Seattle

Of Niche Markets and Broad Markets: Commuting in the US

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The six transit legacy cities - mostly urban cores that grew largely before the advent of the automobile - increased their concentration of transit work trips to 57.9% of the national transit commuting, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. At the same time, working at home strengthened its position as the nation’s third leading mode of work access, with transit falling to fourth. The transit commuting market share dropped from 5.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018.  read more »

The Regression of America’s Big Progressive Cities

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If there’s anything productive to come from his recent Twitter storm, President Trump’s recent crude attacks on Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings have succeeded in bring necessary attention to the increasingly tragic state of our cities. Baltimore’s continued woes, after numerous attempts to position itself as a “comeback city,” illustrates all too poignantly the deep-seated decay in many of our great urban areas.  read more »

Bremerton, Washington: Challenges of an Industrial Town

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Recent statistics from Indeed.com show that Washington, DC, the winner of the HQ2 contest, ranks second only to San Jose in the percentage of high-tech job listings. This tells us that most of the 238 cities that submitted bids --- despite assurance from Amazon --- were never seriously in the running. If mid-sized places like Indianapolis did not really stand a chance, however, what does that tell us about the economic prospects for smaller, more industrial places that have virtually no software companies?  read more »

Escaping the Strait Jacket of "Place"

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We like to think of "place" as something positive, something that sets our patterns of living in a good way, but sometimes those patterns and forms become a strait jacket that keep our communities from evolving and growing. Sometimes you have to throw off that strait jacket, and Seattle, where 150,000 people have moved in the last 20 years, seems to be doing just that.  read more »

Will Seattle light rail extended to Snohomish County create intolerable crowding on peak period trains in King County?

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Starting in the 1980s, the central Puget Sound region committed itself to a network of four-car light-rail trains having less passenger capacity than the eight-car heavy-rail subway rejected by King County voters in 1968 and 1970, a service territory that included Seattle and Bellevue. The plan back then did not include tracks into Snohomish County to the north and Pierce County to the south. Those two jurisdictions were added to the voter-approved Sound Transit plans beginning in 1996.  read more »

Which Downzoning Is Evil?

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Another day, another story about how evil single-family zoning makes housing expensive. This one is from Seattle, whose urban-growth boundary was drawn more than 30 years ago and, as far as I know, has never been changed.  read more »

Population Growth Slowing in Largest US Municipalities

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The 2017 Census Bureau population estimates shows that population growth in the nation’s largest municipalities (incorporated cities and equivalent) has declined substantially relative to the healthier gains posted earlier in the decade.  read more »

Questions to Ask about Amtrak 501

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The wreck of the 501–the Amtrak train that crashed near Seattle on Monday–is raising lots of questions about Amtrak operations, but they aren’t always the right ones. Here are some questions that should be asked and some of the Antiplanner’s preliminary answers. Answers from Amtrak (the operator), FRA (the funder), Sound Transit (the track owner), or WSDOT (the train owner) may differ.  read more »

Seattle Booms in Latest Census City-Level Estimates

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Seattle tops the growth charts among the top 25 cities in the Census Bureau’s latest release of 2016 city and town population estimates.

Seattle, a land-locked (no annexation) city in the Pacific Northwest with a limited history of high density, managed to add 20,847 people last year, a growth rate of over 3% – tops among the 25 largest cities.  read more »

Vancouverizing Seattle?

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A recent Wall Street Journal article (“For Chinese buyers, Seattle is the new Vancouver”) reported that Seattle was replacing Vancouver as the most popular destination for Chinese buyers in North America. For years, there has been considerable concern about foreign investment in the Vancouver housing market, especially Chinese investment.  read more »