Matt the Engineer
SWASHBUCKLING HERO 2012
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Jul 22 Matt the Engineer commented on Bertha Boondoggle: Viaduct Tunnel Needs $60 Million Cash Infusion So It Can Open Three Years Late.
Good parsing @10.

I wonder if there's a way to finish without spending anything extra. Value engineer out the roadway, and just have people drive a little tilted on the bottom of the tube.
Jul 21 Matt the Engineer commented on The Morning News: KIRO and Seattle Times Stunned by the Success of Link, Ted Cruz Self-Endorsed as the President of Haters USA.
Re: abandoned homes: Um, this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk…

The permit process takes at least 8 months here (and often much longer - it took me 2 years to get my garage built). Though sometimes it starts way before then, if someone's trying to sell a property to be converted to a new project (selling without tenants is probably more attractive as the new owner doesn't need to evict, plus renting to someone for an unknown amount of time can be tricky, etc.).

Some of this is unavoidable. Though making our permit process quicker would help. And I wonder if an AirBnB style solution would help (short-term rentals help with the unknown permit length, no eviction hassles).
Jun 24 Matt the Engineer commented on Residents of Luxury Downtown Condos Try to Stop New City Housing Affordability Program.
Such is the nature of the Seattle Process. Anyone with the $85 appeal filing fee can stop any legislation in its tracks.

Of course when the issue was allowing homes on small lots the Council created emergency legislation to block construction, effective immediately (while the regular non-emergency legislation worked its way through the system). I wonder if they'll think affordable housing deserves emergency legislation. (hint: not likely)
Jun 23 Matt the Engineer commented on Morning News: Apartments Going Up and Rents Not Coming Down, GOP Adjourns House.
"Apartments Going Up and Rents Not Coming Down"

Walking next to a moving train as it pulls from the station: "well, I'm not catching up, so maybe I should slow down". No, you should run.

Every day from 2010 to 2015 Seattle grew by: 40 people, 35 jobs, and only 12 housing units. So no matter how many apartments it feels like we're adding it isn't nearly enough to catch up with demand. The real answer is to stop blocking upzones and construction - we need as much as possible, as fast as possible.
Jun 10 Matt the Engineer commented on A Homeless Man Was Camping on a Thin Ledge Above the Freeway.
Yet we outlaw sub-standard housing and pretend that fixes the problem. I'm sure a lot of these people would love to live in sub-standard housing. Maybe some of them were before the law went into effect a few years ago.

(no, I don't want anyone to have to live in sub-standard housing - but the right way to fix the problem is to offer them standard housing, not outlawing the shitty housing they can barely afford)
Jun 10 Matt the Engineer commented on Mayor Announces Plans for 24-Hour Homeless Shelter.
This is great news. I'd like to see a less discrete set of options for low/no income housing, at least in the short term until we get our homelessness under control.

It seems like we have 3 levels: full-service subsidized rooms complete with kitchens and bathroooms that might be the same as you'd get if you paid rent, 12-hour homeless shelters, and the Jungle. Even in the open market you only get 2 levels, now that sub-standard housing is illegal.

What if we had cheaper shared spaces? We could build many more for the same money. Of course to do that we'd have to
Jun 3 Matt the Engineer commented on High-Speed Police Chase on Aurora Predictably Ends With Crash.
Regarding the surface point of what do we do about speeders: You can't outrun the radio. Especially in a city. Especially in a city that owns helicopters. I'd be curious how many people ever actually outrun the police.

@4 I wonder how drivers and passengers avoided a requirement that everyone wears a helmet. Think of the lives that would be saved. #bicycleparity #safewaroncars
Jun 1 Matt the Engineer commented on City Council Likely to Ban Rent Increases at Substandard Apartment Buildings.
And keep in mind "substandard housing" can mean anything from real problems to a cracked kitchen counter tile.

Some history: First they made substandard housing "illegal" by creating an inspection program and charging huge fines for landlords that don't comply. Then homelessness shot up. Correlation, not necessarily causation, but still. It had to have removed some quantity of our crappiest units. And it's not like that helps the people that can only afford the crappiest units.

So now they've created another path to report these "substandard" units. In intent it's to have a form of rent control on the books. In practice it'll remove more housing as small-time landlords give up or upgrade their units to market rate.

I really don't think the council is intending to push more people onto the street. But what are they thinking?
May 26 Matt the Engineer commented on Report: Seattle Rents Went Up by 11 Percent Last Month, Biggest Surge in Country.
@17 It's simple. Rent control doesn't add any housing, and it doesn't remove any people that need homes. So if you allow some that would have been displaced to stay in your homes you are in fact displacing others.

"What they are for is help sustain a percentage of working class populations inside a city." At the cost of removing the same percentage of workers that would have sustained themselves. We're not talking about the rich being displaced here - we're talking about a group of people making just about the same money as the group you're protecting.

"According to the data at best - AT BEST - adding more inventory MIGHT help stabilizing rents in growing cities with rising incomes." Read it again. Short of removing jobs it's the only thing that can affect rents. The only thing. You seem to be arguing that rent control doesn't hurt. I won't block your fight for it. But can we work together to add supply? Can we agree that reserving the large majority of land area in this city for a single family per 5000sf is actively harmful to affordability? Can we agree that limiting heights and requiring large set backs and parking spaces isn't helping anyone put a roof over their head?
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