benson Hotel. 2005 or so. My wife leaned out the window to look at the park, and pulled her head back in scratched. Next building over, puzzled looking hawk realized he mistook her pony-tail for the tail of a wood-chuck. Since charm like that money can’t buy, at least buy it a streetcar!

    So put the crucifix back in the box, Doctor Van Helsing. That Stake will finally get too spoil-sport to profitably Hold.

    Mark Dublin

    1. This article did happen to come out just as Chuck Schumer was sending a letter to Mitch McConnell demanding negotiations restart over the stimulus bill, and Jamie Diamond from JP Morgan/Chase released a statement criticizing the two sides for not splitting the difference in their respective offers (right now $2.2 trillion and $500 billion), but in every proposal including Diamonds’ there is no federal stimulus for cities and states because red cities and states claim it is a transfer of wealth from red to blue, although in the first stimulus there was aid to transit systems that mostly benefited blue cities.

      I would like to see direct payments to low and middle income citizens first, followed up by eviction relief, federal aid to extend state unemployment benefits like in 2009 rather than additional federal unemployment compensation, then more aid to the service industry, followed by aid to increase testing and distribute the vaccine(s), before I would expect more funding for transit systems that won’t see riders return until enough citizens are vaccinated.

      1. We’re coming up on a year of lockdown and all the feds could do was throw $1200 at us and say “good luck!”

        Unemployment and the eviction moratorium are set to expire the day after Christmas. Millions of people could face eviction or foreclosure. It’s going to be grim.

        Happy Holidays!

      2. Yes, targeted relief for low and middle income workers who are out of jobs would be a great thing to have (and to have had months ago).

        A strong argument can be made that for low and medium income workers who are transit-dependent, providing additional transit funding to cover those routes would also help them be able to get to job and not get sick, thus slowing the spread of the disease until the vaccines become available, etc.

        Also agree that additional funding for vaccine delivery will be useful.

        Generally, I think that what you are proposing is not that far off from what most others are suggesting is needed, the details are slightly different is all. Focusing on that common ground and building on it (both here in our little community, and at the federal level – e.g. House and Senate) feels like the right approach, if everyone is willing to do so. I am sure that you would agree as well, as my understanding is that you are looking for cost-effective results that benefit a broad majority of people (and I really appreciate that, by the way).

      3. Without that funding for transit systems:
        a) More unemployed
        b) Transit agencies have to rehire and retain key job skills – driving and fixing transit vehicles are not easy.
        Therefore it’d be a top priority. As far as I’m concerned, giving out free money is not ok unless folks are up to upping disability rates also.

      4. Short term like right now, you’ve got a point, Daniel. But longer term, this isn’t “Either-Or”

        As soon as we can work and live to tell about it, the massive re-build our country’s whole economy will need will include a generation of transit-related paychecks that’ll buy a house debt-free.

        Designing it, building it, and driving it, in addition to an ORCA ride to work. And trade-school. Difference with Franklin Roosevelt’s time is, I don’t think that either we or anybody that can hurt us wants a war. At least not one that can hurt us.

        Since the beginning of Time, China doesn’t Invade, she Trades. In our own Civil War, unlike England and France, Russia was on our side. World War II, too. So if COVID-casualties don’t qualify their Recovery for the Defense budget- that’s indefensible.

        But one habit I will never let myself get into. Using a forum dedicated to Transit to give us reasons to permanently not build it. The Greater-Seattle Crash-Ridden-Jammed-Stop-and-Go-Overturned-Truck Blog has already got that covered.

        Mark Dublin

      5. Waiting until ridership returns before restoring transit service results in achicken and egg problem, since poor service deters ridership, even after the pandemic ends.

        Also, laying off bus la

      6. Waiting until ridership returns before restoring transit service results in achicken and egg problem, since poor service deters ridership, even after the pandemic ends.

        Other effects to consider: 1) laying off and re-hiring bus drivers takes time and money, 2) sales tax collections lag economic conditions, without outside aid now, transit systems will still struggle years after COVID itself has ended. As an example, the last recession ended around 2010, but Seattle transit didn’t fully recover until around 2015. The goal is to avoid another 5-year lag in service recovery this time.

      7. “the last recession ended around 2010”

        The bottom was September 2008 to late 2010 or early 2011. But the hit to Metro’s service hours didn’t even start until 2012, when the legislature offered and the county council enacted a 2-year tax surcharge to prop up bus service. That expired in 2014 and there were four rounds of cuts planned during 2014-2016. The first round or two went through but the later ones were canceled as the economy started recovering in 2015 and 2016. So yes, the trajectory was upward starting in 2011, but it didn’t get robust enough to forestall cuts until late 2015 at the earliest, and the impact on Metro was from 2012 to late 2015 or early 2016. We may go through the same delayed wave again, both on the way down and on the way up. Of course, we’re already on the way down so that means we have less far to go than if we hadn’t started yet.

      8. Daniel,

        We very much need a Constitutional Amendment that Federal funds be earmarked only for the state from which they are raised to prevent this wholesale theft by the “blue” states of the bountiful tax revenues from the “red” team.

        Now National Security expenditures should be able to flow across state lines for the simple reason that not every state has a large military base.

        But ALL domestic spending should be limited to the funds a given state contributes.

        Don’t you agree?

      9. So each state gets their own military base? This seems like a very unworkable idea.

        Instead, you should advocate for programs like TIFIA … leverage the Federal government’s balance sheet & low cost of funds, but ultimately the cost of a a project is locally funded.

  4. It is interesting to see that support for Portland’s transit measure seems to come from who is ideologically amenable, rather than who would actually benefit. I believe we can see the same trend here in Seattle, and indeed, everywhere people are voting more ideologically and less pragmatically.

    There may be a lesson here: try to put the transit improvements where they will work best, not where you think the political benefit is greatest.

