Alleys

Mayor or Monarch?

I’m sure it’s easy to forget that you are not a Monarch, but a public servant elected for a four-year term. And if you want another term, we'd suggest you start acting like a public servant and become responsive, not defiant, in response to citizens’ legitimate concerns.

Mayor or Monarch?

The Downtown Alley Cat Is On The Prowl: Episode 12

I went over to the alley behind Escala to take a look at a big truck sticking out of their loading dock and blocking all alley traffic. And sure enough, a picture of this truck belongs right at the top of any list showing why a downtown alley code amendment is absolutely necessary here in Seattle; and why none of these new pending high-rise projects downtown should be approved without demonstrating that large trucks such as this one will fit completely in their loading berth(s) and not extend out into the alley right-of-way.

The Downtown Alley Cat Is On The Prowl: Episode 12

Revisiting the Question: Is Seattle Still a Great City?

“By my grading [2016], Seattle scores six out of 11, at best”, said Westneat. "At my kid’s middle school, this would prompt an after-school retake.”  So how has this changed since 2016, for the better, or for the worse? We went through the same list again this week, and we could only give Seattle a four out of 11, at best. "Whether it’s poor leadership, misplaced priorities or just a temporary struggle with too much runaway success, something’s not quite right.”

Revisiting the Question: Is Seattle Still a Great City?

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

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]

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!

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.

5th & Virginia project delayed after Hearing Examiner rules on Escala Appeal

A ruling by City of Seattle Hearing Examiner Ryan Vancil to remand the 5th & Virginia project on daylight and health and require additional work on their dock management plan will further delay the start of construction.

5th & Virginia project delayed after Hearing Examiner rules on Escala Appeal

Seattle’s Downtown Delivery System Needs Major Overhaul

Explosive growth, not enough private loading bays, and too many new projects approved with inadequate loading designs, is resulting in too many failed first delivery attempts and too much parking time in loading spaces…a recipe for chaos. This has caused SDOT to rethink how they manage street curb parking and alley operations for trucks and other delivery vehicles. 

Seattle’s Downtown Delivery System Needs Major Overhaul