commented on More Growth Please
Seattle, pretty undeniably, when compared to other cities in the United States, has a very bi-polar housing base - you're mostly either in a multi-family zone or you're in a pure, single-family residential zone. Very, very few duplex and triplex situations. Very few 3-flats (3 stories, one unit per story). Very few modular and small unit options. The townhomes that are "popping up everywhere," if you look at raw numbers, are still a small minority of overall housing stock.
Housing stock DIVERSITY is important. We need more, and our current zoning still discourages options. For instance, 2 alley-facing townhomes just went in across from my place. They are vertically laid out, and are 4 stories each. We asked the developer why they didn't build a 4-flat. They said that when you arrange units horizontally instead of vertically, you are classified differently and each unit becomes vastly more expensive to produce due to zoning requirements.
That's a shame - This building could have had 4 really nice sized units, and they could have been more affordable due to location. Due to a sloping lot, 2 of them could have been entered at-grade, making them accessible to a wide variety of people, and 2 would have been on upper floors. ~1300 sq. feet per unit.
We need a mix that includes a lot of kinds of units. Affordability is a decades-long game. We need to increase diversity faster NOW in order to manage affordability in the 2020s and 2030s. And we're still not doing it.
commented on Seattle Police Stop Another Near-Fatal Overdose With Naloxone
This is good. Police are put in the position of being EMTs, social services, and several other roles that they shouldn't be in. But are. I'm glad they're saving lives where and how they can. This is a good step, but not enough by itself. The cops save these people. Now our society needs to support their road to recovery - because it's more humane, better long term, and frankly CHEAPER for all of us.
commented on The Viaduct Will Be Closed for Two Weeks Starting April 29
I hope it sinks, we murder it like we should have 10 years ago, and build a cheaper cut-n-cover tunnel. The amount of money we spent on keeping the lanes open during construction alone aren't worth it. Let freight move, get everyone else off it, and build the resulting replacement faster, cheaper, and better.
Rip off the damn band-aid.
commented on A Little Under a Month After My Liberation from the Most Dangerous Street in Seattle
The problem with Rainier starts at the ends, and largely at the north end. The "bow-tie" solution, where S-bound Rainier becomes MLK and S-bound MLK becomes Rainier is the best I've seen in terms of addressing the root of the problem.
If you think we need some kind of freeway-like car sewer in SE Seattle, fine. But we're currently paying for 2. MLK and Rainier are both 4 lanes, and they're never more than 6 blocks from each other from Beach to Mt. Baker. MLK has a 35 speed limit and Rainier has a 30. MLK was completely rebuilt with sensors on lights, separated, dedicated-signal, larger capacity turn lanes and all kinds of other stuff <10 years ago. Rainier has sections neglected for decades that are dark, strewn with trash, and straight up deadly (Andover and Rainier anyone? Same @ Letitia, Genesee, Orcas, Willow...).
Put the vast majority of the cars on MLK, take them off Rainier. MLK was state highway 900, BTW. So, same thing, same problem.
But we route more lanes onto Rainier than we do onto MLK and we bitch about how the road diet slows us down.
commented on Sharp Increase in Death Rate for White Women in Rural America
Not surprised. Rural white culture is not healthy. My personal experience sample is purely subjective, but includes E. WA, ID, MT, IL, WI, OH, and TX. I've spent considerable time and/or lived in each. Diets are poor. Lives are frequently sedentary. The rural ideal of people working outside and being active all the time is mostly a mirage. Rural whites I know or are related to, as a whole, walk little, drive a whole lot, eat a lot, weigh too much, are more likely to keep guns in their houses, and watch a whole lot of TV. The women in particular look unwell and are treated poorly again, just on average. Every public incidence cringe-worthy sexism I've witnessed in my life has happened in rural and exurban communities.
Purely anecdotal. I'm sure you can dismiss it if you're disinclined to believe it. But this squares 100% with my personal experience.
commented on The Big Lid
Cars make cities shittier. The make cities louder, dirtier, deadlier, more expensive, more unhealthy, and generally worse. We do not have a single dollar figure we can put on this cost, and it doesn't fall specifically on one company's or one government entity's budget, so we just pretend it doesn't exist.
But it's undeniable. Parking places are basically unproductive dead zones we REQUIRE be engineered into buildings, making those buildings more expensive per square foot. Pollution costs money, because health costs money and environmental cleanup of our water costs money. Injuries, property damage, and death cost money. The real estate next to I5 has its value suppressed by the shitstream wiped across the city, and nobody really pays for that lost value either.
But we do. We all do. If you put a dollar figure on all the SHIT that cars bring to the city, and the number of those dollars that would be ADDED if we were to bury that giant waste of space under concrete and park, then this thing would mostly pay for itself.
But we can't, because we let cars externalize all their real costs onto the world, and act as though those costs are zero dollars. Even though they aren't.
Carbon Tax every mile of I5 commensurate with the damage it does and we could bury it in gold bars by 2020.
commented on Last Night in Magnolia, Mike O'Brien Got Shouted at for Suggesting It's Wrong to Punish People for Being Homeless
Fear conquers compassion in our current climate. And these Magnolia people are some of the most fearful, crouching, Gollum-types in our cities. They have the most to lose. So they live in a mental bunker that colors everything they see.
Frankly, this constituency has a track record of lip-service and not really willing to do anything about it when it comes to the urban problems of the rest of this city, followed by massive overreaction and NIMBY-ism when it affects them.
I've lived in this city for 30 years, and it has ALWAYS been this way.
Oct 8, 2015
commented on I, Anonymous
A few months back at work a woman, in a group of mostly female co-workers referred to my "hairy little chicken legs." I had come in from biking to work in shorts. She had a little titter with her friends over it and then apologized-not-apologized for it after.
This was rude but not sexist. She was not in a position of power over me, because she's in a completely different group at the company. My legs are in fact skinny and they do have hair on them. She's a caddy, superficial twit. End of story. This did not ruin my day. It made an impression (mostly of her) that I remember now and probably will for a while. But it didn't ruin my day.
Reverse roles and insert an equivalent comment from a man, stated to a woman. It would be considered sexist, full stop. Same working relationship, same in-work dynamic, same organization, with the genders reversed.
If you bring the full scope of the societal biases into that one, <10 second interaction, maybe that's a legit double standard. But the full scope of the societal biases don't even remotely bear on whether not one person thinks it's OK to register a throw-away comment on another person's looks - good, bad, creepy, caddy, or otherwise. That's just a shitty person saying something shitty because they have so much shittiness in their shitty life they can't keep it to themselves.
Dude was shitty. Probably can't get women to notice him. That's his shit. But when a shitty person says something shitty to a woman, we have ready access to an explanation - a WHOLE NARRATIVE - that says that the dude in this case was a symptom of a culture that allows chauvinism to continue to exist. We don't have that narrative when a woman says something to a man. Because ON AVERAGE across society, there is no presumptive power difference of women OVER men.
This is called "fitting the model" in statistics. My grandpa called it "when you're holding a hammer, all of your problems look like nails."