    1. It’s been the story of the last few election cycles, unfortunately. Everything is politicized along partisan lines. In a year when the mail and plexiglass became political talking points, it’s unfortunately no surprise transit was also viewed as a partisan issue.

      1. As a former “Transit Republican”, that is now our reality. Some of us tried to stall it but it’s here.

      2. Prop 1 in Seattle also passed along partisan lines, garnering very close to the Seattle vote share of Joe Biden.

        Still, not everything is like that. Otherwise, the state income tax and carbon tax would have passed and I-976 would have failed.

        ST3 also underperformed Hillary Clinton in the ST district by several percent.

    2. Christopher, for a perfect simile for transit footed in ideology:


      And among the images, look up the “Bela Kun” statue. As a gesture of defiance when the Soviet Union collapsed, the people of Budapest collected the most ridiculous statues which their occupiers had forced upon them and put them on display. “Memento Park”, it’s called.

      But for perspective, look up something else in Budapest.


      Pretty sure their car-line has at least one Memento Park stop. Sad turn of history, though. Could be a salacious rumor planted by George Soros, but word has it that Chief of State Viktor Orban has been seen getting off the streetcar, walking to an empty pedestal, pulling on a jacket whose leather looks like bronze, and climbing up to take his pose.

      Democracy’s got its own little tricks, though. To a hard-nosed engineering team in the mold of the ones who made DSTT RE-AL-I-TY. add artists who can STAND UP TO THEM, and though it may take a couple decades, the ideologues will eventually end up fighting for credit instead of conquest.

      Though if you just ignore them, the conniptions they go into are a total howl. Like the Brooklyn not crossing 45th used to put it, though: “Like dat Chief Seattle always said, ALKI, ALKI, ALKI Ya gotta be patient!”

      Mark Dublin

    3. For the Portlandia thread all I’ll say is this – [ot] Trimet had a tough hill to climb on that campaign. Trimet has been slagged as “Trimess” for years and gotten itself into a lot of trouble. Labor disputes, absolute mismanagement of relations with watchdogs, and safety crises/crime all come to mind. Plus Nike gave over $900K against during the Covid19 medical-economic crisis – a double whammy when folks are uncertain about the economy. I don’t care if more of the heroes of ST3 went down there, but there were some serious structural obstacles to a win in this case.

      I would rather Trimet really reimagined itself to heal thyself so the feds can save New York City & other large cities. Something about limited resources. But also Trimet doesn’t need more MAX lines; but better buses and to get & retain in a state of good repair what they have in personnel & material.

    4. For Seattle proper I might agree, as the city seems amenable to any transit levy, but for the ST taxing district I think votes generally align with those who tangibly benefit from major projects. I’d point to the south Sounder corridor, where ST2/3 generally passes immediately around the station areas. Places like Auburn and Sumner are very ‘red’ in the western Washington political continuum, but the median voter there seems to value ST more than the median suburban voter elsewhere in Pierce and King.

      I’d put my Jarrett Walker hat on and point out that the goal isn’t to spend money but to improve mobility. The SW Portland Max line might do lots of nice things, but it wasn’t going to profoundly increase the mobility for most residents. South Sounder, while limited as a peak-only commuter rail, is very good at what it does and is a massive improvement in mobility for the thousands who used it daily.

      While commentators here find many of the ST3 projects dubious, the relevant continuances were very excited about ‘their’ projects in Tacoma, Paine Field, West Seattle, Issaquah etc. , which seemed to be the important difference with Portland. (the no-one-was-happy Kirkland Link compromise extension is the odd duck for us)

      1. Maybe you meant to say “the relevant constinuencies”?

        Fwiw, I would also add Snohomish County suburban voters to your assertion (in the first paragraph of your comment).

      2. Ha, yes thank you constituencies.

        Yes Snohomish was the same, but since Pierce subarea covers a wider space the correlation with Sounder & Link stations was much stronger from what I remember.

      3. Voters’ habits are long-term. Seattle generally supports and rides transit. The Eastside has gotten more so but is still swing. South King County rides it but doesn’t vote for it because they say they’re too poor for additional transit taxes. Snohomish, I think it passes all CT measures, but ST is more iffy and support has gone down (among voters, not politicians). Pierce overall is negative: Tacoma and Lakewood are yes, Puyallup can be a weak yes, southeast Pierce is hell no. PT withdrew from southeast Pierce so that they wouldn’t keep taking ballot measures down. But ST includes much of southeast Pierce, so it’s still affected by it.

        These patterns haven’t changed much in at least fifteen years. It’s not just new support for Trump or Biden or Obama or H Clinton, nor the changing party platforms and state/congressional candidates, nor Eyman’s mixed success rate (less successful than before 2000). It’s just that people who vote for transit and ride transit tend to live in Seattle (especailly since transit is more frequent there), and that has partly spilled over to the Eastside. People who don’t ride transit or hate taxes tend to live in low-density parts of the Eastside, Covington or Maple Valley (which had only a 30-60 minute bus until two months ago), and especially southeast Pierce. They moved there because they have that attitude, and attitudes don’t change that quickly.

      4. “South King County rides it but doesn’t vote for it because they say they’re too poor for additional transit taxes.”

        I do not understand how the implication can be correct as stated. Generally, it is rare that people do something only because of something they say. The main exception for this is that they are locked into a course of action to “save face” after saying something which is not entirely correct. Are you suggesting that this is the reason South King County voters reject transit measures? To save face due to some entirely incorrect claims of poverty?

        I am sorry, this sounds very strange to me. I think it might be a bit more reasonable to say that transit improvements are viewed as a desirable, but unaffordable, expense, and then the disagreement with their view might be on whether it is actually affordable. I might venture to claim that the South King County voters deserve to determine what counts affordable for _them_, but certainly there is some room for advocacy. Beyond that, we get into issues of how much should the rest of the county chip in if the unaffordability is in fact verifiable in an objective manner, and then discussions about equity start to come into play.

