This is an open thread for miscellaneous comments related to transit or land use. The News Roundup will resume when things calm down. A Link update will be coming later today, and a non-Link article in couple days. The RapidRide G article is still open for comments, two articles before this.
91 Replies to “Open Thread 4”
I noticed that some of the Consolidated Grant past recipients (Intercity Transit, Lower Columbia CAP) did not get 23-27 grants for regional service.
Meanwhile, Twin Transit gets grants for Hydrogen Powered buses (to go to Morton?!), which have a 7 year stack lifespan (Ballard Fuel Cell) and only enough range for a single round trip…
And then there’s the electric bus that they’re supposed to use for Oly-Centralia service, but instead run it on a Chehalis-Centralia limited-stop route.
And then Intercity Transit (btw, straightened up my confusion about their just-retired General Manager. Uncanny resemblance aside, Ann and Ann are two different people) wants to use their grant for a HFC coach experiment, when again, 7 year lifespan, plus there’s a terrorist infested encampment next door…
BTW, I thank you for clearing up our semi-confusion vis-a-vis H.S. Incidentally I worked at TRE’s predecessor for one season in ’98. 3 hour commutes from Lakewood via the 592 and 256, then walking to NE 8th after work 🤣
Ann? H.S.? Terrorists?
So many questions about Centralia! As least google helped me understand that Twin Transit doesn’t serve St. Paul.
I was posting from an earlier thread.
We’ll call it the “Olympia Disease”. I forget to establish a framework for the discussion, like some histrionic person with isolation syndrome and an apologetic complex.
The meat was basically small rural system uses local psychics and nuts to manipulate upon us an obfuscated, unimplementable, alternate universe version of itself.
Going back to the park and ride discussion…one benefit of park and rides that is overlooked is that they can make the transit system more resilient in the face of service disruptions, at least for those with cars. For example, if the route you might normally take has reduced service, you can drive a few miles to another route that’s operating normally. Ideally, you’d be able to do reroutes like this with the regular transit system, without needing a car, but in practice, the system is generally optimized around each person getting downtown one way, and doing it another way usually ends up slower than just taking the primary route and sitting through extra delays by the time you account for additional connections that would be required.
Now, you don’t need 1500 stall parking garages in order to be useful in this respect, but having at least some transit parking sprinkled around the region does offer some redundancy in travel options.
Another form of resilience would be to have greater creativity and flexibility in the event of disruptions like this. For example, some of the routes that currently are truncated along the Link line could temporarily be rerouted to downtown Seattle instead (even if there are some frequency reductions needed due to longer running times.) That surely is better than forcing everyone onto disrupted Link. That same flexibility ought to be present when there are scheduled disruptions like the 520 bridge closure, especially on weekends when UW isn’t in session.
It’s silly to run route 542 at all on weekends if the 520 bridge is closed; almost all passengers would be better served by using 545 service. Similarly route 255 could be sent to the Bellevue transit center or Mercer Island or International District or Stadium station when the 520 bridge is closed. And the 271 could just terminate at Bellevue transit center and passengers continue on route 550. There have to be better ways to use our transit resources than to send buses so far out of their way as to be largely useless.
Making major, temporary changes to the bus network on short notice has its own problems, including people stuck waiting and waiting at the wrong bus stop for a bus that will never come. Sometimes, the least bad option is to just run existing routes with added detours. Yes, it’s inefficient, but it’s only for a brief period, so it doesn’t cost that much.
For it’s worth, I recently discovered that when the 255 is routed to I-90 due to 520 being closed, it actually *does* stop at Mercer Island on the way to the U-district, with the idea being that a transfer to the 550 there is a much quicker way to get downtown than staying on the bus to the U district and switching to Link. In practice, however, nobody actually uses that stop, and I would personally not trust it enough to actually wait there.
Matt Driscoll aggrieved.
“The truth is, this project jumped the proverbial shark a long time ago, replacing any excitement I had with feelings of angst and resentment toward Sound Transit (and don’t even get me started on the latest Tacoma Link Extension delay). Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who brings his own bags to the grocery store, used cloth diapers on his children and, most pertinent to this column, has championed the benefit of transit development across the region many times over the years.”
Read more at: https://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article274858216.html#storylink=cpy
While the over budget and a year late (and counting) for T-Link plays into conservative talking points, this won’t make them hate transit more. Thats not possible. At least they are delivering some reasonable version of what was promksed.
Personally I am much more upset about the broken promises for TDLE. 2030 and a train to whisk you to the Mariners.
Hardy hardy Har har.
I’m surprised ST isn’t savvy enough to remove that 4 minute YouTube video.
No! say it aint so! Driscoll turning in ST? He’s been a Sound Transit cheerleader for a long time. I would even dare to say Mr. Driscoll has the political pulse of Tacoma and Pierce County as well as anyone.
The saddest thing about Sound Transit mucking up Pierce County projects is most of the political fallout lands squarely on Pierce Transit. Not that the gang over at Seattle Subway cares much, but this is crippling our regional transit system….
I think Mr. Driscoll might be even more aggrieved if he actually got his facts correct regarding the Tacoma Link Hilltop Extension project’s cost:
“Originally scheduled to open almost exactly a year ago, it will now be late summer, if we’re lucky, before the ribbon is cut on an undertaking that will cost an estimated $283 million, or $60 million more than anticipated.”
The cost overrun is actually far worse. When the project went into the FTA Small Starts pipeline, it was given a rating assignment in November 2014 with a price tag of about $166 million (YOE$). Based on that figure, the project is about $117 million over its anticipated cost.
Here’s a link to the opinion piece in The News Tribune from yahoo that avoids the paywall:
Oh, I forgot to add this part about the Hilltop project. Orginally it was supposed to be up and running in 2021.
From the FTA 2014 rating profile:
“Project Development History, Status and Next Steps: FTA approved the project into project development in August 2014. Sound Transit expects to select a locally preferred alternative (LPA) in early 2015, and get it adopted into the region’s fiscally constrained long range transportation plan in early 2015. Sound Transit anticipates completion of the environmental review process with a Documented Categorical Exclusion in February 2015, receipt of a Small Starts Grant Agreement in late 2015, and the start of revenue service in 2021.”
Has ST Considered opening KDM ahead of schedule in lieu of FW Link delays. As it seems like the problems are South of KDM and be a good way to do a bus restructure of some routes down that way.
I think ST has talked about maybe a KDM phase. It was going to be the terminus before ST3. There was a bus restructure a few years ago in anticipation of RapidRide I (160), so I don’t know what more you could do. There are now buses from Kent and Federal Way and Southcenter to all the surrounding cities, so the routes are more or less in the right place, they just need more frequency.
