Comments

1

The Aurora Ave "warp speed 9.9" lede is at odds with what was referenced:

The state route 99/Aurora Avenue North Planning Study funded in this subsection (2) (a) must
prioritize designs that ensure slow vehicle speeds and systematic improvement to the quality
of multimodal access, and must be fully completed by September 30, 2023, in order to ensure construction of improvements begin no later than March 1, 2024

2

NIMBYs can't stop shit through DR if the project is allowed by code.

3

«The language in the updated state supplemental transportation budget now gives marching orders to Seattle to get the design completed on improvements to Aurora Ave N by next fall.»

End run solution: make Aurora a pedestrian zone. Spend the money not on roads but on human infrastructure. Cars already have their own dedicated corridor that nothing else may use: I5.

4

Show up to the Roosevelt design meeting and ask how many of these units will be affordable to those making 69% or less AMI? How many will house families? Roosevelt has plenty of 1-2 bd, $2-3k/mo apartments. When did the Stranger hop in bed with developers???

5

@ 4,

Funny how we’re enduring a massive housing crisis because we’re short about a zillion housing units that politicians and NIMBYs won’t allow us to build, yet somehow developers are the bad guys.

6

@4 "When did the Stranger hop in bed with developers???"

The developers have successfully duped the kids at the Stranger into believing new construction will lead to low-income apartments.

I suppose it's not really a lie, all this new construction will lead to low-income apartments, in about 30-40 years when the new units are dilapidated enough to be priced as affordable to those with low incomes.

What's astounding is that Matt, who I guess is in his 40s, seems to actually believe that any of these new properties will be affordable to those with low income.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how much construction happens there will be no low-income properties in Seattle for at least a generation and a half.

Sorry Matt, if your career ambitions end with writing snark for the Stranger you'll no longer be able to afford to live in Capital Hill, or really anywhere in Seattle.

7

@5 they generally are the bad guys in as much as there are any. In the sense that they are part of the causative chain that both follow and simultaneously generate market forces and political resistance to affordable housing. It’s a vicious cycle that will require tremendous political and social will to fix.

American society, since we have no safety net to speak of, no relies on home values as the last bastion of semi-reliable asset class for retirement and borrowing. This generates NIMBYism, NIMBYism inflates property values and elects politicians in the pocket of development, inflated property values force higher priced developments, higher priced developments invite speculation and corporate investment classes (and money laundering) into the system.

If we had pension systems, socialized healthcare and elder care, cheaper high education (so families do not have to borrow against homes and 401k’s) and government investment in public housing, and strict regulations about non-resident property purchasing, we could break this cycle.

But that would upend the current way things are done and put the voter against big banks AND there would necessitate a drop in property values.

But if we do not we not only get trapped in unaffordable housing but in endless bubble cycles.

8

@4: MHA code requirements set the number, or the amount the developers will have to contribute to avoid providing affordable units on-site.

https://www.seattle.gov/hala/about/mandatory-housing-affordability-(mha)
https://library.municode.com/wa/seattle/codes/municipal_code?nodeId=TIT23LAUSCO_SUBTITLE_IIILAUSRE_CH23.58CMAHOAFREDE

the presenters will be ready with those numbers.

9

No the plan to replace the seismically vulnerably I-5 Columbia River Bridge is NOT is to “expand the bridge into a ten-lane monster.” That’s a reference to a two-month-old article to what some crank said the replacement bridge could look like.

Rudimentary investigative journalism would reveal that Republicans HATE the preliminary design plans… which is almost all the confirmation you need that it won’t be all that bad. The only ‘expansion’ that WA and OR have committed to is one new lane each way for - wait for it - dedicated Bus Rapid Transit or light-rail!!!

11

@5 I haven't heard any developers complaining that zoning laws prevent them from fulfilling their plans to build high-density low-income housing. Instead, most developers seem focused on developing the most profitable units possible, which typically means putting up luxury townhomes in place of existing SFH units.

The only way to solve homelessness here is to build public housing, and do so with the only viable funding source in this state, regressive taxes. The free market will never solve this problem for us.

12

All this is because you resist Seattle's 40-110 story future.

Sooner we move on, sooner the construction of grandma ADA next door stops.

13

@11 Yes public housing.

Everywhere on Earth that public housing has been attempted it always ends up being dismal, poorly maintained, and crime infested.

Look up Cabrini Green, Grenfell Tower, or Banilieu riots.

Hell just look at Yessler Terrace and the Morrison Hotel.

We absolutely do not need more of that.

14

@13 Hey bub, if they are all packed away in a dismal tower someplace at least they aren't freaking you out at 3rd and Pine.