        What I do not think is effective is sounding like looking down on them, and I think that our community tends to _sound_ like that a little bit at times (even when I do not think the intention is there, as in this particular case). So I bring it up here because I think it is important to practice being our “best selves” and work out how to best communicate in a somewhat “safe space” like this blog, before we try to expand our advocacy to the broader communities we are trying to affect in a positive way.

        Thank you for the comment, as always.

      5. Activists in especially Des Moines and Auburn urged people to vote against the last Metro measure and ST3 because South King County was the lowest-income subarea and couldn’t afford additional transit taxes. Their words, not mine. I can’t say how many silent people agreed with them, but South King County had lower yes percentages than north of the Burien-Renton border. if they had voted yes it probably would have saved the Metro measure. If that had happened, the entire county would have additional service hours like Seattle’s TBD has. (The TBD was in response to the failure fo the countywide measure.)

      6. I think you missed my point. I am drawing a distinction between saying they vote based on what they “say” vs. based on (for example) what they “appear to believe”. The former sounds patronizing; the latter may still be wrong but at least it is a matter of interpretation of the data available.

        I know I am nitpicking about a single word, but words matter a lot, especially in today’s hyperpolarized environment, and we all need (in my humble opinion) to be very careful about not making this worse. Which is why I feel comfortable bringing it up here, where everyone is generally very thoughtful and genuinely meaning well.

      7. AM, the world wherein the Republican “base” cares about much of anything except “owning the Libs” ended with the 1994 ascension of Newt Gingrich to House Speaker. The last Republican president who really cared about governing was Bush 1 (GHW). Now politics for them is nothing more than a soccer match without the vuvuzelas.

        Poor people, urbanistas, people-of-color and students ride the buses. Those groups tend to vote Democratic, so they’re fair game.

        ST should follow the lead of PT by shrinking the district in Pierce County. Tacoma consistently supports ST and is too important an urban center to toss out so dropping the entire county has to be off the table.

      8. @Tom Terrific:

        I think that that description of the current state of affairs is common, but a little simplistic. We have seen that in a number of states (not saying it was true in WA, to be fair) Republican candidates increased their share of black voters as well as Latino voters. Just assuming that skin color induces voting preferences is at best a mistake that can lead to losing elections, and one that liberal candidates should probably not make going forward.

        I am not denying the hidden implication that it is _likely_ that those categories of people would benefit more from voting Democratic, but I do believe (and I believe the recent election records show) that it is not true that they do so in large enough numbers to verify the assumption as stated.

        Agreed with you on the other points, particularly shrinking the Pierce County ST area if legally possible to do so. I assume that there would be implications in the tax rates of the areas being removed, and thus on ST finances and projects, but that seems like a small price to pay.

      9. AM, I still don’t understand your point. Do you disagree that most of South King voices that have spoken up have said vote no because we can’t afford more taxes? Do you disagree that South King votes yes less than the rest of King County? Do you disagree with the inference between the two, and if so how would you characterize it better?

        It’s not just “owning the libs” as in scoring rhetorical points; that’s just entertainment. The underlying motivation is to scapegoat somebody for their problems. Making somebody you don’t know homeless or dead due to lack of support for housing and medical programs is more than just owning them, it’s trying to make them suffer as much as (or more than) you’re suffering, or punishing them because they’re the wrong color or something. And a lot of it is because right-wing propaganda makes the watchers believe false things, and keeps stirring them up more than they’d be otherwise. Politicians are using this propaganda for their own ends, namely to get into and stay in power. (“We use it because it works.”)

        We need a solution that doesn’t involve completely eliminating transfers between states.

      10. Southeast Pierce should never have been included in the ST district if Pierce County is not serious about densifying it and having urban centers there. Why are Spanaway and Orting in when Marysville, Snohomish (town), Monroe, and Lake Stevens are out? Snohomish should probably include some of those areas, but Pierce should exclude some of its areas even more. If shrinking the Piece subarea is feasible, that might be worthwhile.

        But there would be significant difficulties. Sounder is predicated on southeast Pierce paying its taxes. How can southeast Pierce (or all of Pierce) pay its share of the existing debt if it just simply secedes? You’d have to have a remaining tax for that, but under whose authority would it be and how could you get it approved? Having Sounder go through non-ST territory between Auburn and Tacoma Dome (with or without Puyallup) also sounds problematic. And in any case, whether only Auburn and Tacoma Dome are open — or only Auburn — you’d get a lot of freeloaders showing up who used to pay ST taxes but have gotten out of it.

      11. @Mike Orr:

        I would characterize it exactly as I mentioned, that the voters vote to not improve transit because they “believe” that they cannot afford to improve transit. Whether they believe something due to being told by others for political purposes or because it is true (or both) is an important question to answer in terms of how to address their belief, and I do not disagree with your characterization of how the elections tend to go. But saying that they vote because they “say” they cannot afford to improve transit comes perilously close, to me, to accusing the voters of a straight-up lie, and I do not think that that many people explicitly lie to others. I may be wrong about this, of course; there are theories about why the polls were wrong this year that predicate on exactly this. But even if that were true, and the polled people lied, the number of polled people is minuscule, relative to the number of people who voted, and so it would still be incorrect, in my mind, to claim that a majority of voters in that area lied and voted as they did as a result of that lie.

        In any case, even if large numbers of people said something that were untrue and then voted to protect themselves from owning up to it, how would calling them out on it help? So to me, it is still important to acknowledge the belief in an inability to afford transit improvements, and work with it as stated. In other words, the content of the belief may be false, but the existence of the belief is not, and we should accept it for what it is for this particular group of people.

