Stephen Fesler

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.
Sound Transit's streetcar in Downtown Tacoma. Work on Tacoma's Hilltop streetcar extension continues, but further extensions are shelved until Sound Transit grapples with Covid-related budget impacts. (Doug Trumm)
Sound Transit is pursuing introduction of Tacoma Link fares. The 1.6-mile streetcar line has operated fare-free since 2003 when it opened. But an extension of the line is set to open next year to the Hilltop Neighborhood, leading the agency to come up with a sustainable way to fund...
Major changes to bus routes focused in North Seattle and other North End areas are coming in the fall to coincide with the opening of the Northgate Link extension. Over 20 existing King County Metro routes are affected by the changes, which means a big shakeup to local and...
AFFH: The Biden administration is bringing back the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule ($). TOD zoning: The Crenshaw Line moves forward in Los Angeles and Inglewood could rezone around stations. Bike Boise: Separated bike lanes could be coming to Boise. A bubble?: Is America in a housing bubble? Population decline issues: What are...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWsGBRdK2N0 Jason Slaughter of Not Just Bikes talks suburbs and how not all are the same. Slaughter particularly emphasizes how streetcar suburbs and suburbs that are not car-dependent can offer a good option to people with a variety of amenities while not living in the central city. Slaughter focuses on...
https://youtu.be/_7v6YTAZ9MQ Seattle Mayoral candidate Colleen Echohawk joined The Urbanist for the March monthly meetup. During the meeting, she discussed wide-ranging priorities that she would pursue if she becomes the city's next mayor.
Fare hikes are on the way for state ferry riders. Prices could rise 2.5% in October of this year and then be followed by another 2.5% increase in October 2022 under an alternative preferred by the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC). State transportation officials need to fill a financial...
https://youtu.be/e0naL8eJmLA Highways are the bane of cities creating all kinds of awful pollution, including noise pollution. To mitigate noise, sound barrier walls have been installed in some areas. However, they’re by no means a panacea and can make noise pollution worse in some cases. Cheddar explains the problem and other...
https://youtu.be/_g2CaF12xxw Vox tells the story of how two women led movements to plant street trees and commission community gardens in New York City in a period of deep disinvestment. Their legacies still live on today.