What Does It Mean that Seattle Has the Ninth-Highest Median Rent in the Nation? Does this mean we are not building enough places to meet the growing demand? Is it correct to place much of the blame for this spectacular rise in housing costs on the stubborn anti-growth agenda of NIMBYs or the deep pockets of Amazon's elite employees? A recent study by Eric Fischer on San Francisco's housing market made him conclude that rent in that city's history came down to only three factors: employment, wages, and supply. Is this also the case with Seattle? Or is it true for the other major American cities on Curb's list for the highest median rent (Seattle is 9)?
What's missing in this particular picture of the problem, a picture painted mainly by well-meaning urbanists, are banks and the finance industry. These politically powerful and globally connected institutions are somehow neutral in, of all places, the housing market. Somehow banks only supply the capital and the market sorts out the rest. This is Edenic indeed. Money operating as a medium of exchange but not at all as a store of value. Supply and demand are a regular Adam and Eve in this serpentless garden of economics.
Yes, we need to build more, but not all of that building should be left in the hands of the market. This is my only point. Americans love choice. But here is a choice we cannot make in our cities: Whether you want to live in a place that's an investment or a place that's just a place. Why are we not offered the choice to live in places that just pay for themselves?
Seattle Is on Yet Another List: This one concerns "18-hour cities." These types cities are one rung below the best of all cities, the 24-hour cities, cities like New York City, cities that never sleep. Seattle is the number one 18-hour city in America. A way to think about this: Seattle is married to the day but has the night as a mistress (at some point in the night, our city has to get out of the lover's bed and return home). A city like NYC is married to both the day and the night.
We Experienced the Third Warmest May in Our City's Recorded History: The thing to keep in mind is: "This year's 59.8 degree average continues a warming trend of the past four years for May. 2013 hit 58.6, followed by 59.1 in 2014, reached again in 2015." We are really getting warmer and warmer. If you want to know why, do not bother to ask Cliff Mass or read his blog. That man is the Oedipus of his profession. With him, science has pulled out its eyes with its own hands.
90 Degrees Might Pay Seattle a Visit This Weekend: It will be cool today, but not so tomorrow. And what's expected to happen is that temperatures will keep rising each day until they reach 90 degrees on Sunday.
The Thing I Don't Get About Seattle PI's Post on Seattle's Walkability Score? The picture of a white male pedestrian showing a part of his ass.
End the War on Cars By Limiting Their Speed to 20 MPH on City Streets: As pointed out by Slog's science writer Ethan Linck, the best way to make our roads safer right away is to make cars move at slower speeds. A study by ProPublica shows that if a person is hit by a car that's moving at 40 mph, he/she has only a 60 percent chance of living to talk about the accident. But a person hit by a car moving at 20 mph has an impressive 93 percent chance of seeing the living daylights again. (That which doesn't kill you gives you something to talk about over dinner or drinks.) If Seattle wants to end the war on cars soon (and there is a war on cars, in much the same way cars constitute a war on the city), then all it has to do is impose this speed limit on all of its streets. 20 is enough. 20's plenty. 20 saves all lives.
Something to Know, If You Are Not Up On Things:
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