        If I may go a little further and editorialize – my own personal belief is that this is just another symptom of lack of trust in our society. If one does not have trust in others to act in a selfless way, then one “may” also not act in a selfless way “as much” (the qualifications are important – obviously some people will still do it as much, so I am not trying to overgeneralize). But it’s not unreasonable that a lot of people will try to cut their losses and act a little more selfishly when trust is breaking down. And that, to me, is the thing that needs fixing first and foremost. And it’s something that will take years and decades and entropy is against us. So yes, we should fix immediate issues like transit funding for this and that, but we should also chip away at the underlying problem.

        My own personal small way to address it, here, is to trust that everyone else here also means well :)

      12. I did not mean to imply that voters are lying. I meant “say” not in the sense I doubted their word, but that I took their word as clarification of what they thought, and what the broader community that voted like them thought.

      13. Right, I know that, but my fear is that, if one of us were to say it in a public meeting, instead of here, it would get misinterpreted and advocacy would become harder. Which is all I have been arguing all along. It’s a nitpicky point about semantics, but semantics matter, and words matter, and this is the place to refine our message.

      14. There are other issues. Consider the difference between Rainier Valley and Auburn. There are a lot of similarities, especially if you compare Rainier Valley 20 years ago with Auburn now. Both have a lot people of color, and low income residents. Both have a strong car culture. But there are some significant differences:

        1) In Rainier Valley, people had good bus service for years. In contrast, while Auburn had some bus service, it generally wasn’t good.

        2) Your transit dollar just goes further in Rainier Valley (then or now). Rainier Valley *is* more densely populated, and always has been. It is closer to, and well connected to the big city. The 7 for example, has riders getting on and off every step of the way. It is a continuous stretch of urbanism, and has been for a very long time. In contrast, Auburn is a different “city”. The local buses provide access to that low density “city”, connections to some other low density “city” (e. g. Kent) or are express buses to the only big city in the region (Seattle).

        As poverty sprawls, this is the challenge with transit funding. It is very difficult to push transit spending to low income, suburban areas simply because the transit dollars will provide less. There are exceptions — Lynnwood, for example — but unfortunately the South Sound area is really poorly suited for transit (other than the commuter trains).

      15. I think with ST1/2 there may have been clear case to shrink the Pierce taxing district, but I don’t believe that is true with ST3. With Sounder extension to Dupont, far west Pierce get something of value. With massive investment in Sounder capacity and perpetual funding of STX feeder service, eastern Pierce (South Hill, Bonney Lake, Orting) get something of value. South central Pierce gets the upgrade to Route 1, which I believe will run all the way to Spanaway.

        While Ross is correct that South Sound is structurally harder to serve, I don’t think it’s terribly difficult, either. For SE Pierce, there are STX routes on 161, 162, and 410 to South Hill, Orting, and Bonney Lake respectively; the populations in between those routes is low density enough that latent demand should be met with a series of surface parking lots along the 3 STX routes, which is relatively cheap because land is so much cheaper down there. I think there is a very clean business case to keep these neighborhoods in the taxing district.

        For South Central, they get Route 1, and there used to be an STX route between Lakewood and Puyallup but the ridership was anemic. I wouldn’t object to dropping Spanaway/Parkland/Frederickson from future levies, particularly after the Route 1 capital project is done if PT has the funds to provide good frequency without ST O&M subsidy. But I would imagine Pierce Transit would want to keep those areas in ST to continue to bankroll future bus investments, such as a planned corridor on 112th that could get a RapidRide treatment akin to King County’s RR-I project

    5. I get your point Tom, and I was not justifying Republican objections to further stimulus funding on the basis the red states fund the blue. Just the opposite. I was just repeating their argument. In fact, under the last stimulus funding I think each state got a block grant of $2.5 billion, whether CA or WY, although the blue cities and states got more earmarked stimulus for things like transit.

      Republicans control the Senate. House spending bills tend to heavily favor large states because of their proportionate representation, but the Senate is designed to give the small states a voice too. They tend to be low service low tax advocates, which is why they capped SALT deductions, which were a large transfer from red to blue states. NY spends many times more in public funding per citizen than FL. Here is a link to how they think, and yet NY sends a great deal to NY retirees in FL in pensions and healthcare plans. https://finance.townhall.com/columnists/danieljmitchell/2020/05/19/new-york-vs-florida-round-4-n2569096

      I have already laid out my priorities for further stimulus, pretty much similar to AM’s. My point was if Republicans control the Senate I doubt large aid to cities and states will be part of a stimulus bill, so do you like Pelosi decide on no stimulus or do you take what you can get?

      You won’t get a constitutional amendment passed by the way because it takes 2/3 vote of each house and 3/4 of the state legislatures to vote in favor, and I doubt the small red states that get back more than they paid in will vote yes.

    1. Thanks, Sam. And Oran. But Glenn, it would be really good if you’re around to set me straight on Portland. It’s really been a long time since I’ve ridden either Max or Portland Streetcar.

      My former visits also took place in a time when what Portland was doing with transit was to both building and running it. People close to me who’ve recently escaped from Portland describe some hard and worsening times since.

      But one thing I can testify, maybe out of respect for a confused little hawk whose mistake my wife long since forgave. What Portland built, Portland can re-build and improve on.

      And if it’s NOT profoundly increasing mobility for most residents, I need to know what I can do to help it start doing that exact thing again. If only, once again, to provide the kind of example that WE need to do imitate it.

      But mostly, the Laws of Physics themselves present both systems with a simple legal dilemma. Inertia has two forms: “Rest”, which also includes both doing nothing and being mad about it, and “Motion.” When once you’ve Stopped, no fair complaining about the extra effort it takes to get yourself Moving. But either way, Physics leaves the choice up to….us.

