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Seattle Development News Thread

40505 Views 495 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  jmancuso
OK, post Seattle stuff here. For the whole Puget Sound region.
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True, true, but I know someone out there want's to take a crack at it.
Also, what do you think about replicating some sort of system of trams (streetcars) like they have in Melbourne? Check out www.yarratrams.com.au. I used these while I was there and they were exceptional. The monorail seems to be going down in flames and I wondered if people have other ideas for Seattle's neighborhoods? Let Sound Transit solve the regional mobility issue with light rail and Seattle with a tram network to connect it's neighborhoods starting with the West Seattle and Ballard and connecting other close in neighborhoods (i.e. Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Eastlake, ID, Pioneer Square, etc.). Paying for it is obviously going to be an issue but I think that they should raise the sales tax by .5% to generate the revenue necessary. Any feedback?
^that would be very cool!
I think we should jack up the gas tax so the oil companies get screwed and force people to use a public transit system. Once people use a public transit system it will pay for its self and the city can give tax breaks to people who use trucks or cars for business. We can employ a heavier cost on car tabs for expensive cars so the rich have to pay more and lower the cost for fuel efficient cars.

I’m no economist or city official but in my uneducated guess this would reduce or dependency on foreign oil, get people to think seriously about a real transit system and use it, help the environment, and keep rich car buyers honest.
I don't think you'd want to do that. Although i agree with you on that, it would backfire by increasing the cost of shipping resources, which would cause even more airlines to go bankrupt, etc, etc, you get the point. But that would be kind of nice. :D
I also agree with you about reducing dependency on foreign oil but jacking up prices for gasoline hurts everyone as has been stated. Here are my reasons for trams from a developement perspective:
PROS:
1. A line that is static and dedicated makes the willingness of developers to invest in properties on and near the line. We'll see how this works in South Lake Union.
2. Trams will replace bus lines that can be used elsewhere and reduce fumes and pollutions in the city core and connected neighborhoods.
3. Running a schedule of intervals rather than time (every 10 minutes instead of 4:30, 4:45, etc.) helps people to rely on a constant source of transportation throughout the city. This system would need to run at least 18 hours per day for people to take full advantage of wanting to have dinner in Queen Anne if they live in West Seattle.
4. At grade construction would not require underground utilities to be relocated en masse unless absolutely needed. Two bridges are required for Ballard and West Seattle.
5. Streetcars will drive up the value of surrounding properties.

CONS:
1. Obviously taxes will need to be levied to pay for this system. Nothing is free but it needs to be equitable and create enough revenue to pay for the system one part at a time.
2. Because the system is at grade it will be a part of traffic rather than above or below. I suggest creating transit only lanes on busy routes to separate cars from trams (i.e 5th Ave which is a one way only going south; other streets can absorb this traffic)
3. The political will to get this done probably is not there. Because of the monorail fiasco there is a hesitancy to tax people again for a system that might or might not be built. I think once the South Lake Union streetcar is built it could be a catalyst for other lines. Making this system part of Sound Transit might help.
4. Lines might be built into the more affluent areas first. To really make a difference start lines in areas where it can be used to help those without cars get around the city to jobs, groceries, etc.

These are just my thoughts. I have ideas for where this system could start and build out but they are only my ideas. I think from a developement standpoint this would go a long way to creating great urban villages and offices within Seattle and the surrounding neighborhoods.
I dont think thats really a "CON" Thats just the best way for it to start. I like the way you think. Keep it comming :eek:kay:
4. Lines might be built into the more affluent areas first. To really make a difference start lines in areas where it can be used to help those without cars get around the city to jobs, groceries, etc.
What about the public transit system has been studied in terms of its useability?

I'm familiar with other urban areas like SF Bay & SD. The transit systems is pretty well used in those areas but they don't really have the penetration that a good transit system could (like BART seems used most by people working around downtown SF and commuting in from elsewhere...).

What about SF residents who don't live near BART? For most of the city Bart isn't a plus for them... muni is no good at all.

Are there similar situations in seattle. i know there are several controversies...
The biggest issue is that the Federal government doesn't subsidize mass transit transportation in it's large cities to the extent it used to (30+ years ago). Seattlelites want mass transit in a huge way; this kind of technology can be more widespread and have better penetration with the same amount of dollars as a 2 line subway system. Our soil presents many challenges to tunnelling whereas streetcars have that kind of European appeal that a progressive city like Seattle could handle and enjoy.

Anyway, is there any new news of developments in Seattle?
There is always good stuff in the DJC

http://www.djc.com/

Does anybody have a subscription to the DJC?
Seattle and Bellevue Office vacancy rates are improving which means more building boom is on the horizon

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002527431_officespace29.html

Good luck Seattle and Bellevue!
Good! I hope that means West 8th, 7th & Westlake, and 2201 will find tenants and get going.
Northwest environment watch web site, has all the details about curbing sprawl, saving the forests, smog, growth, and everything. It's a very interesting site to surf on with maps and all that info. Enjoy!

http://www.northwestwatch.org/
That sprawl on the Seattle map sucks! :puke: I think we should cut down every forest in the northwest and buy SUV's for all the residence in the metro area. You guys with me? :guns1: :horse:
Did you compare the sprawl with Charlotte, NC and Seattle....BIG difference....the sprawl isn't as bad as you thought. Vancouver, BC is the best at curbing the sprawl compared to any major metro in the Northwest, Portland comes in 2nd. Boise, Idaho has the worst sprawl in the Northwest.
Dancer said:
That sprawl on the Seattle map sucks! :puke: I think we should cut down every forest in the northwest and buy SUV's for all the residence in the metro area. You guys with me? :guns1: :horse:
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