The KDM-Kent-132nd RapidRide can’t proceed until funding is available. Replacing the 161 (SeaTac-Kent) with a KDM-Kent route I don’t think would improve Seattle-Kent travel time and may even worsen it, and it’s already pretty unacceptable. And the 161 serves northern Kent warehouses that the 150 doesn’t, and now provides the 84th (East Valley Road) service. My roommate and his brother have used that to get to jobs there.
IMO, Link should terminate at Federal Way, BUT ONLY IF the cost of the bridge is less than that spent up to this time in site preparation, grading and support placement between Midway and Federal Way. Otherwise, it should terminate at Midway and a bus-only bridge with an access to the HOV lanes built at 240th. Going to Tacoma Dome at 30-55 mph is a colossal waste of money.
P.S. Notice the omission of the “H”? Trying to embrace “full transparency” here…
Why would it only be 30mph?
Does “terminating at Midway” mean a new station south of KDM? That’s very unlikely.
All the ST2 planning scenarios in January 2016 had all ST Express routes terminating at KDM except the 574. It was never finalized because ST3 superceded it, but it would become relevant again in a KDM phase. (The 574 would continue its current route, or be extended to Westwood Village to replace the part of the 560 that Stride 1 will abandon.) There’s public speculation on whether ST would really truncate the Pierce expresses aggressively, but all the planning scenarios assumed yes.
Metro Connects in 2016-2020 envisioned a Metro express taking over the 577, and a Seattle-Kent-Auburn express replacing the 578. A Metro spokesman at the time said it was uncertain whether these would be all-day or peak-only. Now Metro has a more limited budget, and there has still been no countywide levy for Metro Connect’s full service, so these may end up on the chopping block. But that was Metro’s intention then.
I assume the “H” refers to RapidRide H (Delridge/Burien). Some have suggested extending it to SeaTac airport. That’s unlikely because it just launched at Metro’s intended length. Extending it would require capital funding that doesn’t exist. Metro is busy building RapidRide I (Renton-Kent-Auburn) and G (Madison). The next in line are J (Eastlake), K (Totem-Lake-Kirkland-Bellevue-Eastgate), and R (Rainier). And the 161 already serves Burien-SeaTac.
When Stride 1 was being designed, ST asked the public whether it should dip down to SeaTac like the 360 does or go straight from Renton to TIB and Burien. Most respondents said the latter. But if the 574 is extended to Burien and Westwood Village, that would provide the faster connection between Burien and the airport that proponents want.
I think Midway was the name of the landfill that wasn’t chosen for the OMF.
Sound Transit sings, “I’m in the money, I’m in the money.” ST gets three federal loans ($) for “the Hilltop Tacoma Link streetcar extension, the Northeast 130th Street infill station in North Seattle, and the addition of nearly 1,800 park-and-ride stalls, plus station access upgrades, for Sounder commuter rail customers in Auburn, Puyallup and Sumner.” The article goes on to discuss ST’s finances and repayment plans more generally.
I don’t quite understand why this decision was not communicated to Constantine before he announced he would not run for Governor. I imagine Constantine will run for Governor.
I think the expected path is first to get Bob Ferguson in the governor’s seat next.
Yup. Generally, the person who has won statewide gets first shot in politics.
IIRC Dow had a semi serious challenge last election in Nguyen , which doesn’t help the “inevitable” argument.
Ferguson’s races have not been huge challenges. He defeated Cynthia Sullivan by 500 votes to win the primary in a heavily D district to the KC council.
In 2012, Bob Ferguson defeated fellow King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn to be elected as the 18th Attorney General of Washington State. Ferguson won by a margin of more than 200,000 votes, receiving 53.48% of the vote to Dunn’s 46.52%.
In 2016, Ferguson faced only Joshua Trumbull, a Libertarian with no political experience. Ferguson spent little of the money he had raised for the campaign, and he was re-elected, 67% to 33%. He garnered the most votes of any state candidate and carried 37 of the state’s 39 counties.
In 2020, Ferguson faced Matt Larkin, a political newcomer and strong Trump supporter, who said that Ferguson was too soft on crime and criticized his legal challenges of the Trump administration. Ferguson handily won reelection, 56% to 43%.
Since the Democratic nominee will be elected governor in this state, and I think Constantine and Ferguson are two capable and experienced candidates, I would like to see a primary between the two. I would like to at least see a debate in which candidates have to explain their history, positions and what they plan to do. I wish Inslee had had a credible candidate in the last election.
Otherwise maybe Mike is correct, and WA is a monarchy in which candidates for governor are simply appointed because this is such a one-party state. This is a problem I see in some red states like Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming et al. The “candidates” for state office are effectively selected and appointed by the controlling state party that seeks to eliminate any competition in the primary.
Although it was a certainty a D would win the race for mayor of Seattle, I appreciated seeing two qualified candidates with different views such as Harrell and Gonzales face off, which I think gives the winning candidate much more of a mandate. I doubt Harrell would have the mandate he does today if he had not faced and soundly defeated Gonzales, which I think gave normal Seattle voters a voice in the future of Seattle.
“Otherwise maybe Mike is correct, and WA is a monarchy in which candidates for governor are simply appointed because this is such a one-party state.”
I said it’s NOT a monarchy. I’ve never heard Inslee specify a heir apparent, much less considered they’d certainly have the position if he did. Of course Inslee will endorse somebody close to the election after all the candidates are known, as all officeholders and organizations do.
Constantine is not his son, and this is not a monarchy or oligarchy. I think you overestimate how desperate Constantine is for the governorship, and how much Inslee wants Constantine and no one else as his successor.
“Constantine is not his son”
Yes, but while that is true it misses the greater point. The governorship was supposed to go Inslee-Constantine-Ferguson. That is how it had been set up, and that is how it had been progressing.
But when Inslee ran for a 3rd term it sort of messed things up. Dow and Ferguson got bunched up, and Sawant decided not to run for city council re-election. Now I think Dow feels like it is more important for him to remain as KC Exec and block Sawant from taking that job, and I sort of agree.
And whether it is Dow or Ferguson, it doesn’t really matter in the end, the Governorship will remain in the family. The Husky family.
“The governorship was supposed to go Inslee-Constantine-Ferguson. That is how it had been set up, and that is how it had been progressing.”
Who said that?
After Harrell’s victory I think Sawant would have about zero chance in a county wide election. I doubt she would have won reelection to the city council even from her progressive district.
