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Friday, May 23, 2014

Seattle Still Growing Faster than the Suburbs

Posted by on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 9:28 AM

As Bethany just posted, Seattle is growing faster than all other major cities in the US. But also Seattle continues to grow faster than its suburbs. Seattle Times:

For the second consecutive year, it outpaced its suburbs — and the new census data show this trend is accelerating.

Seattle grew at double the rate of surrounding King County between 2012 and 2013. That is significantly faster than in the previous year’s census estimates, which clocked Seattle’s growth at 25 percent faster than its King County suburbs.

This also happens to be the moment we are cutting Metro services and, as a whole, don't have a serious public transportation vision for the city.


Comments (30) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Look at that fucking awning.
Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on May 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Yes, but Seattle is getting whiter, the suburbs more diverse.
Posted by Urbanism = white college kids on May 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM · Report this
MrBaker 3
And at a 1% lid on taxes those new people are not going to pay next year for many of the services they were sold this year.

Developers need to sell as much "now" as they can before the survives deteriorate or taxes increase to keep up with inflation.

We can't build our way out of this.
Posted by MrBaker on May 23, 2014 at 9:59 AM · Report this
raindrop 4
A tunnel is being built, light rail is going up, bike lanes everywhere, more streetcars, more trollies, city bike sharing program, and because of a bus funding problem you can't call it "serious"?
Posted by raindrop on May 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
They're packing their bongs and fleeing the polar vortex. We're fiddling.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM · Report this
We need to tell the rest of the county to go fuck themselves, play some hardball with the State for decent taxing authority, and stop pretending that we're all in this together.

They don't like us and never will. But we don't need them.

We can start by supporting challengers to fuckers like Chopp who haven't represented this City in years.
Posted by giffy on May 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM · Report this
tainte 7
good. i live out here because i like space. you live in the city because you like people. it's a win-win.
Posted by tainte on May 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM · Report this
the light rail we're putting up isn't a serious rail plan == we need like nine or ten lines converging downtown and covering the city plus close in burbs. instead we get this slow, undercapacity, in the street, trolley that will end up with more stops on eastside than in north seattle, and it doesn't connect half the city's so obvious now we shoulda built the monorail or any rail connecting west seattle and NW part of seattle to downtown and to the light rail line. ballard is booming. interbay is booming. everyone wants transit and hello, busses still get stuck in traffic and subways are still damn costly to build underground. we've been conditioned to cheerlead that our little light rail line, a "system" with like two spurs going downtown from north and south (the one going east with one stop in the city hardly counts as in city rail) is a "serious" rial system. it's not. they wasted a billion dollars on sounder capital upgrades, they helped kill the monorail a/k/a the west side lines, and even today years after the start date they don't have a plan nor funding to build rail connecting the SW and NW parts of seattle. out of the top cities in america we're the most behind on rail and we're going to stay there. vancouver BC already is two generations ahead of us and we have no plans to catch up. btw this drives up prices tremendously in close in areas even ballard being 40 minutes by bus is the new redmond....result: total class stratifications in concentric circles radiating out, our seattle will be like SF and NY in terms of the rich are the only ones able to live near the center, but more so as we don't have the multiline rail to connect it all. we should be biulding the two lines to SW and NW corners also one from ballard to UW also one from beacon hill or SE seattle right over to w seattle for a "system" inside the city. there should also be another line going north and south in the burbs. and connect renton to burien and the two lines going south. THAT would be a serious, real system, what we are building is like 15% of a system. maybe 23%. but not a system and not serious.
Posted by 23% of a serious rail system on May 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Note those yearly numbers are not from a real Census, but from a survey conducted by American Community Survey (ACS).

This not an inclusive record, but a sampling, and thus, subject to error.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM · Report this
@4, For the most part, Light Rail is being talked about and schemed, but as far as followthrough, ???? given our reactionary politics regarding spending money for public transportation.

@6, @8 +1

Posted by neo-realist on May 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 11
Charles, the dichotomy between "city" and "suburb" became obsolete almost a generation ago. In the post-metropolis, former suburbs have equal gravity in the urban constellation that makes up the metro area. We're a polyneucleated region where the former suburban hubs are no longer dependent on the original host city. Growth cycles favor different nuclei ant different times, but the whole entity must be considered it its totality. I'm paraphrasing urban theorist Edward Soja of UCLA here.
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 12
Which is growing faster? It doesn't really matter:…
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 13
More on the decreasing relevance of the urb/suburb dichotomy…
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 23, 2014 at 11:22 AM · Report this
fletc3her 14
The construction on Broadway is amazing. Simultaneously there is a dedicated lane for bikes, a streetcar, and a light rail station going in. If you looked at that one street you'd think Seattle was crazy for transportation options. Unfortunately all of that is offset by the lack of funds to run the existing buses on their current schedules.

