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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Plentiful Parking To Blame For Seattle's Bubble?

Here's an interesting tidbit from a mostly unrelated article (about getting people out of cars) in today's Seattle P-I:

Last March, Mayor Greg Nickels announced plans to reduce the number of parking spaces housing developers will need to provide in the Capitol Hill, First Hill, Pike-Pine and University District neighborhoods. The city's Department of Planning and Development now wants to eliminate the required minimum altogether for both housing and commercial developments for those neighborhoods and around light-rail stations.

Not only will the initiative reduce the cost of housing, planners say, but it may encourage transit ridership.
Ah hah! So the key to drive housing prices down in Seattle is to eliminate parking. Hmm. So, if I'm understanding the "logic" correctly, the plan here is to reduce—possibly all the way to zero—the number of parking spaces in new neighborhoods, thus causing potential residents to be unable to drive anywhere, thus causing people to not want to live there, which drives down housing costs for that neighborhood, and consequently drives down surrounding housing costs.

It's genius!

(Jane Hadley, Seattle P-I, 02.08.2006)


Marinite said...

Sorry to burst your bubble (pun intended), but Marin County has tried a similar tactic and it only caused house prices to increase to absurd levels. For the last 30 years Marin County, CA has, to an almost draconian level, restricted building of new houses and not improving the freeway and surface road system. The "logic" was "if we don't improve our infrastructure then people won't move here". They were proven wrong. Now Marin is choked with traffic and congestion not only on the freeway but on the surface streets.

Anonymous said...

To increase transit ridership the city first has to have transit that's worth giving up ones car for.

Seattle does not have that. And it has no plans to have that.

Somebody needs to notify the mayor that nobody's giving up their car for the buses that rarely come and then sit in traffic once you board.

This pisses me off.

Get rid of your car Mayor Nichols and then tell Seattleites to use our great public transport to get around town.


So yeah, in the meantime, let's trash the neighborhoods with cars parked in every nook and cranny.

Let's slow commerce in those neighborhoods cuz who's gonna go there if there's no parking?

Even Boeing gave that as one of their top reasons for relocating Hdqrs. to Chicago. everybody seems to have conveniently forgotten about that.

The whole lack of rapid transit could very well be the downfall of Seattle as a whole as a viable place to live and work, not just those few select neighborhoods.

Nichols is an idiot.

whetherforecast said...

I totally agree with "seattle price drop" above. Nichols and anyone else supporting this disasterous policy is an idiot. And I agree, let Nichols and friends first give up their vehicles for a minimum of 2 years.

Anonymous said...

As a Seattle bus rider and non-car owner I think 2 weeks maximum ought to do it Eliz!

For sure they'll be crying uncle by then.