“The execution of I-5 was a mistake. The challenge before us is to maintain the vital connection I-5 provides, but also heal the damage [on Seattle] its construction inflicted.”
Today not one dollar or one hour at either WSDOT or SDOT is being spent (officially) on large-scale, large-vision planning for the future I-5 transportation function into and through Seattle. It's a crime of neglect.
What if we were to lid the downtown I-5? Or put all its traffic into new tunnels to the east? Or get rid of it entirely? Big visions, but also big questions.
The rapid hiring by Amazon explains a good deal of the Millennial bulge. At the other end of the age spectrum, few older people migrate to a place like King County, and some older people will migrate out to warmer, quieter, less expensive places.
In dynamic West Coast cities, attracting young people from around the country does not seem to be a problem. Whether they choose to stay and build their lives in these cities is another question, and is tied closely to the price of housing and the lengths of commutes.
Seattle, which has the resources and institutions to help the poor, is pushing these residents outward, thanks to high costs of housing. They move to tax-starved and taxpayer-hostile districts that can't or won't fund these services.
Thanks to neighborhood resistance, the city added crippling requirements to the law that made it impractical and maddeningly complex for existing owners to finance and build these auxiliary units.
Backyard housing for the homeless can get to a higher scale if we keep it simple, keep it inexpensive and leave complex case management to the professionals.
"Grab the popcorn. This is a major power struggle over the future of city streets, and it’s just getting started.”
Anyone with gauzy notions that things were easier back then — the myth of the ten white guys with cigars calling the shots from the Rainier Club — has not studied much regional history. Getting stuff done was hard back then, too.