Huh? What? Oh, Yeah — It’s Seattle

I spend most of Saturday on the other side of the Sound and had two such moments.

The first was when I saw what I thought were two new duplexes (or maybe triplexes or quads, depending on the size of the units therein) had been built, and there was a “for sale” sign in front. Given that circumstances might still make it impossible for me to live on Bainbridge long-term,* it’s in my interest to keep an eye on the housing market.

Huh? What? One unit per building? Four bedrooms? 3000+ square feet? Oh, yeah — it’s Seattle. Restrictive zoning makes it impossible to build multifamily housing in most of the city. So even though the neighborhood in question has one of the smallest average household sizes in a city with the second-smallest average household size in the country, two 4-bedroom single-family monstrosities more suited to a large Mormon family from Salt Lake City were built. If you want an apartment or condo, you’re not worthy of the peace and quiet of a residential neighborhood. Go live on an arterial or next to the freeway were Seattle says you belong.

The second was near the end of the day when I wanted to catch a bus downtown.

Huh? What? No bus for 25 minutes? In a dense urban neighborhood like this? Oh, yeah — it’s Seattle. The city that’s never found it worthwhile to rationalize its bus service by doing a modest amount of route consolidation. If you want prompt service, either drive and shell out for parking or shell out for cab fare. If you can’t or don’t want to pay that much, get used to waiting because Seattle says your kind doesn’t deserve any better.

That’s just the way it is, take it or leave it (it’s been like that for decades, after all)? Fine, glad I chose to leave it.

* Losing my job downtown and not being able to find another one there, basically. Bainbridge works if you’re commuting to downtown Seattle, but commutes get unacceptably long for pretty much any other destination.

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