Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad Design and Money Disconnects

Hey everyone, I realize that the posts on here have slowed to a crawl. I don't meant to neglect them but sometimes life gets in the way. You can find links from me on twitter everyday @theoverheadwire. They are also on the bottom right of the blog. But on to biz:

I've had some tabs open that I really wanted to comment on but hadn't gotten a chance. So if this is old news I apologize:

First off, Kemper Freeman stands to gain a lot of development money from light rail. It's unfortunate that his head is so far up his ass that he can't see the dollar signs and is instead wasting them on lawsuits. No matter, give all those earnings to the lawyers and watch him lose anyway.


Second, I'm really annoyed at Yahoo's campus design. This is just more suburban crap and instead of creating buildings and a street network that actually form a true urban grid, such that other buildings could form some sort of urban neighborhood around them. This is what is wrong with our employment centers and why they aren't walkable, making it harder to take transit. Sure its better than what was there before, but it could have been used to set off a new way of developing office parks that was sustainable. Great you're next to a light rail line and it looks like a school campus. I still think Adobe is the champ for going downtown.


Finally. If you haven't seen it yet, the 1906 SF streetcar video is pretty cool. You can find more explanation at Market Street Railway.


W. K. Lis said...

The video does not show people breaking laws, because there were no such laws to break. Jaywalking, there were no jaywalking laws. Driving on the wrong side of the road, there was right side of the road. Crosswalks, there were no crosswalks. All the laws that we now consider against the law, was created because of the automobile, mostly for safety reasons and to protect property (ie. the automobile).

Anonymous said...

RE: Yahoo

Office "campuses" creep me out. It was interesting for like the first year in college, but why on earth would anyone subject themselves to the same experience for years after college?! The real world is more than cafeteria food, insular politics, and endless meandering around the parking lot.

Unknown said...

The Yahoo picture makes me think of Pruitt-Igoe. I guess there's only so many ways to plop a bunch of identical buildings and greenery onto a rectangle of land. Sigh.

Evergreen said...

Freeman thinks he has a chance with Amendment 18 of the Washington State Constitution, that prohibits Gas Tax revenue from being used for non-highway purposes. He thinks he has a chance because the bridge was built with gas tax revenue, although it was back during the days when the Feds paid for most of it. The center roadway of the I-90 Crossing was supposed to be converted for transit use at a later date, believe it was called the 3-T2-3 option. A former Washington State Transportation Commissioner says East LINK is legal.

Freeman is using this argument just to stop it at all costs. He believes Central LINK replaced efficient bus routes, and East LINK will do the same with ST Express bus 55. Problem is, each additional bus put on that route requires another driver. LINK currently runs in 2 car trains, with 1 driver each. The trains carry much more passengers seated than what one bus can carry at crush load. Sometimes the 550 runs less than every 10 minutes.

Freeman has also been an advocate of building even more roads in the area, as we are running out of room to build them. He also has said when inteveriewd on local radio, that this region can't have rail because the region is not laid out the right way. Problem is, Seattle had streetcars in the past, but his memory of it, may have been the Benson Line, if that. We had a much bigger system prior to April 13, 1941.

erentz said...

I've never understood why companies like Google, Yahoo, etc., locate on such ugly campuses in the middle of nowhere with six lane driveways leading up to them. Surely the type of people who work for these companies are after something else these days?

The new Amazon campus in South Lake Union Seattle looks like it's a good example of what companies like this should be doing instead.