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  • housing now logo2

    Public Finance Gaining Steam

    In the heat of ongoing debates over the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) recommendations, single family zoning, and rent control, it sometimes seems like there is little consensus on clear next steps for affordable housing policy. Yet one progressive solution has been gaining steam while largely flying under the radar: enhanced public financing of affordable housing. Housing Now Seattle has been meeting for months with councilmember, candidates, advisers, and experts. There is a clear and growing consensus supporting public financing for affordable housing, yet the trend has slipped under the radar. It’s time that public finance receives the attention it deserves. We need to elevate attention to this idea so we can turn this growing consensus into more affordable housing. Why public finance? Public finance has long been a tool to enable publicly subsidized projects. When the project is built, rents and subsidies are used to repay loans. Meanwhile, ...
  • Trafalgar Square. Photo by Sarah Oberklaid

    Closing Trafalgar Square To Traffic

    Framed by grand buildings, Trafalgar Square, was up until the mid-1990s choked by traffic which encircled its edges on four sides. The historic design by Sir Charles Barry in the 1840s which created the square as a central island, had evolved into a traffic roundabout that impeded safe pedestrian movements throughout the public space and surrounding buildings. Pedestrians would stick to the edges, experience delays at pedestrian crossings, struggling to cross the surrounding wide and busy streets. The redevelopment of the World Heritage Site in 2003, transformed the heart of London, improving pedestrian access, traffic flow, and enhancing the experience of the architecture, monuments and the public space itself. Designed by W.S. Atkins and Foster and Partners in 2003, additional public space was created at Trafalgar Square by removing the four lane road with east-bound traffic on the northern side. The former road space was transformed into a pedestrian terrace, which ...
  • Sunday Video: Downtown

    Sunday Video: Downtown

    Because Macklemore. Throwing up the West Side as we tear in the air Stopping by Pike Place, throwing fish to a player Downtown, downtown (Downtown) The Seattle singer knocks out another great funky musical hit that's all about Seattle love. Footage was shot largely on the streets of Spokane — over the mountains just yonder — but some scenes feature the old hometown, too. The five-minute video is a raucous expression of the more gritty and colorful urbanism found in our littler sister city. She is a beaut!
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    What We're Reading: Tides of Change

    Packing it in: Despite efforts to spread out development and population growth in Washington, D.C. (the city), most of that has been focused in the central portion of the city. Road to fame: The history of making the Los Angeles Metro "M" the deeply famous symbol it is today. 1%ing: American tax policy on housing subsidies benefit the richest Americans more than the poor, working, and middle class. Map of the Week: A squishy rubber ball may be one way to map your path across the city. Farewell, so long: Pronto's long-time executive director, Holly Houser, is moving on to new things, but she'll still have a hand in the local bikeshare for now. Sleepless in Seattle: Airbnb is highly popular in Seattle, but it is also taking a lot of housing off of the market. Less institutional: The future jail may look and work a lot more like a ...
  • Wallingford Rowhouses

    Fridaygram: Wallingford Rowhouses

    Over the weekend, I drove through Wallingford after picking up some groceries and along the way one particular row of houses caught my eye. At first glance, I thought they were just some nice brick homes that all happened to look similar. But upon closer examination, I realized that lining the street was four attached houses smack dab in the middle of a single-family area. Shocked by this rare sighting, I immediately stopped the car in the middle of the following intersection and told my passenger that I had to capture an image of it. I got out my camera phone and took closer to a half-dozen photographs to memorialize the event. Once I got home, I decided to confirm my assumptions and was even more surprised with my findings. The site upon which the homes sit is relatively small with only 25,000 square feet to put into use. Yet, three ...
  • Ferry Route Map

    Kitsap Transit Plans to Revive High Speed Ferries

    Kitsap Transit plans to begin high speed foot ferry service between western Puget Sound and Seattle within the next few years. Trips between Bremerton and Seattle would be 25 to 30 minutes faster than the current car ferry run, and the agency's business plan outlines ideas for similar service to the unincorporated communities of Kingston and Southworth. If the project proves sustainable, unlike many previous efforts, it will reinforce economic connections across Puget Sound and provide a boost to small communities on the peninsula. Puget Sound ferries date back over 100 years, beginning with a ragtag collection of private services known as the Mosquito Fleet. Over time the companies merged, and by the 1930s the Black Ball Line was the sole operator. It introduced car-carrying ferries around the same time, purchased from San Francisco companies as the Bay Area began building bridges. After WWII, Black Ball Line cut service and ...
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    Route-Level Details of Recommended U-Link Bus Restructures

    King County Metro Transit quietly released final recommendations for a major network change last night. Spurred on by the introduction of light rail to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in early 2015, Metro will revise 27 routes, delete 7, and debut 5 new routes (depending upon how you count). This comes on the heels of a nearly year-long process of public review that started with an ambitious plan to revise the transit network in North Seattle, Central Seattle, and the Eastside. But following overwhelming concerns by the public, most of the big ideas for network changes were shelved in the most recent iteration. The proposal at hand now focuses on reorienting as much service in Northeast Seattle and through-routes of the University District toward the future University of Washington Station. The idea here is that light rail service to Downtown Seattle will save riders time over one-seat bus ...
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