Constantine and Ferguson are both well qualified and experienced. One or the other might feel they have to run far to the left in the primary knowing a D will win the general election, but I don’t think either are really far left, and too far left could cost eastern WA and the suburbs when they would probably split the Seattle vote. A good primary fight, just like the election between Harrell and Gonzales, would allow the more moderate voter to control the outcome.
Yeah, who said Constantine is the next governor? AG is a top 3 position, it usually becomes the governor, unless Lt. Gov. is seen as the next person For example, Gov. Greg Abbott (TX), is the former AG of the state. As noted above, Gregoire is the former AG of WA state. IIRC, Constantine had a personal scandal. Ferguson is the guy who sued Trump successfully, and will likely defend WA state against ID trying to sue/arrest WA doctors who will try to arrest WA doctors who provide abortions to ID residents. Will Dow talk about the benefits of W. Seattle light rail in response to this accomplishment?
Ferguson is a loyal D — I got robocalls from him to support the Chamber of Commerce city council candidate, Heidi Wills (vs. Dan Strauss) , so I don’t think you can say he is antifa/Sawant.
“After Harrell’s victory I think Sawant would have about zero chance in a county wide election.”
I don’t think Sawant could ever have won a citywide or coutywide seat, especially after her first year as a district councilmember when people saw her grandstanding instead of legislating. She’s intelligent and she could get more done if she were pragmatic, but she throws it away with her populist rhetoric and pie-in-the-sky demands.
I don’t think Harrell’s election is some kind of long-term turn. It was an election in a moment with the issues that were active then. It was more of Seattle returning to its norm. Everything that’s going on is gradually making people gradually more liberal, but they aren’t willing to go all the way with a far-left agenda.
The median household income in Seattle is nearly double what it was a decade ago. It has been transformed by wealth. Some may think that is a good thing. But wealth leans right.
When I go north of the I ship canal, I barely recognize it, from just when I left in 2015. You are either an MD, PhD, come from old, deep money, or barely striving to make it on a 6 figure salary. The folks who bought a house a decade or more ago feel good when they see that their house value has tripled, but they aren’t really rich, because they still need someplace to live.
That sort of insecurity doesn’t vote left.
Insecurity is a concern no matter whether your job pays 6 figures but your mortgage is 5 figures, or whether your job pays 5 figures and your rent is in the 4 figure range (won’t claim it’s the “same” concern, mind you, just that it is clear that there is instability in both cases). So I would not call what most Seattleites have “wealth”.
I would draw a distinction between true “wealth” (in the sense of the 1%) and what every PhD grad who lives paycheck-to-paycheck in Seattle. The latter are still subject to layoffs, one illness diagnosis, an acrimonious divorce – any one of those can lead to financial ruin.
I’m wondering whether there is as much of a rightward swing in that category as you suggest. Do you have stats showing it, for Seattle specifically? I don’t doubt that people making 6 figures in a much cheaper place (say, Walla-Walla) – because they truly are the “elite”. I’m just wondering if it’s true in Seattle. This matters because if there is more in common between that category and those who are more visibly badly off, this can be used as a bridge, rather than a moat. And we need all the bridges we can build, IMHO.
> That sort of insecurity doesn’t vote left.
> I’m wondering whether there is as much of a rightward swing in that category as you suggest. Do you have stats showing it, for Seattle specifically?
I think it’s less right or left. Or at least I’d see it as least two dimensions of populist/conservative (trump); populist/liberal (sanders); establishment/conservative (bush); establishment/liberal (clinton/obama)
And Seattle while is left-leaning (left) with so many high income earners doesn’t really have as much support for populist/liberal candidates as people would think and for local elections more supports establishment/liberal candidates. Or at least that is my interpretation of the last election and general sentiment, though I sadly cannot find polls that are nuanced enough to back up my theory.
*Note I am not using the word populist nor establishment with any negative connotation.
> You might have thought there’s no way the Seattle area could get any more liberal than it already is. But according to new data, it appears that’s precisely what’s happened…. In both recent surveys, 52% of adults in our area (a projected 1.25 million people) said that they are Democrats or that they lean Democratic
Seattle was never as lefty as San Francisco. People want everyone’s rights respected, a good social safety net, and a better climate, but they also want things to be normal and not too many experiments. All of our mayors since at least Schell have been pretty centrist, except maybe McGinn but even he was not like Sawant. Seattle is definitely not like the caricature of it in right-wing media; that’s why it surprises people who believe the caricature.
I came from a Republican family so I went along with it, then in college I became a free-market libertarian and began to understand that’s what my dad was. In 2000 I voted for the Libertarian candidate, and was then angered when I saw Bush implement half the libertarian agenda (economic) without the other half (social freedom). I began to feel our safety net and the postwar consensus must be preserved, and that we shouldn’t plunge into the Iraq war. I began allying with Democrats because they were large enough to make a difference, and eventually I identified as Democrat. Or as a friend said at the time, “George W Bush can make anyone a liberal.” Fast-forward to today, and the other party is trying to take away voting rights. That makes even more people liberal.
Thank you, WL – your explanation matches my intuition as well, but I am definitely curious about what others think about it (in particular Cam, who brought up the topic).
Thank you, also, Mike, for your thoughts (and I also agree with at least the part about how Seattle “liberal” attitude tends to work).
“And Seattle while is left-leaning (left) with so many high income earners doesn’t really have as much support for populist/liberal candidates as people would think and for local elections more supports establishment/liberal candidates.”
I can agree with this. Obviously, we are talking Seattle, so when I say right, it’s still going to be center-left. When I say left, I mean Marxist, class war left. Somebody with a 2 million dollar fixer in Ballard isn’t going to be manning the barricades and demanding any change that will make a real difference.
I don’t have a 2 million dollar fixer in Seattle, but I guess I agree 100% with this bit: “Somebody with a 2 million dollar fixer in Ballard isn’t going to be manning the barricades”
However, I don’t agree with this bit: “and demanding any change that will make a real difference”
There are many changes demanded that will make real differences, among which I would count the zoning changes (which I think have consistently had decent support even among the SFH crowd in Seattle – Ross I believe posted some statistics about this ages ago, but I may be remembering incorrectly). The decent support for crisis centers, the passing of social housing, etc. etc. all show that there are good things happening.
Where I think the (far, for US) left and regular (for US) left might disagree is whether barricade manning does enough to make a difference, again in the US. People here often point out that the US isn’t special when it comes to technological solutions – what works in one place works in any other, and so we should learn from (and emulate) others’ successes in transit. This is 100% true. However US politics are not, say, like France politics. They are definitely not like Italy or Greece politics, either (obviously there are similarities). The societies really are different. So I would be careful about hoping for (and expecting) too much similarity with other places where “manning the barricades” has succeeded, in the past.
