Archive for March, 2009

Go To Seattle Transit Blog And Get Angry

The WA State legislature, led by Representative Judy Clibborn (41st, Mercer Island), chair of the House Transportation Committee, has proposed eliminating funding for the reconfiguration of HOV lanes on the I90 floating bridge — which just so happens to be a prerequisite for running Sound Transit East Link across the bridge.  The STB crew is [...]

Affordable Housing Trailblazers

Time passes.  This is the recently completed Squire Park Plaza at the corner of 17th and Jackson in the Central District.  Developed by the Central Area Development Association and designed by Streeter Archtitects, the $15.5 million project features 59 apartments, 11,000 square feet of retail/office space (including 3,000 sf in live-work units), and 62 underground [...]

What Is Livability?

Other than a far too prosaic word to describe our aspirations in city building, that is.  Well, the DJC solicited 50-word answers to that question, and they were published today.  Here’s mine:
We thrive when we are connected — to people and place; to work and play; to past, present and future. A good city fosters connections. Diversity, [...]

Mike Bikes

When mayoral candidate Michael McGinn showed up at the King County Municipal League Awards ceremony last Wednesday night at the Seattle Art Museum, he strolled in lugging two big, bright yellow bike panniers.  The fact that he was slated to address a room packed with Seattle’s most prominent players and politicos did not stop McGinn from riding his [...]

Visualize Ballard

Remember this post? 
Well, we hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.  The nightmare has become fully realized with the design review board’s acceptance of the development at the former Denny’s site in Ballard.  Even compared to earlier posts on this blog about this project which only showed (or mocked) the beginnings of what was obviously going to be a dog-of-a-development, [...]

Your CO2 Emissions Per Mile May Vary

Back at ya, Sightline.  There are obvious conclusions to be drawn from the bar chart above, but when the interplay of land use patterns is also considered, the case for transit over cars becomes even stronger.
Since transit typically serves areas with higher levels of density and land use mix, transit trips tend to be shorter [...]

How We Live Now

Yesterday I learned from Facebook that our next Mayor* was attending the grand reopening of the Crocodile Cafe.  That in itself is densely layered with cultural implications, but all I want to say is this:  the Croc had a great run, and it should have been laid to rest.  The space is a great site for a music venue, but let [...]

Apocalypse Later

Witness two writers from opposite ends of the stylistic spectrum striking a similar chord:
Alex Steffan:
The single biggest delusion in North America today is that the interconnected planetary problems bearing down on us can be faced with slight alterations to the current order; that a model of delivery prosperity based on suburbs and big cars and [...]

Bar Chart Porn

All of the above charts courtesy of Jonathan Rose Companies.  The original source of the GHG data is:  Journal of Urban Planning and Development © ASCE / March 2006.

Did Somebody Say Context?

Such a charming row of Victorian cottages — but wait, what’s that big brown box down at the end?

Why, that big brown box at 812 23rd Ave in the Central District is a brand new home designed by Pb Elemental, that just so happens to be located at one end of a highly unique row [...]

A Post About Something Inspiring. No, Really!

[ Justin Carder, Michael McGinn, Denny Onslow, Michael Patten, Tony To, and Knute Berger ]
It happened yesterday at a CityClub lunchtime forum on “Tough Times in the Livable City.”  A recurring theme in the discussion was the question of how, in a time of declining tax revenues, can we maintain the public services that [...]

We Will Get What We Deserve

As you may have heard, the transit-oriented communities bill is dead.  All I can say is that if, given all we know about climate change, we can’t manage to pass a relatively mild bill like HB1490, then the prospects for my kids’ future are so grim that I expect I’ll soon be seeking a sympathetic [...]

Sucking Wind In Olympia

Today brings yet another in the endless progression of reports on how climate change is now projected to be more severe than originally thought:
Scientists at a climate change summit in Copenhagen said earlier UN estimates were too low and that sea levels could rise by a metre or more by 2100.  The projections did not [...]

Escala Is Latin For Embarrassment

No, it’s not finished yet, but enough is already known about Escala to easily justify its nomination for Seattle’s Most Embarrassing Condo Project.  The array of qualifications is deep, but let’s start with the base of the building shown above.  It has all the grotesque faux-classical decoration that you’d expect to find on the new strip [...]

The Writer I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Mark Morford, telling it:
Do you allow yourself, even now, to feel any sort of ongoing, relieved, merciful joy that Barack Obama actually is sitting in the Big Chair in the White House? That this elegant, articulate, Zen-like man whose integrity is rock-solid and whose ideas, while certainly not in perfect alignment with every ultra-lefty vision [...]

Have Mercy

Have mercy
Been waitin’ for the bus all day…
Have mercy
Oh the bus be packed up tight…
Well, Ill be ridin’ on the bus till I cadillac*
An unprecedented funding gap could force King County Metro Transit to cut bus service by as much as 20 percent next year, leaving thousands of people without service and setting back the region’s [...]

But I’m Bluer Than Blue

Sadder than sad
You’re the only light
This empty room has ever had
Life without you is gonna be
Bluer than blue*

For me, all that deep, pure blue with the crisp white trim brings back fond memories of childhood sports team uniforms.  How do you admire Fifteen Twenty One?  Because, as the web site proclaims, “It’s telling that a [...]

Time To Get Serious?

Mystery commenter Max says people would take this blog more seriously if I didn’t act like it was a joke 3/4 of the time.  Could be true.  Many friends advised me against going with the name hugeasscity, but I made a marketing decision.  After all, Horse’s Ass started out as a joke, but that didn’t [...]

TOD Got Street Cred Yo

The wonky urban planning acronym “TOD” has been flowing across an uncannily wide spectrum of local interwebs as of late.  The debate over sister TOD bills HB1490 and SB5687 has percolated up from the lowliest of blogs to grace the pages of the esteemed  Crosscut, and has even felt the love from the PI’s star [...]