OOBT

1. The city council unanimously passed an updated version of the city's Bicycle Master Plan, this afternoon. The plan  sets policy for bike paths and trails throughout the city.

Seattle Bike Blog has a report.

As we reported last week, the new plan focuses less on bike lanes and more on neighborhood greenways—streets that are reconfigured to be more welcoming to bikers and pedestrians than to cars—than the previous incarnation. Neighborhood greenways also happen to be cheaper than grade-separated bike-only paths like cycletracks, which will get less emphasis in the new plan, according to city council transportation chair Tom Rasmussen. 

2. The Seattle Times, which has already come out (twice) against saving King County Metro service, editorializes again against the April 22 ballot measure, arguing, this time, that it's a bad idea because instead of saving 600,000 hours of bus service it might only save 550,000 hours of bus service. (Real talk: Here's Seattle Transit Blog on the actual Metro deficit, and why it's real, and why it matters.)

Image via King County Metro.

Calling that difference (a result of increasing sales tax revenue thanks to the end of the recession) "disingenuous," the Times argues that an eight percent reduction in the amount of hours that will be cut—from 600 to 550 now—justifies voting to cut those hundreds of thousands of hours of bus service overall.

Well, no, it doesn't. And even if you think you don't directly "benefit" from Metro service, because you don't ride the bus, trust me: You do. If you want another 30,000 cars on the road, vote against Proposition 1 April 22. Otherwise, vote yes. 

3. The New York Times reports on the affordability crisis in many American cities, about half of which, it finds, have a median rent that exceeds the 30 percent of median income that's generally considered affordable.

Nationwide, a survey by Zillow found, some 90 cities had rent (not including utilities) that exceeded 30 percent of the median income. Bizarrely, Seattle didn't rank among the top 20, which may shock renters hit by median apartment rents of $1,400 a month in the city. 

4. I'm not usually a huge fan of Frank Bruni's political writing, but he hit it on the head with this week's Sunday NYT piece on the wage gap, where he eloquently laid out many of the reasons women make less than men, which aren't limited to simple discrimination (a boss who pays you less than your male counterpart simply because he can) but include factors like: the second, third, and fourth "jobs" women who run households are expected to perform for free (often at the expense of their professional lives); the fact that women take time "off" to care for kids; and the fact that women and girls are pushed into careers that pay less than those dominated by men.

"If we’re concerned about all working women, we have to talk about child care, flexible hours, paid leave," Bruni writes. "We have to talk about gender stereotypes and whether they steer women into professions with lower compensation. We have to talk about the choices that women make and which of those they feel muscled into." 

5. The Washington Post reports on the mutually beneficial relationship between potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Boeing. While the company has consistently contributed to organizations associated with the Clinton family, including a recent fundraiser for Ready for Hillary, a PAC formed to support her potential presidential run, Clinton has worked to secure contracts for the company, including a multibillion-dollar deal with Russia in 2009.    

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