The C is for Crank

The Seattle Times vs. the Free Market, Take 2

By Erica C. Barnett April 11, 2012

The Seattle City Council opted today to delay discussion of a controversial parking-related proposal and a related proposal to increase the number of units in a development that would trigger environmental review until early May.

I'll have more on another part of the proposal they did discuss today, allowing commercial businesses in low-rise residential areas, but I wanted to point out another blatant discrepancy between the Seattle Times' coverage of the proposal and the facts on the ground.

The Times headline reads: "Discussion of Seattle proposal to omit parking in developments near transit is delayed until May."

This is false. The proposal, as I've pointed out ad nauseam, does not "omit parking in developments near transit." It merely gets rid of a city government mandate that developers build a minimum amount of parking in developments near frequent transit service. If consumers demand it (and the ample parking in new developments directly adjacent to light-rail stations, like the Station at Othello, certainly suggests that they do), developers will provide it---just like they provide granite countertops, cable access, wi-fi, and other amenities that renters and buyers at new, high-end buildings expect.

Developers are free to build as much parking as they want, based on the demands of the people buying their condos or renting their apartments. Although the story itself gets the substance of the proposal right, that blaring headline---the third such inaccurate headline in as many weeks---is what the casual reader sees on the Times' front page, and it's simply wrong. The Times is letting their pro-car agenda get in the way of the truth.
Show Comments