Archive for February, 2009

The Twilight Exit Enters The Heart Of The CD

At its former location at 22nd and Madison, the Twilight Exit was a pioneer in  the gentrifying Miller Park neighborhood on the northern fringes of the Central District.  But as often happens, the pioneer became a victim of the neighborhood evolution that it helped to bring about:  imminent redevelopment forced a move. The Twilight’s new […]

Location Location Location

This view got me to thinking that if I was going to develop a highrise luxury condo/hotel, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t give the thumbs up to a site that had a hulking, 479 foot tall concrete bunker directly across the alley to the southwest.  It’s not like that was the last available infill site […]

A Humble Rebuttal

I recently subscribed to Crosscut in the hope that I’d have daily access to thoughtful views to the right of my own. There’s value in stretching your thinking, right? Well, imagine my dismay this morning when I read the stinking pile of doo doo that one Kent Kammerer put out in his piece, “Beware greens […]

More Tasty Pike/Pine Infill

[ Proposed mixed-used infill project at 1424 11th Ave; rendering:  Weinstein A|U ] Pike/Pine has more examples of small-scale urban infill done right than any other neighborhood in Seattle, and Liz Dunn’s latest, shown above, promises to continue that trend.  Designed by Weinstein A|U — the same firm that designed Dunn’s Agnes Lofts just around […]

A Candle That Burns Twice As Bright…

…burns half as long. Almost a year ago I wrote, “Pb Elemental is on fire.  But will they go down in flames?”  The candle may not be out, but it appears to be flickering: the newly renovated Pb Elemental HQ is up for sale. There are those for whom the downfall of Pb is food […]

The Street Is Always Greener On The Other Side

Creating Transit-Oriented Communities Bill Dies In House Committee (But Lives Again)

Publicola has the scoop. UPDATE:  As I should have added (and was noted in the Publicola post), the fact that the bill didn’t make it out of committee does not mean it’s dead for good.  Proponents of the bill will continue to work with legislators toward a mutually agreeable solution. UPDATE 2:  The house bill made it out of committee […]

Don’t Forget Your Pitchforks

Not that I condone such behavior… But here’s the deal:   Tonight Sally Clark is holding a community workshop on the proposed “Creating Transit Oriented Communities” Bill that has been discussed on this blog here, here, and here, and also on SLOG here, and Sightline here. There have been several recent community meetings on this […]

Green Jobs

[ PV panels being installed on the Salveo townhouses in Magnolia; image: Parsons Public Relations ] It’s an inspiring scene, and one we’ll no doubt be seeing played out more and more.  Though at the same time, I can’t keep myself from wringing my hands over how long it has taken us, and how much […]

Distributed Systems And Resiliency

“It’s bad planetary management to build large, singular and brittle projects when small, multiple and resilient answers exist and will suffice if employed.” In the piece quoted above, Alex Steffan is referring to “geoengineering megaprojects” that have been gaining traction as potential solutions for climate change.  It’s an excellent read, and provides much needed guidance […]

The Density Zealots, Gung-Ho Enviros, And Social Engineers Are Going To Force All Of You To Live In Buildings Like This, Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(ed. note:  Any resemblence, real or imagined, to the project discussed here is purely coincidental.)

What Density Looks Like

Much of the heat in the debate over urban density arises from a lack of understanding of what the metrics correspond to in the real world.  Below is a series of slides presented at a public hearing on HB1490 by a colleague of mine from GGLO, that illustrates a wide range of densities, i.e, Density […]

There He Goes Again

In case you missed it, the final verdict on transit-oriented development is in: “Displacement Coalition says TOD bad for people, business & environment” So reads the headline for yet another ludicrous compilation of specious arguments from the ever-prolific Carolee Colter and John Fox of the Seattle Displacement Coalition.  Not satisfied only with fear-mongering through mendacious […]

Comic Relief

[  Trader Joe’s addition at the corner of 17th and E Olive on Capitol Hill ] In recognition of the record number of comments provoked by this riff, allow me to present another example of new multifamily housing that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Could all that color be a horribly misguided attempt to […]

What He Said (He Being the U.S. Secretary of Energy)

In the Guardian, via Planetizen: Unless there is timely action on climate change, California’s agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, Barack Obama’s energy secretary said yesterday. In blunt language, [Steven] Chu said Americans had yet to fully understand the urgency of dealing with climate change. “I don’t think […]


Sorry. There is now a hugeasscity facebook group.  It’s all my fault. How many of our anonymously nicknamed commenters will be willing to give up their anonymity? Oh, and one more thing:  Is facebook actually good for people?  Do any of us really need another excuse to spend one more second staring at an electronic […]

Tunnel Head

  Today over at Publicola: Leaders in Olympia, including Governor Chris Gegoire and Senate Majority Caucus Leader Sen. Ed Murray (D-43), have both said that the proposed one percent MVET increase that was expected to raise $120 million for transit along the Viaduct corridor—and was supposedly a key element of the waterfront tunnel plan—is not […]

Efficiency First

HB 1747 and SB 5854, a.k.a. “Efficiency First” seems almost too good to be true. One of the four legislative priorities for 2009 chosen by the Environmental Priorities Coalition, the proposed bill addresses energy use in buildings, and would: Mandate ongoing building code updates that would require super-efficient, low-energy-use buildings Require energy-use performance scores and […]

Streets For People

Pike Place is the one street in the entire City of Seattle where the pedestrians do not cower in fear of the automobile.  Locals and tourists alike step off the curb and meander down the middle of the street among the crawling cars.   It’s near chaos but it works. I disagree with those who […]