      Mark Dublin

  5. That post picture reminds me bus base locations aren’t always permanent. It also makes me realize that Metro might not need two bases in Bellevue if the Eastside route cuts are permanent, and they continue to shift more service hours elsewhere. I’m going to make a prediction. Within the next 2 years, Metro makes an announcement that they are going to consolidate the two Spring District bases, and sell the other property for housing.

    1. Best thing about buses and parking-lots, Sam. No sweat to move, or remove, either or both. Any time we want.

      Mark Dublin.

      1. I agree, this is one of the advantages as well as disadvantages of bus routes. On one hand, it is easier to add them when needed, on the other hand, making long-term decisions about where to relocate can be tricky since they can and do move around… as needed.

        Personally, I find it best to be in a location where I am not dependent on any single bus routes to get around in a reasonable manner, even if I have a preferred bus that I would really like to not lose. Of course, as one progresses in age, that dependency gets harder to avoid. I recall there were a number of people who were effectively “stranded” when the 46 went away, since they were more advanced in age and the loss of the 46 added a pretty high burden to reach any other bus in Ballard. I don’t think I know where in Ballard you lived, but perhaps you can appreciate this as having lived in the area, too, anyway.

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually sold one of the bus bases (though buy a new plot of land somewhere else) — especially since it’s sitting on pretty valuable land once the light rail finishes. Though I think there’s enough routes they have on the east side that they’ll need both bases for now.

      1. I doubt it – Bellevue CBD will be a major start/end point for bus routes, so I think the operational value of that location is immense for midday and overnight layover.

        If there’s a need to ‘unlock’ some of the value of that location, instead I could see KCM do something like what SFMTA is doing with building housing on top of the bus base, and perhaps shift some of the more ‘industrial’ functions to SoDO and south King so the bus bases in Bellevue focus on bus storage, refueling/recharging, and driver facilities, which would be more conducive to mixed use.

  6. Bay Area transportation tax votes have also tended to divide more on ideological lines, rather than who got the most goodies. Transportation taxes should be fair and consider geographic distribution, but a bribery strategy is bad planning and bad politics.

  7. For those who are interested in such things:

    Washington DOT / Washington State Ferries is seeking a fare collection and electronic payments consultant to work on Next Generation ORCA issues relating to Washington State Ferries.

    It’s on the state procurement web site as RFQQ-2020-1118.

    1. AM, my Ballard apartment window was about twenty feet from the westbound Route 44 wire on Market street, and half a block from where the bus turned left and terminated at the Senior Center on NW 32nd. I think that for all of us right now, wherever we’ve had to move to, the public transportation we’ll need is both an unknown and a work in progress.

      Wanderer, “Goodies” are for “Kiddies”, whose “Mommies’ and Daddies'” mandate is to threaten them with trips to the “Dentist” for their own good. Putting public transit in the same category as sewage treatment and the rest of Water Quality. It’s for professional plumbers with a good grip on Public Administration.

      But Glenn, thanks for the reference. I just woke up promising myself I’d start the morning with some serious employment research. My work-record has a problem, though.

      I keep getting side-tracked on matters like forcing the Collections mechanism, against their its will, to be something the average person can comprehend without Fare Enforcement putting us one step closer to a theft-charge for one card-tap too many or too few.

      Absolutely mandatory qualifications for the job? An ORCA card and a bank or credit union account balance that would make a $124 fine cost them food or medicine. And six-times-also……a year or two residence and ridership in Portland, where you just don’t have this problem. Do you?

      Mark Dublin

  8. A neighborhood question for everyone. Is there a neighborhood that you’d prefer to be living in, but for various reasons, you can’t move from where you’re at. I’m curious, what Seattle-area neighborhood would you like to live in, and why?

    1. Really good question, Sam. When last I lived in Seattle, over a space of years starting in 1974, I had family there. The nearest of whom now live a thousand miles away.

      Sheer good fortune, as opposed to any merit of mine, gave me a career in electric public transit, which I’d loved since I was five in Chicago, in 1950.

      But the real change, as happens to us all, is the outcome of the years. All my time at Metro, I prided myself and all my coworkers on being the generation whose efforts would determine the KIND of city that Seattle would finally become.

      My choice location now? Right here across the lake from the Dome. With a bus stop at the end of my driveway, which when I moved in here, would let my ORCA card give me a two-hour set of bus and Link rides to Seattle, including both the Route 7 wire, Ballard, and Lake Washington Tech. And will again.

      Sharing this with my old address in Ballard: Residency in the Central Puget Sound Region, to which the Good Lord Willing will finally restore decent employment to Thurston and several other counties whose timber-workers haven’t had a job worth the name for about thirty years.

      Intercity Transit’s got some fine drivers, supervisors, and passenger-service people. All of whom will be a valuable addition to the workforce of Sound Transit, or whatever the future will have it name itself.

      Best I can do, Sam. Thanks for asking. Wherever me and the rest of us reside and do now…..fingers-crossed, my family’s long life is my only hope for a fitting answer to that question. To Time itself, please…We’re not done yet.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Question for you, Mark. You said you were priced out of Ballard, and had to move to Olympia to find affordable housing. But, there are dozens of affordable communities between Seattle and Olympia. I’m sure you could have found something equally affordable in Tukwila, for example. Why all the way down there?

      2. I’ve been asking that too. Maybe not Tukwila or Renton, but Kent and Auburn are lower, and Pierce County is lower still.

    2. Ok, I’ll bite. For me, it’s Wallingford hands down. I lived there for over a decade and loved it. I wish I could’ve afforded to purchase a property in that neighborhood when my spouse and I were in the market. (We ended up in Snohomish County of all places.)

