Amazon, corporate welfare king: Amazon threw in the towel on a new branch office at Long Island City in New York because the company could not get its way to receive government handouts to cushion shareholder profits ($). That push to block handouts was partially led by advocates from Seattle. In the fallout, Amazon reveals that they will soon cap out jobs in Seattle ($). Meanwhile, the company will not pay a penny in federal taxes, despite record breaking profits in 2018. Richard Florida says that this debacle should push cities and states to enter into compacts to reject corporate welfare.

Promise of midblock crossings: Philadelphia shows how adding midblock pedestrian crossing can reorient the city in favor of pedestrians.

Edmonds housing backlash: A backlash to a housing strategy in Edmonds may stall an effort to make space for more people and housing ($).

Leading the charge: Hilary Franz, Washington’s Public Lands Commissioner, has a bold plan to save forests from wildfires, create jobs, and build affordable housing.

Cross-country HSR: It’s possible to replace cross-country air travel with high-speed rail.

Mukilteo’s big crook: Anti-taxer Tim Eyman has been caught shoplifting ($).

Unintentional parking reformers?: Knowing or unknowing, but national Republicans pushed through a tax expenditure bill last year that apparently increases the cost for parking lots.

F on shoveling: Former Mayor Mike McGinn says that Seattle should get an F for snow shoveling.

Obstacle to ADUs: Sightline argues that parking requirements for accessory dwelling units are “climate killers” and overly burdensome.

Falling tax rates: Property taxes will fall for the first time in a long time in many King County cities ($).

CAHSR still moving ahead: California Gavin Newsom bungled his proposal to temporarily scale-back his state’s high-speed rail program this week. Robert Cruickshank says that the program should not stall.

Concerned about gentrification: Business owners in the University District still oppose land use changes in the neighborhood.

Fare-free transit debate: Think-tank Transit Center asks if transit should be free.

Schwebebahn: CityLab profiles Wuppertal, Germany’s odd suspended railway transit system known as the “Schwebebahn”.

End of an era: Seattle Councilmember Mike O’Brien will not run for reelection ($).

WA’s head biking apostle: Crosscut profiles Barb Chamberlain who is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s hardworking active transportation program director.

Going green: Oregon has unveiled a cap-and-trade bill to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Setting the bar: On the back end of Capitol Hill, there is a very interesting infill townhouse development proposed.

Thwarting anti-vaxxers: Washington could preempt personal objections to certain vaccinations.

Compounding disaster: Richard Florida explains how natural disasters can lead to gentrification.

Promise of fourplexes: Legalizing fourplexes in much of Portland could reduce displacement risk, according to the city’s analysis.

Win them back: How transit agencies could win back their riders.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.