Streetless in Seattle by Ethan Epstein, City Journal Autumn 2011

Seattle seems like a long ways away. Certainly we don’t hear much about the “war on cars” going on in Seattle from our local papers. Everything the writer says is true but it is from an anti-bicycle point of view. Or, is it? Is this just the voice of common sense? Are a significant number of Seattle’s daily commuters ever realistically going to switch to the bicycle in the rainy city on the sound?

I’m an advocate for complete streets. I want to see roads designed for pedestrians and cyclists as well as automobiles. Would I bicycle in downtown Seattle? Probablly not. Would I drive there? That’s equally unlikely these days. But shouldn’t we work toward a more livable, sustainable means of transportation?

I’m always unhappy when I think of the huge parking lot WalMart put in in Clarkston.  This kind of pro-business thinking does nothing to make our communities more walkable and bikeable.

You shouldn’t have to be against business to promote livable communities. But sometimes it seems like that until the roads become so choked you can’t even get to WalMart.–Corrie



Sure enough, when McGinn became mayor, he began pursuing anti-car policies. He’d like to levy an $80 fee for registering a car in Seattle, and he has raised taxes on parking in privately owned garages. He now plans to raise parking-meter rates downtown to $4 an hour from $2.50, which would make it costlier to park in Seattle than in any other American city except Chicago. He also supports maintaining the so-called head tax, which docks businesses $25 annually for every employee who drives alone to work.

via Streetless in Seattle by Ethan Epstein, City Journal Autumn 2011.

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