      The entire time I lived in Seattle, including my pre-Wallingford days, I made do without owning a vehicle. I used Metro extensively, as well as my bike, my own two feet, rides from friends and coworkers, and the occasional taxi ride (mostly to and/or from the airport as I travelled a fair amount for work back then). Living in Wallingford was conducive to my choice to continue to live without a vehicle:
      — retail district on 45th, including many restaurant choices*
      — two supermarkets directly on bus lines (Food Giant/QFC on 45th and Safeway on Stone Way)
      — Gasworks Park and Green Lake nearby
      — quick ride to downtown on route #26, slow ride to U-District and Ballard on the #44
      — easy access to a USPS office, a community library, a (then) WA State Liquor store (now Archie McPhee’s), a bike repair shop
      — the overall vibe and sense of community

      *I miss Spot Bagel. Loved their bagels and enjoyed spending time hanging out there.

      1. I agree. Wallingford is wonderfully walkable, has a major recreation facility along the lake, is within an easy walk of UW and has decent transit connections to most of the city north of the Ship Canal.

        Plus, the housing is from an era when houses were built to last.

    3. I wanted to live on Capitol Hill for years (1990) before I finally moved there (2005). I didn’t move earlier because I had an extraordinarily cheap 3 BR apartment in the U-District it wouldn’t have made sense to leave. Early on I noticed it’s halfway between the two largest urban villages so it makes it easier to get to all three of them.

      As for the future, I don’t have any particular neighborhood in mind. Just someplace close to Link and with a variety of businesses in walking distance. I’ve thought several times of moving to Rainier Valley, but I didn’t because it was pretty far from work and didn’t have much of the businesses/services I go to. After Northgate Link opens, I could see myself someday possibly moving back to the U-District or to Roosevelt or Northgate. (Love that 2-line Link frequency.) Or if i couldn’t afford those, Rainier Valley, Pinehurst, or Lake City. Ballard I’d hesitate on until Ballard Link opens or the 44 becomes faster. I worked in Ballard for four years and lived there for half a year, and it’s a half-hour overhead to get in and out of it.I did like the number of things it did have, and those have gotten larger since I left, and I liked the quiet, laid-back atmosphere. I thouht, “This is a good place to retire to when I get older.” But that half-hour overhead on the 15, 44, and 75 (now D, 44, and 40) got to me. If I have to move to the suburbs, I have a vague gravitation toward Bellevue, Kent, Lynnwood, or Shoreline. But I’ll probably stay where I am as long as I can. Even though it’s halfway between two Link stations and I’d prefer to be closer to one station.

      1. Covid has made me realize being near good transit isn’t good enough anymore. Like you said, I want to be able to walk to businesses if I want to. People who live near the Overlake TC/future Redmond Technology Station live near great transit, but there is nothing else there but housing and Microsoft. Walking to the store isn’t an option. I want that option, and that will be something I’ll be factoring in more in the future if I need to move.

      2. Ten thumbs up, Sam. I deeply hope that the habit of walking to a nearby source — whether food, recreation or general merchandise — persists beyond the end of Covid. It’s really nice to see other folks walking and wave to them. Even strike up a brief chat — from across the street, of course….

      3. Now that I’ve gotten older I don’t go to as many places as I used to, so it doesn’t matter as much whether I live near clubs and cafes. But I’ll always need a store, library, gym, natural food store, hardware store, etc.

        I think it’s Jeff Speck who ranks transportation priorities as: walking, biking, transit. and last cars. Because ideally you wouldn’t need transit: everything would be in walking distance. Walking is the only mode built in to humans, and what everybody does the most even if they don’t realize it, because even if you drive everywhere you still walk to and from your car.

        However, the most successful urban areas have not only a lot of walking, but also a lot of transit riding both within the city, within the metro, and between cities. So those need to be robust too.

        Sam, where do you want to live? Or where have you wanted to live in the past or future? Is there a specific neighborhood, or just general criteria?

    4. I’d absolutely love to have an apartment in Lower Queen Anne. Easy access to major routes and appointments I need to go to, doesn’t take long to get to a view of the Sound, and packed with interesting and lovely places.

      As it stands, I’m probably going to be leaving Burien for Federal Way or Kent sometime next year, it’s getting too expensive to stay here. I’m dreading the possibility of ending up in Auburn or Puyallup, as I’m completely transit-dependent.

  9. Darn. 32nd NW, not the other way around. I can just imagine radio discussions with “Control” over the actual location of my trolleybus. And also, the sound of my application to KCM for a driving job getting sent through the shredder.

    Thanks, AM, for saving me and Metro the trouble.

    Mark Dublin

  10. I’m sorry, but those Wheels “scooters” should be not be allowed as part of a ad hoc rental system. These are not scooters in the same sense that the Council foolishly approved, to the detriment of pedestrians and cyclists around the city. They are just mopeds that Wheels are calling scooters to skirt regulations, as seems to be typical with these tech based “share” companies.

    So now we’re going to have mini-motorcycles ridden by inexperienced riders, speeding along our sidewalks and trails and the Council seems content with that. Idiocracy at its finest. At this point, apparently all we can hope for is the venture capital of all these scooter companies dries up soon.

    1. I felt Microsoft’s initial pledge to provide “market based loans” to developers to build affordable housing if cities provided free public land was disingenuous. Why would a develop take a market rate loan if it required lower profit affordable housing, and why should citizens or cities provide public (park) land for mixed affordable/non affordable housing when Microsoft was just serving as a bank?

      This more targeted approach proves what I have always believed: affordable housing requires either private or public subsidies, and the public relations campaign reflects the blowback Microsoft legitimately got on its initial pledge.

      The comment developers will take market based loans to build affordable housing without subsidies because there is less turnover during tough economic times is not accurate. Affordable housing presents developers greater rental risks. Usually there is a reduced or waived damage deposit, no last months deposit, and damage is a greater risk (especially for meth use that can affect nearby units and require a very expensive bio hazard cleanup that many insurance policies exclude). There is a reason real affordable housing is usually publicly subsidized, especially if new construction.

