1. The Cascade Bicycle Club has released a comprehensive list of endorsements in state, county, Port, and local races. No big surprises (McGinn for mayor, O'Brien for city council, and Constantine for county exec), but if you're curious why the bike lobby is supporting those candidates—or who they're backing in the race for Burien city council—check out Cascade's website.
2. Sightline's Alan Durning continues his great series today on how parking requirements—city rules that force developers to build parking whether they need it or not—shape communities, with a piece on the actual expenses developers incur to meet minimum parking requirements.
It's a long piece, and well worth reading in its entirety, but here's the takeaway: Parking requirements are "an enormous barrier to affordable housing," because adding parking (especially underground parking) forces developers to jack up rents if they want to make a profit.
It's a lose-lose-lose for: renters who drive; developers; and renters without cars.If you're a developer, Durning writes, "You’re stuck with no good options: a long and risky waiver application, underground parking with extremely high rents, or a half-sized building with high rent and slots out back." Infuriatingly, he adds, many such requirements exist in neighborhoods with underutilized parking elsewhere—surface lots at grocery stores, underground spaces in office buildings, and unused spots at other apartments.
And those renters who don't own cars end up subsidizing those who do—a lose-lose-lose for: renters who drive; developers; and renters without cars.
3. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced today that he's leaving the company in a year; he did not announce a successor.
Geekwire's John Cook and Todd Bishop talk about the implications of Ballmer's announcement and offer their take on a company in disarray.
My take ... this is Josh (yes, Erica and her opinions on everything do get edited) ... comes from the news that Microsoft has "hired an executive search firm to scout for a replacement."
Only silly companies aspiring to the trappings of corporate culture or companies that have lost their in-house magic hire search firms to identify new leadership. It is sad news for Microsoft that a crew of inside superstars aren't already cued up to take Ballmer's place.
That seems like a convenient distinction designed to make "suburbs," in general, look less environmentally damaging than they are.
4. Vancouver, WA Mayor Tim Leavitt says his city should step up and pay for ongoing operations and maintenance costs for light rail on any new Columbia River Crossing bridge, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
The proposed new bridge between Vancouver and Portland stalled out this year, when Washington state legislators failed to pass a transportation package that would pay for Washington's $450 million contribution to constuction costs; Oregon is now talking about building the bridge alone, expanding I-5 only on the Oregon side and building light rail to Vancouver.
5. A lot of folks have been passing along this Atlantic Cities story, which purports to show that suburbs are no worse than cities when it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions. Although a new study does conclude that, on average, city dwellers produce more greenhouse gases heating and cooling their homes (because their households tend to be smaller) and suburb dwellers produce more GHGs from transportation (because they drive more), those stats (and the headline: "Suburbs might be just as green as cities") elide the fact that the real problem is far-flung suburbs, AKA exurbs—which the Atlantic doesn't include in the category "suburbs."
That seems like a convenient distinction designed to make "suburbs," in general, look less environmentally damaging than they are. And the study itself may be of limited relevance: It explores just one community—Halifax, in Nova Scotia, Canada—which is smaller (414,000 residents) and more rural than many U.S. cities.