A big service change is headed to Snohomish County bus service in March. Community Transit will add a total of 7,600 new service hours translating to 40 new daily trips to boost weekday frequencies on midday service and increase the span of service deeper in the evenings on weekday and Saturdays. With the service change, Community Transit is poised to improve connections and balance frequencies. The changes will go in effect on March 12th.
During his State of the City speech, Mayor Murray mentioned that 67 people per day moved to Seattle in 2016. If accurate, that would suggest Seattle’s population grew by 24,455 people in 2016. Now since Seattle’s population was already estimated at 686,800 as of April 1, 2016, it’d be safe to extrapolate that Seattle crossed the 700,000 mark at some point in late 2016.
Crossing the 700,000 mark may not seem like a big deal to folks who aren’t density fans, but I’d argue it’s cause for celebration. The 2010 Census pegged Seattle at just 608,660, meaning we’ve grown by nearly 100,000 new people in just six years. That’s a lucky thing considering how fast our economy has grown. And for the density folks, that means Seattle’s density is now around 8,350 residents per square mile, meaning we likely passed the city of Los Angeles in density while we were at it.
If Seattle didn’t make room for those people, then many more folks were likely to settle in outer suburbs leading to worsening traffic, pollution, and climate impacts. Or alternatively, our lack of housing and even worse housing price spikes may have driven that economic growth away from our region. Either outcome–increased suburban sprawl or a stalled economic engine–is not great for our city. So, fortunately, Seattle was able to welcome more people.
Of course there’s also the question: Did we grow our housing stock enough? Even setting a record for new units in 2015, prices still increased staggeringly. In July 2016, Mike Rosenberg reported on Zillow data that showed Seattle leading the nation in rent increases for the past year:
Do you want to see something sad? According to a slide prepared for a meeting of largely anti-HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) people, the HALA.consider.it site was largely dominated (as of last month) by voices opposing changes that will allow more affordable housing.
Do you want to see something awesome? After an apparent ‘urbanist’ call to action, the site has largely been dominated by voices supporting changes that will allow for more affordable housing options in Seattle.
Take a gander at Sound Transit’s Main Street tunnel portal and construction site in Bellevue where a tunnel boring machine will eventually be launched to dig through the city center.
Derailed: Caltrain appears to be in the crosshairs of the federal government over funding.
End of PUBLIC: After a short two years, PUBLIC Bikes is closing up shop in Capitol Hill.
Incongruent: Why is Portland’s transit head advocating for more highways?
Fix 65th: NE 65th St is poised to get some safety improvements this year with more to come in 2018 and 2019.
First Hill high-rise: The Madison Street McDonald’s location on First Hill is headed for demolition to make way for a 17-story mixed-use project.
Unsafe locations: Far too many schools are getting built near highways in America.
New sounding board: A new renters’ commission is a real possibility for Seattle giving more voice to renter issues.
Lagging: Despite a big population boom in Atlanta, transit growth is lagging far behind.
Little progress: Environmental issues are taking a backseat in the Washington State Legislature with only a few big policy bills moving forward.
Rename Jackson: The case for Seattle to dump “Jackson Street” in honor of Andrew Jackson and name it after Joe Jackson.
Falling ridership: What’s behind the decline in transit use in America?
Kicked to the curb: A strip mall owner in Wyoming asked to have a bus stop removed and it appears that the local transit agency is willing to go along with the request.
Map of the Week: Cape Town’s informal minibus network mapped.
“But they ain’t hardly gave him a chance yet!”
I chuckled ruefully. At this point my use for such a perspective is limited. A chance? What should I expect from a man who’s tolerant–downright enthusiastic–about sexual assault, subjugation of women and people of color, religious discrimination, violation of due process, women’s bodily rights, who encourages assault toward women and minorities at his rallies, who in a few days has relegated most of the country to second-class citizens and turned the clock back on social progress several decades… a chance? I’m not even that nice, and I’m Nathan! I looked askance at Detroit Fred, the speaker of the above line.
Conservative friends, understand that my frustration is not directed toward you. I do not want all my friends to think the same as me. The above to me are political issues only in the sense that they violate the Constitution. For me they transcend the political.
The net I lovingly cast about me includes a friend group wider than anyone else’s I know. The attendees at my “first and last” birthday party last year included a hundred or two of my favorite actors, artists, engineers, nurses, authors, professors, cooks, city and county government employees, social justice workers, hairdressers, millionaires, students, playwrights, bus drivers, photographers, storytellers, architects, musicians, bankers, dishwashers, community organizers, poets, businessmen and women, filmmakers, administrators and homeless people. The only connection points linking them were that they knew me, and that they respected kindness.
The City of Redmond is conducting a bus and rail integration planning effort for the future light rail extension to Downtown Redmond. Sound Transit, the agency responsible for expanding regional high-capacity transit, is expected to extend its East Link light rail line to Downtown Redmond by 2024. The 3.7-mile, two-stop extension, planned under the Sound Transit 3 expansion program, was identified as at-grade and elevated line. The extension would continue northward from Overlake, the area best known as Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, following the eastern side of SR-520 toward Redmond Way and then turn westward to Downtown Redmond. The extension is expected to generate between 7,000 and 9,000 daily riders and cost something on the order of $949 million to $1.016 billion.
In January, Redmond published four alternative station concepts for its future downtown stop and solicited feedback from the public. That outreach effort included an online survey and a public open house that garnered more than 400 people to share their views on the concepts. Two of the concepts would include options for an elevated station as opposed to the at-grade proposal that Sound Transit put forward in its Sound Transit 3 plan. The other two options would be in line with Sound Transit’s at-grade preference.
Immigrants and refugees have been in the spotlight recently as targets of President Donald Trump and the so-called “alt-right” (i.e., white supremacists). From the beginning of his campaign to his first days in office, Trump has framed immigrants and refugees as threats to the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. These characterizations could not be further from the truth.
Scientific American recently published an article detailing several studies on the relationship between immigration and crime. The findings were clear. “Cities and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have lower rates of crime and violence, all else being equal,” according to Charis E. Kubrin of University of California, Irvine, and Graham Ousey, College of William and Mary.
“Although there are always individual exceptions, the literature demonstrates that immigrants commit fewer crimes, on average, than native-born Americans. Also, large cities with substantial immigrant populations have lower crime rates, on average, than those with minimal immigrant populations,” said Robert Adelman, University at Buffalo, and Lesley Reid, University of Alabama.