Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

October 21, 2014

Hub, flickr

Hub, flickr

1. We must stop screwing millennials with zoning laws

We must stop how rising house prices in Vancouver BC and elsewhere are screwing millennials. Here’s one way.

The Tyee | Housing

2. Why quirky Portland is winning young college grads

Part of why Portland has become a cultural phenomenon, and a symbol — sometimes teased — of the new move-first-then-find-a-job Millennial paradigm, is that the city has for decades been pursuing a set of policies and values that the rest of us are now suddenly into.

Washington Post | Culture

3. Puget Sound commutes worsen

Traffic congestion became much worse from 2011-13, even though the number of miles driven in Washington state barely changed.

The Seattle Times | Transportation

4. Drones bring back killer pictures of killer whales

Overhead photos of killer whales like you have (hopefully) never seen them.

Three Sheets Northwest | Wildlife

5. Seattle council votes yes on development fees

A Seattle City Council vote Monday sent developers a clear message: Fees to support affordable housing coming your way soon.

Crosscut | Housing

6. Washington state traffic forecast finally recognizes reality

This is far and away the most responsible official traffic forecast I’ve seen from any government agency, ever.

Sightline | Transportation

7. Fewer families with kids leaving PDX

Portland Public Schools’ population has grown by 1.3 percent this year, marking the sixth consecutive year of enrollment growth in the district. It’s a trend that is expected to continue for years to come, as Portland’s population growth continues and more parents choose to stay in Portland as their children reach school age.

The Oregonian | Families

8. No women among 25 best-paid Seattle city employees

There were no women last year among Seattle’s 25 best-paid city employees, records show.

The Seattle Times | Equality

9. Re-examining the Urban Village strategy

Recently, Seattle city councilmember Sally Clark bravely broached the subject of reexamining the Urban Village Model that prevents growth in Seattle’s single family zones. It should be pretty uncontroversial that after 20 years we would step back and assess a policy. We are a growing, vibrant, intellectual city, not a religious cult.

Seattle Transit Blog | Housing

10. The best bicycle infrastructure cartoon

“The road lane ends again! I hate sharing the tracks with the trains.”

Tree Hugger | Transportation

More News from October 21, 2014

The top of Seattle’s Bike Plan to-do list

So, Seattle passed a 20-year Bike Master Plan. Now what? Well, SDOT planners need to figure out which projects rise to the top of the priority list, and now the city has released its delayed Bike Master Plan Implementation Plan (AKA the Bike Plan Plan).

Seattle Bike Blog | Transportation

7-week-old baby orca missing, presumed dead

A baby orca born less than two months ago to one of Puget Sound’s killer whale pods is missing and presumed dead, according to a report on Q13 FOX.

The Seattle Times | Wildlife

What we can learn from a Dutch bike traffic jam

Even in the cycling utopia of the Netherlands, bicyclists face infrastructure problems.

City Lab | Transportation

Your commute takes much longer, Seattle

But the reason why isn’t clear.

The Seattle Times | Transportation

A tax for housing? OK, sure!

Ok. I give up. Let’s tax ourselves for housing, Seattle. But here’s the deal, the tax should be legal, equally assessed, and the revenues generated ought to solve our greatest housing need, housing for poor families. And here’s a spoiler alert: we already have a tax just like that.

Smart Growth Seattle | Housing

ID lawmaker asks Obama to wait on monument

Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho is asking President Barack Obama to hold off designating a rugged swath of central Idaho as a national monument. Simpson tells the Idaho Statesman that he’s asked the president for six to eight months to give him time to work on passing legislation.

EarthFix | Land Use

Loaded with lead: Young shooters at risk

At a shooting club in Vancouver, Wash., 20 youngsters tested positive for lead overexposure. ‘We would get lead on our hands and eat finger food,’ one teenager recalls.

The Seattle Times | Health

PDX proposes Airbnb rentals in apartments, condos

Portland’s mayor will ask to allow Airbnb-style short-term rentals in apartments and condos, an expansion of the program already in place for single-family houses. The proposal released Monday by Mayor Charlie Hales’ office would allow apartment-dwellers with a permit to rent out one or two bedrooms in their primary residence.

The Oregonian | Housing

Utilities experiment on the rural Northwest

New energy technologies could revolutionize the grid in the same way that smartphones have replaced landlines. A collection of rural utilities are part of an experiment called the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project to see what that looks like.

High Country News | Energy

Chinook face final obstacle before reaching ‘Shangri La’

For more than a hundred years, the aqueduct at Landsburg Park near Maple Valley was the end of the line for salmon in the Cedar River watershed. The area above Landsburg Dam is some of the best fish habitat in the region. But like so much infrastructure built at the turn of the century, its construction did not take the needs of fish into account.

KPLU | Salmon