posted by December 8 at 12:31 PMon
Today’s Seattle Times story about a proposal to reduce or eliminate the amount of parking commercial and residential developers must provide (also linked here) frames the proposal entirely in terms of inconvenience to drivers—from the headline (“Think parking’s hard to find? It could get worse in Seattle”) to the body of the story:
Parking spaces may become harder to find in Seattle, but there could be more greenery to admire while you’re looking.
To get people out of their cars, sprout new neighborhood commerce, and grow a greener city, the Seattle City Council may tell developers and businesses they no longer need to provide parking in some areas, but will need to plant more grass.
The proposed rules, which Councilman Peter Steinbrueck calls the most sweeping change to commercial land-use laws in two decades, could make parking tougher across the city.
Rather than mocking the proposal to require more open green space (not “grass”) and whining repeatedly about “tougher parking,” the Times could have talked about the benefit to businesses in urban villages (which won’t have to provide expensive and often unnecessary parking), to pedestrians (who will benefit as the city creates public spaces that are bike and pedestrian oriented instead of car dependent), or to the environment (which will benefit by the addition of green roofs and open spaces, which mitigate the “heat island” effect of cities and absorb greenhouse-gas pollution). Instead, the Times writes everyone but harried shoppers driving their cars to neighborhood businesses out of the story.