But I’m a self-professed centrist, so of course I would say that :)
OMG, Lazarus. Kshama Sawant has as great a likelihood of becoming King County Exec as she does of walking on water. Constantine is not “taking one for the team” by staying to “keep her out” of the job. I don’t particularly like Bob Ferguson — I think he spends too much time on “marquee” cases to raise his profile — but I expect that Dow understands that the step up from AG to Governor is a well-worn path here in Washington.
Ferguson was certainly ready to go. At least now Inslee won’t need a food tester.
One of the problems with a one-party state is too often our candidates, even governor, are effectively selected and the citizens have very little input or opportunity to see those candidates on the campaign. Granted the state R party is dysfunctional and seems incapable of nominating a candidate from Western WA that at least has a chance, but that only makes a primary fight all the more important. At the same time the state R party could nominate Lincoln and King Co. would not vote for him.
Right now, I am being told the state D party — and maybe Inslee — has already selected Ferguson as our next governor and I know very little about him, although I agree with Tom too much of his time has been spent on pursuing cases to garner press rather than addressing nut and bolt issues like catalytic converter theft. Ferguson’s first ad I heard on the radio this morning was pure pap, and I suppose that is all we will get without a strong primary from someone like Constantine.
“the zoning changes (which I think have consistently had decent support even among the SFH crowd in Seattle – Ross I believe posted some statistics about this ages ago”
I’m not a numbers person but this is clearly shifting to a higher-density position gradually. “No growth” went to “slow growth”, and now “slow growth” is weakening.
In the 1990s the battles were over whether the urban villages would exist and would reach 7+ stories. Broadway was capped at 4 stories until the 2000s, even though nearby Bellevue Ave was already 7 stories and not harming anybody. So one building at Bwy & Roy went up at 4 stories, and the owners of the vacant QFC and Safeway lots said they wouldn’t redevelop without a higher limit.
Now there’s acceptance that the urban villages won’t be stopped, and discussion has moved to the immediate single-family areas around them, or all single-family areas.
The campaign for council districts was spearheaded by single-family groups that wanted to put the brakes on upzoning and growth. They hired a geographer who drew up the districts to dilute multifamily influence by making them a minority in each district. (Except in central Seattle where that was impossible). But a funny thing happened after districts were established. Most districts were more open to growth than expected, especially in North Seattle, in spite of their single-family majority. So single-family homeowners are not a monolith.
HALA failed but the limits on ADUs were eventually loosened. Now the debate has moved to expanding the urban villages, and allowing middle housing (including small courtyard apartments like the 1960s) in shoulder areas. Seattle is in the middle of a new comprehensive plan, so we’ll see which direction it goes. I assume it will be in the middle of the proposals, or hopefully the “all of the above” strategy.
People are increasingly concerned about rising home prices, and where their own adult children will live and whether they’ll be able to remain in Pugetopolis, and lower-income families wanting a smaller unit just to have something, and the environment. I think there’s also increasing acceptance that a larger city needs to be denser. All the cities before the mid 20th century — New York, Chicago, Boston, Paris — densified as they grew. It’s only natural that Seattle should do the same.
I agree that homeowners are being dragged toward greater density, but not nearly quickly enough. ADUs will account for far less than 10% of necessary new housing, and the State rules are pretty freakin’ tame. Maybe not quite as bad in Seattle, because of how they define Major Transit Stop…
(((17))) (20) “Major transit stop” means:26(a) A stop on a high capacity transportation system funded or 27expanded under the provisions of chapter 81.104 RCW;28(b) Commuter rail stops;29(c) Stops on rail or fixed guideway systems; or30(d) Stops on bus rapid transit routes.
… but still pretty weak stew, and will be far too slow for our homeless “emergency”. Seattle may be reaching a tipping point, whereby it’s simply a playground for the rich and a dumping ground for the homeless. There needs to be much greater urgency around unzoning and loosening design review regulations than I’m currently seeing to save some semblance of the Seattle I once knew.
This is also because every person who becomes newly homeless, beyond the tragedy and wrecked families, is vastly more expensive than making sure they don’t become homeless in the first place.
“ OMG, Lazarus. Kshama Sawant has…..”
Wow, that was too easy.
No, I don’t really think Sawant is primed to take over King County, and I don’t really think Dow is staying in his position as KC Exec to block the revolution of the proletariat. But I have no doubt that we haven’t heard the last of Sawant either.
I would have preferred Dow as our next governor, but I’m OK with Ferguson too. At least the succession plan is keeping the governorship in skilled Husky hands.
We are on year 8 of an “Emergency” and the problem is only grown worse, rather than better.
I don’t think we understand what that word means.
No, zoning changes alone will not fix the current situation of having so many unhoused – because the existing structures will not be replaced quickly.
I have shown what I thought was a typical example of a “already large house on an oversized NE Seattle lot” which some people here tend to point at as an example of where to easily build more units instead; those structures will be used as they are until the current owners sell __and__ there is enough money to be made from the teardown-and-replacement process.
I also provided my suggestion of how to address the current situation as a one-time emergency approach – basically a mayor willing to ruin their political career by groveling to the superrich and ram zoning variances through. I will not reiterate either of those points beyond the summary – I think that I have made as good an argument for that approach as I possibly could, last time it came up.
There is a new article on King5 today about how Amazon return-to-office mandates are likely to affect housing prices. I will start a new thread for it down below.
I lived or worked in Seattle from 1959 to 2022, and during that time have pretty much experienced ever level of wealth. IMO Seattle has become much more “liberal” over that time period. However, the type of liberalism has changed significantly, and actually today there are two different kinds of liberalism in Seattle, in many ways opposed to each other.
Seattle originally was a working-class town. It was a relatively poor town. Its liberalism was tied up in labor and unions because a lot of Seattleites worked with their hands. That demographic was generally not socially progressive. However, the current Democrat party has abandoned HS educated blue collar workers and those workers have left Seattle and so that form of liberalism no longer exists in Seattle. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/democrats-long-goodbye-to-the-working-class/672016/ https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/democrats-working-class-problem/ https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/republicans-have-won-over-the-working-class-vote/ https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/a-new-wa-voice-calls-out-democrats-as-the-party-of-the-rich-from-within/
There has also been a consistent migration from Seattle to the eastside since around 1970, and that removed a fiscally conservative but socially progressive demographic. Most of the leftward move in the legislature has been due to the eastside becoming more progressive rather than Seattle’s radical move to the left.
