Seattle urban and transit planning: a failure of vision

David Brewster writes in Crosscut about the failure of Seattle to have a strong planning vision. While his article doesn’t have much to say about transit, it echoes something Charles Hamilton wrote just a couple of days ago.

Seattle’s piecemeal approach to transit planning is having huge negative impacts on its residents and its business community. By doing one unconnected project after another, we’re subjecting ourselves to years and years of uncertainty, ripped-up streets, and the wholesale displacement of people and businesses. …

The waterfront tunnel [is an example]. This project will cost a fortune and have no benefit for downtown Seattle while increasing surface-street traffic, and it may well kill some of Seattle’s most well-known businesses. Do we honestly think Ivar’s, Elliott’s, the Edgewater and Argosy Cruises are going to survive a decade of being cut off from foot traffic, without access to the Waterfront Streetcar that could have provided some connectivity?

It’s inevitable, of course, that communities evolve over time. But we as citizens and business owners need to make sure that we’re guiding that evolution, and that it matches our vision of what we want Seattle to be like in rest of the 21st century.

Those of us who want to make a better vision for our community should participate in several upcoming events. We’ve mentioned the June 26 event previously. Here are some more places where we can express our views.

The Promise of Urban Connectors Series: Belltown | Elliott Way Connections To Pike Place Market

Join us for for a compelling Beer & Culture focusing on The Promise of Urban Connectors in Belltown/Pike Place Market to discuss opportunities for new connection(s) to the waterfront and other urban design possibilities resulting from, or otherwise inspired by, the Waterfront Project. Topics include:

  • Enliven Elliott Way
  • Elliott Way Streetscape & Access to Pike Place Market
  • Activate Blanchard Street Hillside
  • Refine Landscape Plan for Battery Street Overlook
  • Appropriate Uses – Blanchard/Western Surplus Property
  • Cultivation of Green Streets: Bell, Vine, Broad

Help us envision key elements necessary to bring The Promise of Urban Connectors into reality to further enhance the experience of Seattle’s Waterfront and neighboring communities.

Panel & Speakers

  • Ben Franz-Knight, Pike Place Market, Victor Steinbrueck Park
  • Ron Turner, Belltown Housing & Land Use
  • Martha Barkman, Harbor Urban
  • Lesley Bain, Weinstein A|U

June 20th, 5:30 – 8:30 PM, The Pomeroy, 2323 First Ave. Belltown
Doors Open 5:30, Program 6:30

RSVP Requested: info@alliedartsofseattle.org
Light Refreshments Provided
Suggested Donation: $20.00 | Students: $5.00

Waterfront Seattle at Community Events

While you’re attending community festivals this summer, stop by the Waterfront Seattle booth and let them know that you want to bring back the Waterfront Streetcar!

Waterfront Seattle’s free photo booth is one more great reason to visit your favorite fairs, festivals and parks this summer. Come find us in your neighborhood for free photos of your family and to learn more about how we’re designing a waterfront for all.

June 9 Waterfront Whimsea Fun Day, Waterfront Park
June 15-16 Festival Sundiata/Black Art Exhibit, Seattle Center
June 29 Youth Baseball Tournament, Lower Woodland Park
June 30 Seattle PrideFest, Seattle Center
June 30 Youth Baseball Tournament, Riverview Playfield
July 13-14 Chinatown-International District Dragon Fest,
Chinatown-International District
July 20 Rugby Tournament, Magnuson Park
August 1 First Thursday, Pioneer Square
August 3 Umoja Fest, Judkins Park
August 17 Rainier Summer Streets, Rainier Valley
August 24 Big Day of Play, Magnuson Park
August 29 SAM Dancing Til Dusk, Olympic Sculpture Park
August 31 – September 1 Bumbershoot, Seattle Center
September 5 First Thursday, Pioneer Square
September 7 Salmon Return Family Festival, Olympic Sculpture Park
September 8 Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Seattle Center
September 19-20 Salmon Homecoming School Days, Waterfront Park
October 3 First Thursday, Pioneer Square
October 27 Trick-or-Treat on the Waterfront, Waterfront Park

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