When I talk about car culture, people say I’m being overblown. But how else do you explain The Seattle Times deciding that it’s super important for the city to continue forcing builders to build more parking spots? I mean, I don’t think the market will solve all of our problems, but usually The Seattle Times does. Not today.
The proposal is part of a package to lighten regulations that discourage investment and development. Seattle is a highly regulated city, sometimes to the detriment of reasonable development, and generally this package of reforms is good. But to allow the spread of housing without parking is utopian and anti-family.
No. Plenty of families don’t have cars. When I grew up in a city with functioning public transit, we took it everywhere. When we moved out here, we became a 2 car family.
It is utopian to think that many people will abandon their cars. A few will, but the vast majority who can afford market-priced housing in Seattle will have a motor vehicle, now and always. If they have a vehicle, they will park it — somewhere.
This is such a circular argument. One part of the reason it’s expensive to live, and raise children, in the city is because it has tacked on the cost of parking even to families that don’t drive. I mean people on the cusp could afford a house in the neighborhood and give up their car. Let them chose. If there’s still the demand for parking, people will still build parking.
Anyway, the type of person who buys a house near light rail or a well used bus stop is less likely to drive than the typical person moving into the city, or if it’s a family with 3 people over 16, maybe they’ll just have 1 or 2 cars instead of a car for everyone. Maybe it’ll be a good house for people who’ve retired and don’t have to drive to work every day. The list goes on and on. Let them decide for themselves.
More city people these days have bicycles also, as the mayor does, but they still drive, particularly if they have children or elderly people to take care of. Seattle is famously a city with a low proportion of children, said to be second only to San Francisco. Still our leaders should think twice about making Seattle any less welcoming to families than it already is.
First off, thanks for the random shoehorning of hatred of bicycling, McGinn, and San Fransisco in case anyone needs to prove that this piece was written by Joni Balter. Second, if Seattle residents are disproportionately childless, that undermines your argument that we should build houses to accommodate your version of child rearing. Finally, and once again, you don’t have to drive to get your children around. Yes, it can be tough in Seattle’s not great public transit system, but plenty of people make it work. It saves money. And many people prefer the interactions with their kids on public transit (where parents can give them their full attention) than when they’re driving.