Some other factors have included:
The UW seeking higher tuition from out of state and out of country students due to low state tuition reimbursement which displaced local students, and those out of state/country workers often stayed and were more liberal and wealthier. Plus the UW’s excellent graduate schools attracted students from around the world who often stayed.
A large migration of tech and other workers into Seattle from overseas and from states such as CA with more wealth, very progressive policies which ironically they were fleeing, and very large salaries which displaced local residents in the AMI ladder. Many of these “carpet baggers” made it onto the council. This group of progressives were more interested in social liberalism and virtue signaling than wealth liberalism.
There was the demise of the local R party, and district elections for council, both of which gave more influence to small but organized progressive groups in obtuse primaries in off elections. These groups were able to organize. The lurch of The Seattle Times to the left helped.
Then you have the rise of the urban renters who were pinched by rising AMI and rents, much more transient than traditional Seattleites, and rising housing prices which made it impossible for them to buy unless they left the urban center and north white Seattle which they did not want to do (for example Kent, RV, Pierce or SnoCo where many Millennial couples have gone to buy a SFH). If one thing has remained a constant it is Seattle is still a very racist city. White live north of Sodo, and Blacks live south. Progressivism in Seattle has almost nothing to do with race or racism in part because Seattle is such a white city, and progressive Seattleites even whiter. Transit advocates still cannot understand why the CID did not want a second station at CID because they understand race so little.
What this has done is set up dueling visions of progressivism in Seattle: on one side you have high income wealthy tech and other workers, often from outside Seattle or Puget Sound, who are interested in big ticket social issues like climate change (in the Amazon, not local trees), abortion, sexual orientation, and some other causes like homelessness (as opposed to affordable housing for the working class which has less virtue signaling). However, this group generally owns or can afford expensive rents and so naturally builders have spent the last decade building housing for that AMI, expensive restaurants, shops and so on, so really isn’t concerned about the issues affecting those earning 70% AMI and below. This was the shiny new Seattle pre-pandemic.
The other group is what Tacomee would call The Urbanist group. White, college educated, but lower AMI despite their education and belief in their superior intelligence in a very expensive city. Being college educated, white, but still poor in Seattle was something new when they thought that for sure at some point they would live in Wallingford. Their progressiveness has become almost all about lowering the financial impacts to them: rent caps, renter protections, lower housing costs which they foolishly will come from more market rate housing designed for upper AMI folks, free transit, free stuff, wealth distribution, wealth hatred, and so on. Unfortunately, they live in a city and state with a very regressive tax structure, so any tax increase hits them even harder.
Two other factors have exacerbated this divide: one is the steep increase in Seattleites living alone which generally breeds loneliness and exacerbates high housing costs and a sense of abandonment; and two, an anomaly in which for the first time a group of young people in Seattle, the same age as those at The Urbanist — or even younger — are wealthy, due to salaries and stock options simply because they studied tech or computers in college and not liberal arts and get to live in expensive and cool parts of the city and live the high life.
In the past, mom and dad and their upper middle-class generation through decades of work and saving could be wealthy (and often had moved to the eastside) while the young people were generally poorer and starting out in a city designed for them. Past generations revolted against their parents and their stuffy wealth and middle-class morality. Suddenly their age peers were wealthy, and really flashing that wealth pre-pandemic, in some cases very wealthy earning several hundred thousand dollars/year in their 20’s and buying $1 million + SFH in the cool north Seattle neighborhoods, ordering Door Dash, Uber, working in cool looking buildings with $6 lattes, and that was hard to take for those young folks not rich.
It is hard to know how the pandemic and WFH will change any of this. Brad Gerstner at Altimeter Capital recently predicted that tech companies must follow Meta’s example and lay off 20% of staff because earnings have flattened, and that AI will eliminate 10% of tech jobs EACH YEAR over the next five years. That would certainly even things out. Millennials are ageing and leaving urban cities too. But if you have a city with a lot of (young) wealthy folks and a regressive tax rate and you have an AMI below 70% and want to live alone don’t count on market rate housing aimed at high AMI buyers to help you out. The builders and realtors — who lean extremely right — can’t believe progressives bought that fairy tale.
Since housing costs are visceral, and real and immediate, housing costs have become a hot button issue among The Urbanist crowd, but if AMI stays high so will housing costs. A real problem is our tax structure is regressive, and so every time progressives raise taxes it hits renters and the poor equally hard, or harder, and Seattle is imploding. In cities from San Francisco to NY the remedy when a city gentrifies has been to move to less desirable parts of the city and gentrify those because nothing is worse for poor black residents than to have poor white progressives move in, and then outside the city to areas like Oakland, while the urban core continues to gentrify and gentrify and become wealthier and wealthier, and younger and younger.
Sawant is starting a national advocacy organization. I think she’ll be less involved in local issues.
I never thought ADUs would lead to a lot more housing. You can’t double a low number and get a high number. Vancouver is an example. It has had looser ADU-like zoning for years, and it also allows those courtyard apartments in more sub-village areas. So sub-village areas like Kitsilano have a lot of units: a mixture of small apartments, duplexes, and single-family. But in areas where ADUs have just been added to single-family, it’s only a modest increase in total units citywide. It has other advantages: it gives an option of a lowish-density “almost single-family” that some prefer, and can be larger for families. But it alone can’t generate a lot of units.
There are two separate scales. Loosening zoning is about creating more market-rate housing, which in our situation is only available to the middle class and up. Working-class/low-income/homeless housing requires subsidized units, which upzoning alone does not address.
It didn’t have to be this way. If we’d been looser with housing since prices started going up in 2003, the gap between minimum/working-class wage and market-rate housing wouldn’t have grown so wide. It’s because the gap is so wide now that we need a lot of subsidized housing urgently.
Seattle is getting increasingly limited to people making $100K+, but rents are still in the $2000 range, not $3000-5000 like in the Bay Area. So there’s still a buffer before you’ll have to pay $3000 for a shoebox in Hayward. What’s a local counterpart to Hayward, Federal Way?
Lazarus, what about
is not opposite to
“Constantine is not his son, and this is not a monarchy or oligarchy. I think you overestimate how desperate Constantine is for the governorship, and how much Inslee wants Constantine and no one else as his successor.”
What are you talking about Mike? Who said Constantine was Inslee’s son, or WA state is a monarchy? Or even that Inslee favored Constantine as his successor?
These are ridiculous statements to glean from a Seattle Times article noting Inslee won’t run for reelection.
Ferguson has already raised $4 million while serving as AG which concerns Franz: “In a move that might tighten up the primary for governor next year, Commissioner of Public Lands Hillary Franz’s campaign is pushing for a campaign finance rule change that could significantly limit Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s ability to augment his already bulging political war chest”.
