Archive for July, 2009

You’re Not an Environmentalist If You’re Also a NIMBY

Yep: Global warming is changing far more than just the climate. It’s altering the way environmentalists view development. For years, city dwellers who consider themselves to be eco-conscious have used environmental laws and arcane zoning rules to block new home construction, especially apartments and condominiums. In the inner East Bay, liberals have justified their actions […]

First Class Redevelopment Opportunities

Ever notice how many U.S. Post Offices tend to be outdated single-story structures with very little street appeal, particularly in urban areas. Wouldn’t these often auto-oriented, low intensity uses be perfect redevelopment sites? The Post Office at 23rd and Union seems like a good opportunity, as does the one at Broadway, across from a future […]

hugeasscity black tie urbanist mixer and free sex advice gala

It’s a highly dubious proposition:  The facebookers already know about this, but I’ve invited the entire HAC universe to meet for drinks and wonky urbanist geek chit-chat, Thursday July 9th, 8pm at the Twilight Exit, 2514 East Cherry Street, in the Central District.  FB invite is here. Why the Twilight?  It’s three blocks from my […]

Hey, I Like Your Streetscape

This section of 5th Avenue between Union and University could well be the best piece of streetscape in all of downtown Seattle.  All it takes is a few basic ingredients:  small-scale storefronts, wide sidewalk, mid-block crossings, street trees, human-scale lighting.  The 5th Ave roadway is fairly narrow here—three travel lanes and no parking—which makes crossings […]

Lazy Link Of The Day v.2.0

Erica beat me to it, but I can’t possibly not comment on  this bit of Seattle Times lameness regarding Seattle’s proposal to allow “backyard cottages” in single family zones.  The set up of the piece—describing the perceived horrors of the proposal from the point of view of just one person who may or may not ever actually be impacted in any […]

Save the Viaduct! (Or At Least a Piece of It)

A DJC article published on July 1 considered the design of Seattle’s waterfront post-Viaduct. Its central premise is that the design of the public space should happen before the alignment of the surface road is determined. Makes sense. This is a rare opportunity to create a space that can take advantage of all the waterfront […]

Lazy Link Of The Day

Over at SLOG Dominic’s got a rundown of the new Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District.  In the photo above is the building at the corner of Union and Broadway that has been exempted from the overlay district, effectively giving the green light for the Polyclinic to demolish the existing building and redevelop the site.  This is […]

Interdependence Day

It’s time to rename the 4th of July.  Last night as I watched the fireworks with hundreds of others from the steep slope of Boston Street on the west edge of Capitol Hill, my feeble hyperactive brain began to drown in thoughts  of how I was witnessing last gasps of of dying way of life. […]

The Deep-Bore Tunnel Is A Done Deal (Just Like The Monorail Was)

Is the deep-bore tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way viaduct a done deal?  Game over?  Should all those petulant whiners who don’t like it just suck it up and get over it, grow up and move on? Seattle mayoral candidate Mike McGinn has a pithy response to that question:  if he is elected, the tunnel […]

Is Congestion Your Friend?

  I recently visited our fine neighbor to the north – Vancouver, and unfortunately had to do most of my getting around by car. This afforded me lots of time, as I sat in traffic on just about every street I traveled in the Downtown area, to reflect upon Gordon Price’s famous adage that “congestion […]