      Not only that, with recent changes to warranties on new condo construction condo development is much more profitable than rentals, let alone affordable housing rentals.

      I also felt this most recent example of “affordable” housing was mostly public relations. A white female who works as a school counselor at Eastside Catholic and who can’t afford a $2200 apartment across the beach with her own parking stall is not the reality of affordable housing in the region. This campaign reeks of Microsoft’s public relations dept. to show it us addressing a problem it admits it helped cause.

      I know Brad Smith wants to be seen as a progressive (except exempt Medina from any legislation on upzoning) but Microsoft needs to get more serious about real subsidies for affordable housing, rather than public relations.

  11. RapidRider and AM, it could be trouble with my reading-glasses, but I can’t find where any Federal, State, County, or Local Founding Document ever once mentions either Investment or Venture Capital as having anything to do with The Law of The Land.

    Though there really is a very good chance it WAS called both “Chattel Slavery” and also “The Electoral College”, whose sworn purpose was to assure the afore-mentioned industry that it would never lose an election. Whatever Latin is for “Fits The Facts!”

    Since the Ninth Amendment (look it up) makes clear that anybody with the Common Sense God Gave a Gopher already knows this, what I’m “banking” on is the right to finance my own HOME, Debt-FREE, with the wages that I’ve got the right to EARN.

    For which the massive city, county, State, and national public works endeavor to RECOVER from COVIDIA is completely tailor-made. Just do what she says, social-space and wear your masks, and Nature’s really on our side.

    AND SOLUTION TWO! Since the Arts at Federal Way are back to square-one, I see a possibly limitless source of material. Off-peak at least when there’s room, have volunteers collect their share of two-wheeled litter, and, off-peak, drag it onto transit and leave it in a pile at FW’s gate.

    Where a torch-bearing artist of an Assembler will weld it onto an ever-growing tower of wheeled metal, whose top elephant will require a beautifully artistic aircraft warning light. Too bad they can’t be used for a reef to spawn fish, but who said Art was Fair?

    And before I forget. Where do we look to find out how much CAPITAL has just VENTURED itself into BANKRUPTCY? Whether The People Demand To Know or Would Just Really Rather Not…..it’s really (N)ot (M)y (P)roblem.

    Mark Dublin

  12. At least the LA planning commission finally recognized that new construction without public subsidies of course results in (white) gentrification, because for the hundredth time new construction is the least affordable.

    Gentrification is not all bad. An early motivation for Seattle’s upzone of the Central District was to gentrify it by incentivizing new construction that comes with an upzone, which depending on the zone attracts wealthier residents, which ideally creates a more vibrant (white) urban retail scene. The very definition of “Urbanism”, even though The Urbanist still doesn’t understand this. Think of it as modern day redlining.

    Of course now that racial equity is the cause du jour , along with affordable housing, and the upzone of the Central District displaced the historical Black community to South Seattle, the city of Seattle is left with the enormous costs to create affordable housing, although it never required adequate impact fees from the development that caused this problem.

    Since the city does not have the money it either allows greater density and height in consideration for a few “affordable” units, or shifts the burden to neighborhoods by upzoning residential lots, which again leads to more gentrification but no real affordable housing unless it is too tiny for a family.

    Usually gentrification creates huge profits for developers but shifts huge costs to the public because politicians get giddy at the short term sales tax boost from construction but never reserve for the long term infrastructure costs, from larger water and sewer lines to roads to transit to schools to police and fire. It is why tax rates per citizen go up the larger a city is.

    1. “An early motivation for Seattle’s upzone of the Central District”

      Are you referring to the vague 1970s plan to turn the CD into “Model Neighborhood” as on the Forward Thrust subway map? That was never realized. The western CD from Broadway to 23rd has had some modest upzoning but not much different than other parts of the city, and less than e.g., Ballard. Madison Valley has gotten more but that’s on the edge of the CD. 34th may have more mixed use and 23rd has some townhouses, but it’s nothing to write home about.

      “which ideally creates a more vibrant (white) urban retail scene. The very definition of “Urbanism””

      Urbanism is: (1) medium to high density (a neighborhood of row houses to lowrise to highrise, possibly with small-lot bungalows), (2) threshold standards of walkability, transit, small blocks, mixed use, and a variety of walk-up businesses/services. All those hipster cafes and bars/clubs/restaurants are extra. The goal is not to gentrify the place, drive up prices, make it more white, have cool cafes — but instead to make living more convenient, environmentally sustainable, and healthy. Driving up prices and making it more white is a byproduct that’s hard to avoid given the larger context of anti-urban, car-oriented policies that have created a shortage of these kinds of neighborhoods.

      The CD is urban because it’s so close to downtown, has a complete street grid and short blocks, has closely-spaced bus routes inherited from yesteryear, and still has vestiges of corner stores (as do other parts of Seattle like Fuhrman Ave and Summit Ave, but not the tract developments in Bellevue, Timberlane, etc). It wasn’t non-urban in 1970 and became urban in the 200s when the Seattle U area expanded, Swedish Cherry Hill expanded, and 23rd got townhouses.

      “the city of Seattle is left with the enormous costs to create affordable housing, although it never required adequate impact fees from the development that caused this problem.”

      The rising cost of housing is because of larger issues: the still-strong zoning that prevents supply from catching up to demand, and especially demand for walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods (urbanism as I defined it above).

      Impact fees were never a solution: (1) he number of units is a drop in the bucket compared to the need, (2) sometimes the units revert to market rate after a couple decades even though the need for affordable units is permanent, and (3) it’s like a pyramid scheme — you have to constantly build more buildings to replace the units that revert to market rate and the increasing number of people who need discount housing. Also, it’s not fair. The developers didn’t cause the problem, the market-rate tenants/buyers in those buildings didn’t cause the problem, yet the proponents of impact fees expect them to pay for the solution. The responsibility for the problem lies with the entire cities/counties and their residents/taxpayers, so they should all pay for a solution. Don’t just stick it to developers or the people in the new buildings. That’s just scapegoating. And some of the people in the new buildings are long-term residents’ children, who have turned 18, started a family, or gotten divorced, so they need their own unit.