Constantine is the leading Democrat from King Co. which is the most populous county in WA. Constantine has been County Exec. since 2009 and has been reelected by wide margins and is very influential in the King Co. Democrat Party. He has executive experience, and IMO is more dynamic on the campaign than Ferguson. Ferguson has been AG since 2012 but I don’t believe an AG has ever run for and won the governorship.
Constantine has made little secret of his ambitions to be governor. Neither has Ferguson. Personally, I would have liked to see this race in 2022 as I think both are more qualified and smarter than Inslee and I would like to see new blood, and I thought Inslee’s race for President was a disaster and a tremendous waste of state resources so he could hopefully get a plum appointment to a federal agency.
Al could certainly be correct that Constantine had notice Inslee would not run again, and Ferguson’s war chest would certainly be a signal, and so decided to step aside, but that is unusual in politics among very ambitious people. I don’t know too many county execs who think this is it, I have reached my political summit.
I think Constantine would defeat Ferguson, but it could be internecine warfare. At this point I think Constantine would be a better governor. If I were advising Constantine, and he wants to be governor, I would tell him now is the time to run because he is close to my age (we were in the same law school class, and ironically Ferguson was in the law firm I started at K&L Gates) and I think he would win. To date Inslee hasn’t expressed a preference one way or the other, and he didn’t appoint Ferguson, Ferguson ran a separate campaign for AG.
Whom Inslee would support I don’t know, and what impact his endorsement would have. Neither Ferguson nor Constantine are Inslee’s sons, figuratively or literally, and WA state is not a monarchy and Inslee does not get to select his successor although the next governor will likely be a D. Personally I would like to see a primary between Constantine and Ferguson rather than either one just being anointed as the next governor.
Actually, Gregoire had been AG before winning the race for governor.
“What are you talking about Mike? Who said Constantine was Inslee’s son, or WA state is a monarchy? Or even that Inslee favored Constantine as his successor?”
Sorry, I misunderstood your first comment.
The Brightline West might get federal funding (From Las Vegas to Victorville). Though it does seem a bit odd until a further connection to Rancho Cucamonga.
I do find it pretty interesting that they no longer trust that the CAHSR will reach Palmdale to Los Angeles and have changed from a Victorville to Palmdale future extension to a Victorville to Rancho Cucamonga one to reach Metrolink. (https://www.railwayage.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Map.png)
I think the bigger factor is simply that Rancho Cucamonga is near the I-10/I-15 junction and is pretty close to Ontario Airport and the end of the Gold Line. The location is reachable from places like Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties in addition to East LA and San Bernardino Counties. Unlike business travel, Las Vegas is a big getaway from SoCal so having a train to eliminate the horrific trek up I-15 is enticing. I guess the Brightline people did a cost-benefit analysis and determined that going the extra 30 miles was better than going 50 miles to Palmdale – with probably lower costs and a better market location.
Of course Palmdale would be good if California HSR customers from Northern California transferred — but the total trip from say San Jose to Las Vegas would be quite far.
Keep in mind too that California HSR is supposed to go to Ontario eventually. So when/if it ever happens in something like 20-40 years connecting Brightline would be relatively easy — and Brightline could have been operating for decades by that point.
They may also have concluded they have a better chance of interlining onto existing rail through Rancho Cucamonga? The yellow line on WL’s map will be joint operation with LA Metro, not standalone ROW, I’d imagine.
The big ridership is if Brightline can run a train all the way to Union Station, for a 1 seat ride to Las Vegas. Like in Florida (and same as the TGV, which was also explicitly designed to compete against air travel), Brightline will want to have both suburban stations that will look like airports from an access standpoint (lots of parking, kiss & rides, and bus integration) in addition to urban stations. Victorville will be their initial suburban station, but they will want to get into LA’s Union station (or a comparable urban station)
This means that they have to build something close to HSR trackage through fairly narrow, steep and S-shaped Cajon pass, while threading around and over two railroads, one of which has two widely separated trackways, I-15, and original US66.
This will cost several billion dollars more than a fairly flat extension from Victorville to Palmdale. I am very skeptical they can reach Rancho Cucamonga for less than five or six billion. There’s a lot of land to be acquired between Summit and the CA210 crossing. And then it’s all built up to Rancho.
Of course if there is no connection at Palmdale, an extension that way would be mostly worthless, so they have to do something to get closer to their customers. If one drives to Victorville, one might as well drive the rest of the way, especially if there are two or more in the car.
Still, they have a huge engineering problem ahead.
Starting today, the monorail is free to children under 18. But only if they have a youth ORCA card. Otherwise they pay the normal youth fare of $1.75.
My question – seeing as how the major agencies are free for kids no strings attached, how many youths will still even have their ORCA card? This seems like a PR stunt by the monorail to look good while effectively not changing their behavior.
I talked with PT about this. They said they would “prefer” kids have an orca. I assume it is about reimbursement and tracking. Seems like a stupid barrier if they were to enforce it.
A note on how Amazon return-to-office may affect housing prices in the region:
I don’t see as big an impact as between 2012-2018. That boom was started by Amazon opening a large headquarters and launching AWS, which changed the market in all industries. Other tech companies then set up Seattle offices. All that led to an unprecedented increase in the number of jobs, and Seattle built only 9 housing units for every 12 additional jobs. That’s what caused housing prices to rise ultra-rapidly.
Currently what we’re seeing is Amazon recalling existing employees back to the office. These are people who did work in the office in 2019, so it’s returning to a pre-pandemic level, not rising beyond it. And Amazon is alternating between layoffs and modest growth — not 2010s-style high growth. So a few people who moved beyond commuting distance since 2020 may be looking for an apartment in Seattle as a short-term stopgap, but I don’t see it as many people. It’s like the argument that hordes of Californians are fleeing to Texas and Florida, when actually they’re mostly going to the West Coast and and near-west states like they always have, and the number of people moving is small compared to the number staying in California.
According to The Seattle Times, 22,000 Amazon employees signed a petition opposing having to return to the office. That won’t build morale as Amazon continues layoffs. Jassy’s job is on the line, and I think he is desperate. The stock has gone from 185 to 102 under Jassy, and revenue and profits have both plummeted. I haven’t seen any reports about employee productivity during WFH, although the consensus is Amazon is staff heavy and needs to cut big time like Meta. At what point does Bezos return just to save his fortune?