15

@13 and yet that will be the only way you are even going to get housing that is affordable in Seattle any time in the near future. I agree with you in will be a terrible solution. The elephant in the city that no one discusses is whether the urbanist vision of the city does more harm than good. For the longest time now we've been told we have to increase density to combat climate change by allowing people to live close to where they work. Cities were the new panacea with cultural amenities combined with everything you need within a 15 min walk so why would you ever need a car. Turns out people like their cars to go places outside the city and they also like to have space and don't want to share walls with a bunch of strangers. The pandemic has changed that now and people no longer need to come to the city to work. They can realize the dream that technology promised us back at the turn of the century and work anywhere they want. We are never going back to the 5 day workweek with a commute and that is a great thing because if you can't increase supply you can reduce demand and that is exactly where we should be focusing. Incentivize employers to decentralize and allow employees to be remote or in regional offices. i doubt the city will do that though because they love the tax revenue and at the end of the day that's what this is all about.

16

@13 clearly you need to get out more.
Other nations have solved this problem. One of the most notable is Vienna, where 60% of housing is public. It is maintained and freaking beautiful.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/vienna-affordable-housing-paradise_n_5b4e0b12e4b0b15aba88c7b0

17

Slowing down traffic on Aurora? That's about as realistic as the wildly ignored 25 mph Seattle speed limit.

If we wish to do something about problems on Aurora, how about finding a better way for the prostitutes to conduct their business? Day and night, you see women on the stroll all along Aurora from about 100th to 145th. Putting themselves at risk as independent operators, or toiling under some horrible pimp.

Legalizing and regulating sex work would be a real positive social change that would extend far past Aurora Avenue. But we'd rather just whine about cars.

(P.S. Cars aren't going anywhere. Hopefully their fuel source will change, but the City of Seattle cannot compete against the message of personal mobility and the car being a reflection of one's self-worth that has relentlessly been put forth for the last century)

18

@13: I was going to say what @16 did. Austria is the gold standard.

You could also look at successful examples in, say, Seattle: SHA's redevelopments at High Point, Othello, Rainier Vista, or the social housing all through Pike Place Market. There are many local non-profit developers doing good projects as well.

I have no clue what your issue with the redeveloped Yesler Terrace is. I suspect it will be BS.

19

".. how about finding a better way for the prostitutes to conduct their business?"

There are far more pressing problems to worry about. Need a list?

20

It's not natural for a woman to be a Republican, Raindrop dear. That's why your Mother was so mean. But you shouldn't take your resentment of her out on all women.

21

"Myths and Realities about Public Housing"
Oct 17, 2019

"Myth #1: Public housing is crumbling everywhere!

Reality: 85% of public housing meets or exceeds federal quality standards and more than 40% of developments are considered “excellent.”

Myth #2: Public housing is a hotbed for criminal activity!

Reality: Researchers agree that high crime rates in areas with lots of public housing are not due to the housing itself, but more likely to the lack of opportunity in the area in which the housing is built. Public housing in neighborhoods with access to employment, commerce, good schools, and other community institutions have crime rates similar to the rest of the neighborhood.

Myth #3: Residents hate it there! They want to get out!

Reality: Surveys consistently show large majorities of public housing residents are satisfied with their housing. So many people are eager to live in public housing and benefit from its affordability that nearly all of the nation’s more than 3,000 PHAs have waiting lists that are more than one year long.

Myth #4: They are all just ugly high-rise projects!

Reality: Most public housing buildings are three stories tall or less, with townhomes or small buildings the most common architecture. When public housing was at its peak in terms of total units, only 27% of public housing was in high-rises, and that number has dropped since the early ‘90s.

Myth #5: Low-income white people in America do not benefit from public housing.

Reality: 53% of households living in public housing identify as white. “The Long Wait for a Home,” NLIHC’s 2016 report on PHA waiting lists, shows that 58% of households currently on waiting lists are low-income white renters.

Myth #6: Public housing is only for poor people!

Reality: Households with incomes up to 80% of area median income are eligible to move into public housing. For a 4-person household, this would be $129,150 in an expensive city like San Francisco, or $67,300 in a more affordable area like Fargo, ND. These standards are well above the poverty line. PHAs can set their standards below the maximum, and many of them do, but public housing can serve middle-income as well as poor households. Once living in public housing, resident incomes are allowed to climb above average for their community, up to 120% of AMI.

Myth #7: Residents in public housing have no power!

Reality: Public housing’s concentration of subsidized renters in one location, the allocation of tenant participation funds for organizing activities, and required resident participation in PHA planning create an environment for better tenant mobilization than most other forms of affordable rental housing.