      1. If you believe restrictive zoning is the primary factor in housing prices in this region than you believe the 577 unit project in LA will reduce housing prices in that region, and create affordable housing just by volume of units, although the LA planning commission disagreed with that view. You can’t build NEW AFFORDABLE non-subsidized housing, because it is new construction. You can build new non-subsidized housing, and if the neighborhood is historically poor that is called gentrification, something Seattle favored when it was more run down. Cities like Burien and SeaTac would love some gentrification.

        If you think the CD and other gentrified neighborhoods are white because of cars or a car culture you have drunk the coolaid. The areas are white BECAUSE they have been upzoned, which results in gentrification. The new residents all have cars, whereas the old poor residents often did not. The gentrified neighborhoods are white because the job market is strong, and the city upzoned the area, which results in new expensive construction, and drives up rents in existing housing until that housing is developed. The local businesses tell you everything.

        The fact is Urbanism is a white, wealthy ideology, and in practice. No one ever talks about Urbanism in south Seattle, which is real urbanism. Gentrification does not increase transit use, although it is great for Uber/Lyft.

        The more urban and gentrified a neighborhood becomes the more hipster bars and cafes you get, and the fewer independent retail businesses from nail salons to barbers to grocery stores and so on people need in their daily lives. You definitely see it in the CD from 23rd near where I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s to Madison Park and Leschi. Same on Capitol Hill. The lease rates in new development price them out, because once a neighborhood becomes multi-story it favors housing because housing becomes more valuable the higher you go when the opposite is true for retail. That area from 23rd to Madison Park isn’t walkable, and you can’t walk to the businesses you need on a daily basis, but you can get Sushi or a fancy dinner, because that is what the current residents want. That won’t change with more units or even greater density IMO.

        The next big area to be gentrified IMO — unless the local neighbors block it — is the ID, because it is ripe for hip, white, wealthy gentrification. It currently has a 14 story height limit, a kind of no man’s land between wood and steel construction, but if developers get their desire to go to 22 stories look out. Then we can eat white Chinese food like they sell at Costco.

        I am not opposed to gentrification if the residents want that. I imagine residents in south Seattle would like a little gentrification (before it prices them out, again). But the current form of Urbanism envisioned around here is white, wealthy, Patagonia, and as exclusive as the eastside because it destroys affordable EXISTING housing, which then migrates to “urban suburbs” like south Seattle. It has always been that way.

        Impact fees are suppose to offset the infrastructure costs from upzoning and development because the developer is using the upzoning to profit, and to offset the displacement because of course there will be displacement. I fundamentally disagree that the citizens as a whole are responsible for the costs of development. Yes, the developers and development did cause the problems, and I have many, many friends who are developers, and they should pay for the social costs of their development.

      2. “If you believe restrictive zoning is the primary factor in housing prices in this region than you believe the 577 unit project in LA will reduce housing prices in that region”

        That’s false as I’ve said before. You have to stop the prices from rising before they go up. You can’t just bring them down by building a 577-unit project. If there hadn’t been restrictive zoning driving prices up two decades ago, prices wouldn’t be so high now. You can’t just look at single neighborhoods, but at the entire metropolitan area. That’s where prices are rising, even if it starts in certain neighborhoods.

        “The areas are white BECAUSE they have been upzoned”

        The areas are white because whites decided to move back to the city, and they have more money so they can outbid the existing residents. That would have happened with or without upzoning. Without upzoning there would have been fewer units and more people competing for them, so prices would probably have been higher than they are now. That doesn’t happen suddenly, it takes ten or twenty years to build up. But that’s what would have happened if the neighborhood hadn’t been upzoned. Working-class homeowners replaced by ever-wealthier homeowners, again and again.

        “Gentrification” is such a complex term I won’t even try to get into it. It overlaps with what you’re talking about and what I’m talking about but only partially.

  13. note picture of Jefferson electric trolleybus yard in 1941. the site was taken over by SU. the ETB network was larger than today’s between 1940 and 1963.

  14. Around the time our country was founded, I think “The Gentry” were defined as people who owed their wealth and power to things like manufacturing, rather than an inherited title.

    Whose possessors, often impoverished by both the hereditary maladies that inbreeding is heir too, hemophilia, for instance, as well as gambling, thought The Gentry smelled bad because their wealth came from their own work, rather than helpless peasant’s rent.

    In the 1600’s, across England, these two factions, “The Cavaliers” avenging the executed King, who were “Church of England”, and the “Roundheads”, so-called because the Cavaliers’ long wigs grew fleas, who were Puritans, fought a civil war so God-awful please don’t even look it up.

    The combatants both won and lost depending on the day. Fleeing Puritans became the New England States. Escaped Cavaliers settled south, relieved to finally have a permanent serving-class whose black skin made it impossible for them to ever again cut off the King’s head and get away with it.

    Problem with the Route 7 corridor’s Gentry, and also West Seattle’s, is that they’ve allowed forty years’ worth of income inequality as undeserved as it is universal, to render possession of a college degree, however un-needed for any job, into exactly what cost King Charles his head.

    Biology really is Unfair, but it’s undeniable that while good skills and character just cannot be inherited, idiocy certainly can.

    But if your own true deserved description is really “Gentry”, the espresso cafe you found at your rail/bus station will certainly have a Ballard branch before your runaways even get off the train.

    Your head is safe because you cannot help keep it from creating transmissible value. Best of luck.

    Mark Dublin

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