Interestingly, two of the concerns the employees who signed the petition raised was downtown safety and Covid. According to one employee, Amazon promised employees they would not be crammed together randomly in tight working conditions like pre-pandemic, but that is exactly what they found when they returned to the office. Mixing 55,000 employees in offices and transit could be a super spreading event. According to an Amazon spokesperson, those employees with documented immune compromised systems will not be required to commute to the office. I wonder how many staff will wear masks in the office.
I was talking to two lawyers in two different Seattle law firms, one the largest, and both said attorney billables and receivables have never been higher than with WFH, and the largest firm plans to reduce its office space 60% when its lease expires in two years because even if they demanded the attorneys and paralegals won’t return to the office, at least not on a consistent basis.
Harrell and the DSA are hoping this revitalizes downtown Seattle, although it makes 55,000 Amazon employee’s lives much less pleasant, but I have my doubts. Maybe if some of these employees had been commuting to downtown Seattle for pleasure while WFH I could see it, but it sounds like they moved to the boonies to buy a SFH and never looked back.
The broadcast talked about how rent will go up in certain neighborhoods such as Ballard, Queen Anne, Greenlake, and Magnolia; and how outer suburbs property market has cooled.
Now that Big Tech has spoken, how long will it take for Metro to run more buses, which are going to be more crowded?
“Mixing 55,000 employees in offices and transit could be a super spreading event.”
Yet transit hasn’t been a superspreader for three years. It would have happened by now, especially in countries that have far higher rates of transit use than here. Part of it is masking, part of it is the air-circulation systems replacing the air up to every three minutes, part of it is short 10-20 minute trips so you aren’t with a high spreader for very long, and part of it is greater reluctance to share a seat with a stranger, or to mask if doing so.
From the article:
“What’s it like to be told that you’re not just out of a job, but that your bosses think your job can be done by AI? Tech workers are about to find out.
and so are the rest of us. We’re screwed,
and not for the reasons you think.
When I read technical descriptions of AI neural networks that have the words “state of the art” in them, a red flag goes up immediately. Claims of application development without programmers have existed for years. I’ve administrated and used various permutations of said “productivity” software. Some very well constructed, some just okay, and some just downright abusive. These technical ‘solutions’ move in fits and starts, and are not going to be born whole from the bowels of some software company selling snake oil solutions.
You want a computer system that behaves like a human brain, then what you just might end up with is a neurotic computer.
If CEOs want to hand decision making over to that type of tech solution, then they deserve what they get.
The problem is, what other things come from said bowels?
When you ask CGPT things like “what are the root causes of homelessness?” It is surprisingly good at creating a B+ 1-pagers. Because it is just regurgitating human thought culled from papers and websites.
When you ask it to program simple things like “create a month variable from this sample code from 2020 to present” its surprisingly shit. I would have expected the opposite. I bet it isn’t shit in 6 months though…
The unfortunate incident with the damage done to the Westlake Center LR station being ascribed to the work done by a contractor in removing a historic street clock, as part of the larger project on Pine Street, reminded me of all the other street clocks that once adorned our sidewalks. Just this past weekend my spouse and I and a couple of friends were admiring the Carroll’s clock over at the MOHAI location. (Does anyone know if this particular one ever got restored after the workings were stolen back when MOHAI was at the old spot by the Arboretum?*) I wonder if younger generations have the same appreciation for such artistic fixtures at all these days tbh. Anyway, here are some other clocks some of you fellow Seattle old-timers may be familiar with. Enjoy!
*2009 article from the Seattle Times’ archive:
They weren’t removing a clock. There was no clock there when the accident happened.
So the initial reports were incorrect?
Btw, I don’t mean to dismiss your overall comment. I like your appreciation for local history.
As far as if the first reports of removing a clock were incorrect, let’s back up. What’s the exact location of where this clock was? Which corner? I’ve now read it took place at a couple of different locations.
I think I read somewhere that they had removed the clock from their original location, and they were perhaps prepping the sidewalk to reinstall the clock in front of their new, Ben Bridge, location?
Ben Bridge was going to install their old, historic clock in front of their new flagship store on the NE corner of 5th and Pine.
The upper part of the old art click had been removed. They were apparently removing the base of the old art clock with jackhammers to prep for the new installation. Not smart.
Laz, that’s what I thought. The latest Nov 2022 streetview shows no clock there. They weren’t removing a clock. And I think you mean the SE corner of 5th and Pine.
They key here for me is did someone at the City grant them a permit?
That’s what confused me about the early reports because I was pretty sure that that particular clock had already been removed. My office isn’t far from there and I mostly work remotely but I do occasionally have to go into our office, so I was questioning what clock the reports were talking about. I knew I could depend on my fellow STB commenters for tracking down the details.
Sam, yeah, it’s all good. :)
The Times article said they were moving a clock. That could be any stage of the move.
You are correct. SE corner of Pine and 5th. I always get confused downtown because the street grid isn’t aligned with the cardinal directions.
The hole where the art clock used to be is under the orange delineator posts.
Well after doing some digging I couldn’t find the permit for the “permanent use of ROW” on the city of Seattle permitting site for the 501 Pine address (nor the 1524 5th address). But I did find these two documents presented to the Landmarks Preservation Board, one of which has the site plan drawing for the Ben Bridge clock’s relocation as well as a detailed structural drawing of the support column’s footing.
(Note: These are direct .pdf file inks.)
Looks like another dreaded plinth disaster…
This BART new service plan is happening! They have seen such a decline in train overcrowding at peak hours that they are balancing the service across all hours of the day including weekends.
Could Metro balance their service by taking from peak to increase off-peak frequency?
It has been doing that ever since 2020.
And, no Mike, for the most part, they haven’t. That’s why I asked the question.
“The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has publicly identified the two men fatally shot over the weekend at Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park.”
“The SPD has investigated 11 homicides so far this year, according to the department’s crime dashboard. At least eight shootings have been reported in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2023.”
IIRC some on this blog suggested I was exaggerating when I posted Seattle parks could be dangerous when discussing converting golf courses to parks to allow young kids to play unsupervised in, and actually mentioned Cal Anderson Park as a park that has been cleaned up and is safe.
I also remember some stating Capitol Hill was very safe. If you live near Capitol Hill or visit stay safe, and I would avoid Cal Anderson Park at night completely, and maybe during the day as well. It is a shame when very urban areas don’t have green spaces that are safe to visit or use when that same urbanism removes any green spaces on private lots. Maybe this is why the King 5 story did not mention Capitol Hill as a neighborhood returning Amazon workers were considering renting in.
Somehow I don’t see a lot of eastsiders taking East Link to Capitol Hill, certainly at night, although some on this blog think they will. Eastsiders have a heightened fear of being shot, and the reality is there are better restaurants on the eastside.
