In April I had the pleasure of presenting with fellow urbanists and writers at the 2015 National Planning Conference in Seattle. Our panel, “Planning with Grassroots Media”, sought to enlighten city planners on how local blogs and neighborhood websites can greatly improve planning processes and boost public participation. The audience was spilling out the door and we had some great questions, so the presentation and audio recording are now being made available in this post.
Posted in Editorial, Event Writeup, Government, Public Participation
Tagged 2015, American Planning Association, APA, blogs, conference, engagement, grassroots media, Josh Feit, National Planning Conference, neighborhoods, Nick Welch, Northwest Urbanist, NPC, online, Owen Pickford, presentaiton, public participation, PubliCola, Scott Bonjukian, Seattle, The Urbanist, traditional media
By 2040 the Puget Sound region is expected to have a population of 5 million, up from 3.9 million today. Seattle expects to be at the center of this growth and is planning for 120,000 new residents in 70,000 housing units, along with and 115,000 new jobs, over the next two decades. The latest iteration of the Seattle’s comprehensive plan, known as Seattle 2035, is taking public comment through Friday and is due to be adopted next year. An open house with City staff in West Seattle last week provided a glimpse into how this guiding document will shape future policies.
Posted in Event Writeup, Housing, Land Use, Policy, Public Participation, Transportation
Tagged 2035, affordable, bike, bus, chapters, comp plan, comprehensive plan, document, DPD, draft, drive, elements, environmental impact, expansions, GMA, goals, Growth Management Act, HALA, housing, land use, light rail, LOS, open house, parking, Planning, policies, Seattle, transportation, urban design, urban enters, urban villages, version, vision, walk
The key features of bus rapid transit (BRT). (City of Seattle)
On Monday night the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) held its fourth open house on the $120 million bus rapid transit (BRT) project planned for Madison Street. SDOT staff and consultants from Nelson Nygaard chatted with a packed house about recent survey results, technical details, and the latest concept design. The general mood seemed to be upbeat, but many people think the project can do better. Seattle Transit Blog succinctly covered the problems last week, lamenting that only a small part of the corridor will have true bus-only lanes. While this and other issues remain unaddressed, the current design will effectively improve mobility through some of Seattle’s densest neighborhoods.
Posted in Biking, Buses, Transportation, Walking
Tagged bike, BRT, bus rapid transit, buses, Central District, concept, configuration, corridor, design, details, downtown, features, First Hill, funding, lanes, layout, layover, Madison, Nelson Nygaard, pedestrians, plan, project, roadway, routes, SDOT, Seattle, signal, street, study, transit, transportation
On Thursday night the University of Washington hosted a lively panel discussion on Seattle’s infamous traffic woes. Organized by The Seattle Times, four experts on transportation debated various solutions for agonizing commutes and how emerging technology will change the way we travel. Many of the ideas aired are nothing new to readers of the blog, but some of the evening’s comments and questions show that change in transportation will continue to be a slow and steady process.
Posted in Event Writeup, Land Use, Policy, Transportation
Tagged audience, Bryan Mistele, event, forum, funding, I-5, Interstate 5, Jarrett Walker, King County, levy, LiveWire, Mark Hallenbeck, metro, Move Seattle, panel, Proposition 1, public, Scott Kubly, SDOT, seattle times, sound transit, taxes, Thanh Tan, transit, transportation, university of washington, uw, WSDOT
Bicyclists ride the new protected bike lanes on northbound Brooklyn Avenue NE. (Photo by the author)
Over the last few weeks the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) installed protected bike lane (PBL) projects on both ends of the University District. The neighborhood is popular for bicycle commuting, with over 5,000 bike daily trips to the University of Washington campus. The projects are a step towards implementing the city’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths and fatalities, and they will encourage even more residents, students, and employees to bike. These projects are low-hanging fruit however, and key connections to the Burke-Gilman Trail and between the north and south ends of the neighborhood remain unfulfilled.
Posted in Biking, Transportation
Tagged 15th Avenue NE, Brooklyn Avenue, Burke-Gilman, Campus Parkway, Cowen Park Bridge, Cowen Place, design, dorms, installation, light rail, park, parking, PBL, photos, protected bike lanes, Ravenna Boulevard, residence halls, Roosevelt, Seattle Bike Blog, trail, university district, university of washington
The stoop of a demolished single-family house on NE 65th Street, one of many properties that Hugh Sisley has let deteriorate in the Roosevelt neighborhood. (Photo by the author)
On Monday the Seattle City Council will vote on whether to acquire a one-fifth-acre property from Hugh Sisley, an infamous slumlord in the city’s Roosevelt neighborhood. The city has been doing battle with Sisley for years over code violations and unpaid fines at his deteriorating residential and commercial structures. Earlier this year City Attorney Pete Holmes put his foot down and declared that the City will seek payment for the fines and to publicly acquire at least one of them for a new park.
Posted in Housing, Land Use, Parks, Public Space
Tagged 14th Avenue NE, affordable housing, condemn, demolition, Ed Murray, eminent domain, fees, fines, green street, light rail, litigation, park, Parks Department, Pete Holmes, properties, property, public housing, Roosevelt, Roosevelt High School, Sisley, Sisleys, street, urban village
An illustration of how some of the HALA recommendations would shape neighborhoods. (City of Seattle)
The Seattle City Council is considering recommendations to increase the city’s amount and variety of affordable housing options. Over the past year, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Advisory Committee (HALA) has been working to develop land use and housing program policies that will fulfill Mayor Ed Murray’s goal for 50,000 new housing units – 40 percent of those “affordable” – over the next 10 years. Here is a selection of the most important policies that will make Seattle more affordable for people of all incomes.
Posted in Housing, Land Use, Parking, Policy, Residential, Transportation
Tagged affordability, City Council, committee, design, developer, goal, HALA, housing, income, mayor, murray, neighborhood, plan, policies, real estate, recommendations, rent, residential, Seattle, top, unit, wages