Stephen Fesler

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.
A Metro bus operating on a snowy Beacon Hill. (Owen Pickford)
Updates to King County Metro's key policy documents have been delayed due to Covid-induced impacts, but the agency hopes to complete them this year to chart the agency's service future. The trio of key policy documents include the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation, Service Guidelines, and Metro Connects. Each... China has been heavily focused on global infrastructure initiatives through its Belt and Road strategy to increase the country’s prosperity and influence. A key project in Pakistan, however, has hit a snag and stalled out, a rarity in China’s global development strategy. Bloomberg Quicktake explores this case.
A snowy Beacon Hill near the local light rail station. (Owen Pickford)
Repeal Faircloth: The Faircloth Amendment is still on the books. What does that mean for public housing? Parked out: Car ownership rates have peaked in Seattle, but only one other of the ten densest major cities in America has a higher rate of car ownership ($). Helmet review begins: King County...
An inside view of the Seattle operations and maintenance facility. (Sound Transit)
Project cost increases are hitting most of the Sound Transit capital expansion portfolio with few exceptions. Agency staff briefed boardmembers last week with deeper details on project cost escalations for the Operations and Maintenance Facility South (OMFS) and the North Bus Base, with the most wild increases coming from... Super commuting was on the up and up prior to the pandemic. Why are people doing it, who is doing it, and what can planning do to reduce it? Dave Amos explores those questions in this short video.
New elevated section of track near Northgate Station with light rail vehicle testing. (Sound Transit)
The critical window for light rail vehicle (LRV) burn-in and testing is still tight for Sound Transit's Northgate Link extension. Any further loss of time and problems could mean a delay to the start of service to Northgate in the fall. In a briefing last week, agency staff walked...
Anti-discrimination policy: The Biden administration's housing department is barring anti-LGBTQ discrimination practices in the housing market. Good, not great: Streetsblog says House Congressional support for transit is good but not great. It's about lending: Sightline argues that the problem with American housing policy is that it's not about housing, it's about... Vox examines how building more highways just leads to more congestion rather than solving any particular transportation problem.