Slow Down and Get MHA Up-Zoning right!

As the rest of Seattle awaits Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) up-zoning, downtown is providing a dismal preview. 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

DOCK MANAGEMENT PLAN…that dog won’t hunt!

The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) commonly uses the term Dock Management Plan as a “cure-all” for inadequate loading and waste facilities in proposed downtown high-rise projects, but the City of Seattle has no practical experience with their operation ,due either to the newness or incompleteness of the projects involved.

DOCK MANAGEMENT PLAN…that dog won’t hunt!

Too Big To Fail: Part 1 of 4; First Light at 2000 - 3rd Avenue


First Light Condominium at 2000-3rd Ave. boasts a rooftop pool and some of the best sunset views in the Pacific Northwest. Its problems come on the ground, where it is not a functional design.  As home to an anticipated 1,600 condo dwellers and office workers, this small village is requesting fewer and smaller loading berths than required by code. Most trucks won't be able to access the berths because the project's narrow alley is lined with dumpsters from neighboring older buildings, home to some of Seattle's most popular restaurants. And ingress and egress from its parking garage will be challenging, if not impossible.

Too Big To Fail: Part 1 of 4; First Light at 2000 - 3rd Avenue

One small step for man; one giant leap for downtown livability.

Huge win in Superior Court for downtown livability, as the 5th and Virginia’s (Douglaston) Appeal of the Hearing Examiner’s Remand on Daylighting/health issues was dismissed in Superior Court today. This means that the Hearing Examiner’s ruling stands that the city/developer must dig deeper into the health effects issue to Escala residents.

One small step for man; one giant leap for downtown livability.

Too Big to Fail: Part 4 of 4; 5th & Lenora [#3026266]

Just as in what appears to be the Design Review standard script, the Downtown DRB approved yet another major downtown Seattle high rise apartment building (MUP3026266, 2025-5th Ave) with only one, symbolic and for all practical purposes, unusable loading berth! 

How can the Design Review Board keep a straight face while claiming loading berths, waste storage, or parking aren't issues for them to consider? This is the same endless loop of pass the buck we've been fighting for over four years.The DRB says it’s not their purview and will be taken up in SEPA. In SEPA, it is presumed that it has been considered by DRB, when in reality no one has considered functional design.

Too Big to Fail: Part 4 of 4; 5th & Lenora [#3026266]

More gridlock ahead: Seattle’s 100-year-old alleys were not built for mega-towers.

Density done right could alleviate traffic congestion, but no one is considering the cumulative impact of spiked demand for access and service in alleys from a new round of mega-towers in downtown Seattle.

More gridlock ahead: Seattle’s 100-year-old alleys were not built for mega-towers.