1. About freaking time: The Oregonian reports that Zipcar, whose nonsensical round-trip-only business model has been threatened by Car2Go, which offers convenient one-way trips, will start providing a one-way rental option too.
The company's new One>Way service will start in Boston later this year and will exclusively feature Honda Fits—which is kind of a bummer, given that the big advantage Zipcar has over Car2Go is that you can choose from all kinds of cars, including luxury rides like Volvos, BMWs, and convertible Minis.
But never mind. At least a Honda Fit holds more than two people and doesn't emit death rattles when you try to drive it up Seattle's hills. (Just kidding—love you, Car2Go!)
And maybe if the new plan is a success, they'll add some fancier cars into the one-way driving mix.
2. If you're worried that your property (or property you're thinking about buying) is prone to landslides, Seattle has a map for that.
This morning, KPLU reports, the city's Department of Planning and Development gave the city council a presentation on mapping software they've developed that shows the history of landslides at a property, and provides detailed slope contours to give property owners a sense of landslide risk.
An incredibly blasé response to a disaster that killed 43 people.
3. Meanwhile, in Snohomish County, the county council is already backing off from an emergency proposal banning new construction in landslide-prone areas in the wake of last month's Oso tragedy. The proposal, which council chair Dave Somers withdrew today, would have temporarily barred new home construction within a half-mile of hills known to be landslide hazards.
Instead, the council will now consider "temporary new rules that could widen setbacks from hill edges and require developers to get additional geotechnical studies before building in potentially hazardous zones," according to the Seattle Times—which seems like an incredibly blasé response to a disaster that killed 43 people.
4. If you're using your garage to store a bunch of crap, that's cool—just don't complain when you have to drive around for a couple of minutes to find a public parking space, Seattle Transit Blog's Frank Chiachere says.
He's speaking from experience:
Let’s be honest: many of us don’t use our garages for parking cars. I was tooling around Madrona the other night, looking for a parking space, and every spot on the street was taken. How could that be, I thought, when every house had a garage? Why are all the residents of Madrona parking on the street when they have perfectly usable garages?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because our garages are stuffed with more junk than a Greenwood antique shop. The typical Seattle garage contains six pairs of snowshoes, four vintage dining room chairs, a Fender amplifier, and at least one kayak. Can’t have that stuff in the house, of course, so in the garage it goes! ...
I’ve been in enough Seattle neighborhoods on those pleasant Spring Saturdays, when the garages are open and everyone’s working on various “projects.” I know the score. I’m looking at you, guy in Phinney Ridge who brews his own beer. And you too, lady in Wallingford who keeps a loomin the garage for the day you start, what, a… textile business? ...
So next time you show up at a community meeting, complaining that some new apartment or condo is going to take up precious street parking, you may not get much sympathy. You can’t just leave the snowshoes and the kayak in the street for 23 hours a day, right?
5. Finally, Billy Frank, a Nisqually elder, fisherman, and Northwest icon who spent the better part of half a century fighting for treaty rights for Northwest tribes, including the right to fish for salmon in their native waters, died early this morning, the Seattle Times reports. He was 83.