Trivial Pursuits

5 Very Serious Ways for Bruce Harrell to Fix Seattle

We sweat the little things.

By Benjamin Cassidy January 19, 2022

Seattle has major problems. Housingpublic safety, and climate change should all keep new mayor Bruce Harrell plenty busy. But those issues can’t be fixed overnight. Trivial annoyances, on the other hand? Those could be remedied with the stroke of a pen or twist of an arm. During some dark times, here are a handful of ways our new leader could make things a little better around here right away.

Ban the Amazon umbrellas. You know the ones. These orange-and-white striped monstrosities are fit for beach shade, not sidewalk cover. Godspeed to any pedestrian who tries to slip by them on our city’s narrow sidewalks. Insofar as we’re using bumbershoots at all, they shouldn’t be as maximalist as one of the world’s largest companies.

Put a little weight behind the city’s shoveling law. For at least the last few years, Seattle has not issued a single citation for failing to clear a walkway of snow, per SDOT. Instead it’s taken an “educational” approach. Admirable, truly. But our city’s latest storm shows that the landlords simply are not listening. Either hand out the occasional fine or, perhaps, impose a different deterrent: Make an offending property responsible for shoveling the entire block next time. This doubles as an economic stimulus for entrepreneurial students looking to let out some teen “spirit” on something inanimate.

Speaking of fines. “Pike’s Place.” Fork over $25 to the nearest longtime local. Do not pass First or go directly to jail.

Free the outdoor cocktails. Anyone who’s been to a Seattle park on a summer day knows what’s really in those water bottles. Why should do-gooders have to hide it? The city council’s making psychedelics a low law enforcement priority. Painkillers, of the cocktail variety, should be next

Steer a woozier West Seattle Water Taxi. Washington’s ferries already serve booze, so there’s no reason why our local water taxis can’t get onboard, too. Let’s start small: a shot bar, a la this now-defunct one at the airport, to make that three-minute ride across the Sound (and much longer wait for the West Seattle Bridge to reopen) a little more exciting. Not your jurisdiction, you say? Well, we just managed to trade some city real estate to King County. Twist their arm a little. You’re the mayor now.

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