The data and information for this article is largely drawn from two excellent books. In Defense of Housing by David Madden and Peter Marcuse was released by Verso in 2016. Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social Policy, edited by Nicholas Dagen Bloom, Fritz Umbach, and Lawrence J. Vale was released in 2015 by Cornell University Press."

https://nlihc.org/resource/myths-and-realities-about-public-housing

22

@16 now all you need to do is import Austrian culture and values to the U.S. These solutions don't happen in a vacuum. So how do you import Austrian values to the U.S.?

23

Matt and Rich have perfected the “Angry White Male” schtick.

Well done.

25

@16 I also was going to mention Austria and Vienna in particular. As I will be there next month. The Kabelwerk Estate is a fascinating example.as is the Sargfabrik.

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_featd_article_011314.html

Anyway. The moment someone brings up Cabrini Green it's the rhetorical equivalent of derailing a conversation about mass shooting prevention with the 'ol canard "black on black crime." It's simply a fallacious derail that betrays the profound ignorance, racist agenda, and un-seriousness of the speaker.

26

@20: Did it occur to you that they enjoy their occupation and the way they are doing it? Acknowledging that fact is far from resentment.

27

@22 Is "care for community" a value that Americans lack? With you, clearly. But I think the values involved are universal. Just not the political will.

There must be some distortion to local temporal reality or physics so that suddenly any solution to an issue — from healthcare or transportation to firearms deaths — that any other cation, city or region has found is always magically impossible here.

The irony is that Austria utilized many of the policies developed in the US and imported them there. And of course Austria is not the only example of successful social, public of socialized housing. In fact theater are some right in the US if you even attempted to find them.

28

Raindrop, just because they tell you that they enjoy your amatuer pawing at them doesn't mean that they actually do. They're trying to provide good customer service.

29

@11 Quite so. In fact we do not have a free market. We have market (when it comes to commodities) almost entirely captured by a fractional bandwidth of speculators who write the regulations, determine who qualifies for loans, and not only get bailed out during the bubbles they create but utilize the crashes to increase asset inventory.

The Market not only has caused this mess it WANTS this mess.

30

@9 The Interstate bridge would have to be larger to accommodate light rail, but I don't think that's a bad thing. That bridge is over 100 years old, so why not use the infrastructure money burning a hole in our pockets and replace it now before it collapses into the river. Of course SW Washington Republican lawmakers are against it, because oil $$$. Perhaps Vancouver residents who sit in daily traffic might want to think about voting for candidates who are pro-transit and make their lives a little easier.

32

@20: +1 "It's not natural for a woman to be a Republican."
Catalina Vel-DuRay for the WIN!!!! You made my day, too!
Spot on, word, bravo, and amen! Keep on rocking the house
and don't ever stop. :)

@30 Mr._Friendly: +1 Agreed and seconded. One would think people living in or near Vancouver, Washington, or anywhere else within proximity of I-5 or heavy traffic volume would want to have infrastructural improvements, especially to a crumbling century-old bridge. I wonder how stable the Astoria-Megler Bridge (built in 1966) on SR 101 is.
I also can't help but wonder if Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Clark County, 3rd District ever got around to changing her political affiliation since the ugliness over her standing up for the 2020 election results confirming Joe Biden's legitimate win. Both she and former Secretary of State Kim Wyman must truly be ashamed to be Republicans.

@31 PrincessAngeline#2: +1 Catalina made my day, too. :)

33

@30 no, it's fine for light rail, but you have to use plinth superstructure and use the inside lanes due to wave actions. It was designed for it.

Plus, you'll need to elevate it or use a tunnel right after it crosses

34

Everyone should be in full support of replacing that bridge between Vancouver and Portland. It is a complete piece of shit and could be an absolute disaster when it inevitably falls apart. In the meantime, just try not to be on it during an earthquake

35

"It's not natural for a woman to be a Republican"

Not a good line to use with Caitlyn Jenner.

36

@22: Vienna's social housing model is essentially a public/private partnership: https://www.npr.org/local/305/2020/02/25/809315455/how-european-style-public-housing-could-help-solve-the-affordability-crisis

37

@36 interesting article, but here's my question: if this is such a good model, why is this one city (Vienna) the only one in Europe that seems to be doing this? I don't disagree with the premise, far from it. But...the fact that the same city is being trotted out as a model does make me wonder. If this is such great idea, where are the other "Viennas"?

Closest thing I can think of in the area is the High Point development: https://highpointseattle.com/ which took ten years to realize from start to finish (Source: one of architects that worked on the project). Wonder how long it would take today?

38

Jeebus999 dear, High Point is just one of the housing projects that got completely redeveloped in the Seattle area: There's also New Holly (the old Holly Park), Rainier Vista (on MLK), and Greenbridge (the old Park Lake Homes) and Yesler Terrace.

I worked at all of these sites before redevelopment, during redevelopment, and after redevelopment. I never once felt unsafe in any of them. The Seattle "projects" were never as sinister as people make them out to be.


Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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