Open Letter to Mayor Durkan

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but you really blew it on Tuesday when you were asked about your response to the KOMO News feature, “Seattle Is Dying”; and you said that the show was not representative of Seattle, that most of the city is thriving. How can you be so out of touch with reality? And show no compassion for the people suffering and dying on the streets?

Open Letter to Mayor Durkan

The Downtown Alley Cat is On the Prowl: Episode 11

When will this human madness end? As I walk different alleys to try to find a safe place for my family and me, I just find more of the same. The proposed tower at 2nd & Virginia [#3033067] will hold 1,000 people in condos, hotel rooms, restaurants and offices yet it has no working loading berths and no space for trash collection on the alley.  It will share the alley with two other recent developments with no loading facilities. Between the trucks that line the alley and drivers trying to access 461 parking stalls, a worker on the block calls this alley a "nightmare.” 

The Downtown Alley Cat is On the Prowl: Episode 11

The Downtown Alley Cat Is Now On The Prowl: Part 10

As I walk the alleys of Seattle every day, I see more and more evidence of why an alley code amendment is long overdue. When I heard that the design team for the high-rise proposal at 1516-2nd Ave [#3032531] said they wanted to make the already busy alley behind the tower the "front door" of the building, I meowed under my breath “you cannot be serious!!!” 

The Downtown Alley Cat Is Now On The Prowl: Part 10

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

If you've ever wondered how City leaders can claim big initiatives you've never heard of have broad public support, they likely spring from forums like the Imagine Downtown Open House happening this Thursday at City Hall from 6-8:30 pm.   By summer this public/private consortium will have collected feedback to "refine, combine and compile Big Ideas" into a vision plan for the future of downtown. Don’t be left out. Please attend this Thursday's forum on Transportation or send your ideas via email.

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

Slow Down and Get MHA Up-Zoning right!

As the City Council gets closer to passing the Citywide Mandatory Housing affordability bill, I believe that the results downtown should give them pause. The City has used downtown as the “canary in the coal mine”. And the canary died.

Slow Down and Get MHA Up-Zoning right!

The Downtown Alley Cat Is Now On The Prowl: Part 9

My dad, Dac*, started this series of posts three years ago. Now that he’s retired, I have decided to come out of the shadows to continue his good work and share with you what I see today walking the downtown alleys. And I’m afraid it’s not pretty. If the Mayor and City Council don’t “see the light” and make some meaningful improvements to Alley Code, you’re going to see some real “cat fights” in these alleys (See what we need and why we need it at the end of this post).    --*Downtown Alley Cat

The Downtown Alley Cat Is Now On The Prowl: Part 9

Another Terrible Traffic Study: C’Mon Man!

The original TENW Traffic Study for First Light #3026416 at 2000-3rd Ave. and its Update of 1/3/19 (posted 1/16/19) are incomplete and misleading. The foundation of the study’s projection of future traffic volumes (and cumulative impact) is completely invalid having excluded the project’s closest tower neighbors .

Another Terrible Traffic Study: C’Mon Man!

Here We Go Again! 5th & Stewart Altitude [#3018037]

Nothing has really changed on the 5th & Stewart [Altitude] plans. The tower's loading and waste design will cause major back-ups in its alley and surrounding streets. None of its berths will fit the trucks for which they're intended.  There is no space on the alley for garbage collection. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. If you agree, please express your concerns to PRC@Seattle.gov.

Here We Go Again! 5th & Stewart Altitude [#3018037]

Too Big To Fail: Part 3 of 4; Jiffy Lube Site/Silver Cloud Hotel [#3025502]

The Applicant ignored all substantive design guidance from EDG1: loading design, turn radius study, alley circulation, waste storage niche --only to focus on ribbons, colors, palette, etc. That’s like saying "The patient is terribly sick and may die...but is wearing a lovely color of hospital gown.” And what did the Board do in response? They passed the project on to the Recommendation Meeting phase. Unbelievable! If you agree, please voice your displeasure by writing to prc@seattle.gov.

Too Big To Fail: Part 3 of 4; Jiffy Lube Site/Silver Cloud Hotel [#3025502]

Please amend CB119398 and bring reality to City policy.

City Council is scheduled to vote on CB119398 this coming Monday, January 14, at 2 PM. Exempting downtown towers from transportation mitigations required for smaller developments outside the city core is the biggest adverse impact and mystery in CB119398. While we understand and applaud the goal of bringing alternative transportation options to the SOV into greater usage, Transportation Performance [i.e. travel time] should be our primary measure of success or failure, not just a fuzzy feel good SOV reduction standard.

Please amend CB119398 and bring reality to City policy.

Public losing right to challenge urban tower transportation impacts; Write now asking Council to vote NO on CB119398

CB119398 may be well intentioned, but it is dangerously incomplete. While smaller projects outside the urban core will need to mitigate their traffic impacts, new downtown towers are exempt. The bill eliminates Director’s Rule 2009-5 that says if a tower’s projected vehicle trips exceed street capacity at key intersections, it is required to address its adverse impacts.

Public losing right to challenge urban tower transportation impacts; Write now asking Council to vote NO on CB119398

Downtown: The Front Porch of Seattle

A cluttered front porch leaves a bad first impression, no matter what is behind it. The same with a city. We have so many great things in downtown Seattle, but on the way to them you’ll see trash, homeless tents, people passed out on sidewalks, drug deals & injections, traffic gridlock…and on and on. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, so fix it now!

Downtown: The Front Porch of Seattle

Stop the insanity now!

A recently released UW/SDOT study (click here for full report) confirms the inadequacies of Seattle's 100 year old downtown alleys. Why does the City continue to allow irreversible disastrous decisions with generational adverse impacts in Downtown Seattle? There can only be one answer.…The city sees a way out of their budget problems, and the developers are more than willing to accommodate them.

Stop the insanity now!
DRA Seattle2 Comments

Alley and Loading Berth Design Code Must Be Changed…It Simply Doesn’t Work!

Escala was built to code but its berths won’t hold most common trucks. That’s why it’s imperative that we get action to improve Design Review procedures on loading design and alley circulation — and code revisions on loading requirements and alley width.

DRA Seattle2 Comments
Alley and Loading Berth Design Code Must Be Changed…It Simply Doesn’t Work!

CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING ALERT

Make your voice heard to the committees overseeing Seattle’s transportation and land use policies

Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 2 p.m. Sustainability and Transportation &

Wednesday December 5, 2018 9:30 a.m. Planning, Land Use and Zoning

Meetings held in City Council Chambers at 600 4th Ave. Seattle, WA 98104

CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING ALERT