For a Metro rider in the burbs the cuts are a lot more serious than for a Metro rider in the city core. Where service in the core might be cut in frequency or a walk to another route might be required there are places in the burbs that are simply not going to be accessible by transit anymore.
Posted by fletc3her on May 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
SPG 15
Well at least all the minimum wage workers who live in the 'burbs will have a little more money to throw at buying used cars to sit in traffic trying to get to their jobs in Seattle. Mix in all the new residents and we're going to have serious mobility issues even if we do restore funding to Metro.
Posted by SPG on May 23, 2014 at 11:37 AM · Report this
@4 *snort* You actually said, "a tunnel's being built". Heh.
Posted by FranFW on May 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM · Report this
blip 17
Perhaps Seattleblues' delusional fantasy of the suburbs being a lawless dystopia where outsiders are shot on sight for wearing Gucci loafers will one day become reality.
Posted by blip on May 23, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
hermann_hermann 18
It is a great paradox: that someone such as Charles, with an acute sensibility for and exquisite taste in art could continually accompany his (often enlightening) posts with the most mundane photography possible.
Posted by hermann_hermann on May 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM · Report this
raindrop 19
@16: The delay does not negate the accuracy of the verb.
Posted by raindrop on May 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 20
Another fact to consider is that at the comp plan level, we've chosen to allocated the lions share of job growth to the Seattle core, rather than to other centers within the region such as Tacoma. Arguably, the latter could benefit from a lot of that growth, while taking some of the pressure off central Seattle. And don't tell me Tacoma isn't urban. Not disagreeing with the basic observations here, just pointing out that there are a lot of factors that are outside pure individual choice that contributed to what we're seeing.
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 21
@20, spot on there. Why shouldn't our suburbs take on more of the growth? There's lots of jobs on the eastside, Boeing has facilities scattered around. This is the problem with the recent cuts to Metro. Lets fill in larger parts of our surrounding sprawl. I know it's a pipe dream, as suburbias old guard are overly attached to the original (wasteful IMO) way of being.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on May 23, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 22
21. Poor old Tacoma! It's got such wonderful urban fabric and enough existing infrastructure to support a much bigger population. Putting the UW campus there has helped immensely, but its still like a little rust belt city parked here in the PNW. BTW, I'm writing my arch thesis about infilling sprawl with more urban fabric. Those places really need it, and the demographic trends for first ring suburbs show that the population moving there now looks nothing like the white collar nuclear families they were built for.
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on May 23, 2014 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 23
@21, good luck with that arch-thesis, I hope you and your professors aren't the only ones to see it. Filling in existing sprawl is a great idea I have contemplated for a few years, and am glad to hear that someone with a greater chance of being heard than me is writing about this.
As for Tacoma, my friends who live there like to keep Its bad reputation alive. Keeps costs down and gentrifiers from moving in (for now, the truth has a way of getting out).
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on May 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 24
@22 I meant.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on May 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
land's also cheaper in the suburbs and there are fewer hard hcoices between beautiful older buildings and high-rise efficiences because there r more sucky buildings in the burbs. it may be ezr to prioritize polycentricity and to shorten commutes rather than eliminate them altogether
Posted by alfresco on May 23, 2014 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Confluence 26
How exactly do you distinguish Seattle from the suburbs when it IS a suburb?
Posted by Confluence on May 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM · Report this
Remember Lesser Seattle? Emmett Watson had it pegged 30 yrs.ago. Seattle is a desirable place to live despite the rain. No really bad weather, lots of job opportunities.
Posted by longwayhome on May 25, 2014 at 7:19 PM · Report this
The comp play is the regions planning tool to accommodate growth in the region. It doesn't allow you to instruct businesses to open here or there. And its largely politically based, its no coincidence that the vast majority of the growth is being channeled into the few places that don't hate growth.
Posted by JonCracolici on May 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM · Report this
What's this? No tinfoil chewing morons spewing global warming lies on a Stranger comment board related to a topic of urban growth in Seattle? My heavens. I can't resist: Global warming is a complete hoax, a lie told so often many morons have come to believe it. When Erik the Red discovered Greenland, it was lush and fertile only 600 years ago.
Posted by luckyangler on May 26, 2014 at 3:45 PM · Report this
What? You're willing to take an ancient viking at his word, but don't trust scientists. Cool.
Posted by JonCracolici on May 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this

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