On the bright side, Westneat in his article today states, “The new data also captures another benefit of clearing the most dangerous encampments: Shootings have been cut in half”, although half of the homeless refuse congregate shelters. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-says-the-bad-times-are-easing-do-you-feel-it/
Overall, the total gun death rate for rural communities—when age-adjusted per 100,000 people—was 40 percent higher than it was for large metropolitan areas in 2020.
Don’t let your wife drive through Eatonville. She’s likely to get shot. Or something.
One murder in Eatonville in the last 14 years. The trick with the Center For American Progress article is it uses counties to measure “gun violence”, so for example Chicago which is in Cook Co. is 79th in the nation because the surrounding suburbs have a very low gun violence rate. Rural counties have smaller populations so any “gun violence” has a more significant effect on the rate of gun violence.
Here is a link to the FBI’s statistics on murder and other crime in U.S. cities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_crime_rate Not surprisingly more suburban cities have lower murder rates and thus bring down the murder rates for cities, especially if the surrounding county has a large population. Even though the CAP article on gun violence in Cook Co. shows it around 79th in the U.S. for counties, the FBI statistics show Chicago near the top for murder rates despite Chicago’s very high population, which we already knew. Same with Oakland.
Statistically Seattle is pretty low, but then Seattle is a very large and mostly suburban city. As the Seattle Times’ article points out, this year 8/11 of murders in Seattle have been in Capitol Hill, a very high rate, so if there is a neighborhood to avoid it is Capitol Hill, and certainly Cal Anderson Park that for years has been too dangerous to visit at night, and even the day during the encampments.
I love Tacoma, but honestly the chances of getting shot there have been rising for years. The chances of getting shot in Gig Harbor are way, way less.
The worst thing Liberals can do is roll out articles or studies that point out the City is safer than the Country in the USA, or other crazy stuff cooked up at a college campus. First of all, I doubt they’re true, and second, who cares? If People’s Park (Hilltop) makes visitors feel unsafe, not to mention shoppers at the UN-Safeway a few blocks away, it doesn’t much matter what’s happening out in the sticks down County.
The number one reason things won’t change in Greater Seattle is folks not admitting things are bad. Starting with the toy streetcar Sound Transit is currently building around Hilltop. It goes nowhere, is millions of budget, and a year overdue. Any real public transit supporter wouldn’t stand for it.
Tacoma has a drug problem. A crime problem. Bad public transit. An unprofessional police force. An environmental disaster from homeless people pooping everywhere (No, I’m not making this up, but I wish it wasn’t… water quality is really suffering)
Saying it’s not so bad? Or things are worse in West Virginia? The saddest truth is…. Liberals don’t really want change. It’s easier to talk about silly ideas that have no chance of happening than to compromise, or admit you’re wrong about some things (starting with bad Sound Transit projects) and work towards solutions.
Tacoma is pretty safe in my opinion as a long time resident (25 years) who was born and raised there. It has highs and lows, but never has reached the levela of Tacoma’s crime rate had in the 80s where it became referred to as “Tacompton”. The crime rate has actually decreased a lot since the 2000s when you look at the data.
Along with most crime that happens is targeted rather than random. To me, it’s the issue of a select few hot spots like in Seattle too that overshadow the fact that said cities are relatively safe when you parse our the raw data.
” If you live near Capitol Hill or visit stay safe, and I would avoid Cal Anderson Park at night completely, and maybe during the day as well.”
“As the Seattle Times’ article points out, this year 8/11 of murders in Seattle have been in Capitol Hill, a very high rate, so if there is a neighborhood to avoid it is Capitol Hill, and certainly Cal Anderson Park that for years has been too dangerous to visit at night, and even the day during the encampments.”
Again, you’re wildly overexaggerating things. You focus on the 8 people killed on Capitol Hill and ignore the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t killed or assaulted or harrassed. I’ve lived in Capitol Hill or the U-District almost continuously since 1985, and I occasionally hear gunshots or read about them in the paper but I’ve never seen one. I’ve only been assaulted or near-assaulted three times, the last in the early 2000s, and none of them were in those neighborhoods.
I often walk through Cal Anderson Park from the Link station to the southern end, both daytime and evening, both during CHOP and at other times, and I’ve never had problems or seen people being violent. When I finished my Link Day 3 research on a sunny Monday afternoon, I walked through the park and saw hundreds of people playing basketball, walking their dogs, throwing frisbees, sitting on the ballfield, or having a gathering of some kind at the fountain.
In the evening I see people playing bicycle polo, skateboarding, soccer, baseball, or having a quiet walk. When it’s drizzling I see hardly anybody at all.
I understand that some people don’t want to go to neighborhoods that have had even a single shooting. There have been people who don’t want to go to Seattle or certain Seattle neighborhoods my entire life. But there are other people who have lived in those neighborhoods for decades and are able to have a regular life and want to remain there. Seattle has the problems that many American cities have, and it’s not anywhere near the worst. The things you read about are occasional, and don’t happen to most people most of the time, even when they live there for years.
The reason people from outside the neighborhood take Link to Capitol Hill are to go to the clubs, bars, shopping, restaurants, the college, Seattle U, to attend social events, to attend demonstrations like the Women’s March, and to visit friends. When the Vogue was open, staff said Saturday nights were “mostly suburban people”. And for those who travel mostly by transit, a park next to a station is a draw. For instance, Cal Anderson Park, Ravenna Park, and Lincoln Park on RapidRide C.
“Now a key tenant of the upscale Westfield Mall on San Francisco’s Market Street has announced plans to close the store and a nearby outlet.
“Nordstrom (JWN) – Get Free Report told the San Francisco Standard it will leave the area this summer when its current leases expire.
“The company told employees in an email that “the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully,” the Standard reported.”
Granted, Market St. is probably the worst part of downtown SF today, but this was Norm Rice’s biggest concern in the early 1990’s when trying to revitalize Westlake Center, and is Bruce Harrell’s biggest concern today. Westlake and 5th Ave. are the key retail areas downtown, and have suffered large retail losses, including Nike (that ironically will be opening a flagship store in Factoria Mall). If Nordstrom leaves — especially after Macy’s — I think that will make revitalizing downtown Seattle retail almost impossible, especially when Northgate Mall opens and is upstream of downtown for shoppers.
I think this concern is a major reason why Harrell and the DSA oppose ANY downtown street disruption for DSTT2 near this area including the midtown station.
Meanwhile in Florida, Brightline is being sued by Martin County businesses over a drawbridge. https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/martin-county/2023/05/01/marine-businesses-sue-army-corps-others-for-railroad-bridge-control/70162743007/
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