I like Seattle. Love it even. I enjoy the close proximity to the mountains and trees, the salt water and beaches. I appreciate that Seattle is still underrated, overshadowed by cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but still way cooler than Portland. I enjoy all the parks and green spaces, and that it’s relatively easy to get around the city, or even out of it. But not everything is perfect in the Emerald City.
THE DECISIONS THIS CITY’S LEADERSHIP (CITY COUNCIL) HAS BEEN MAKING ARE DISAPPOINTING, BACKWARDS, AND HURTFUL TO THE ALREADY LACKING TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS.
1. UberX and Lyft
The Seattle City Council voted to limit the number of UberX and Lyft vehicles on the road to 150 each. At the time of the vote, each company had approximately 1,000 vehicles on the road. That’s right, the Council has cut service by 85%. They’ve basically given Yellow Cab and other taxis here in the city the green light to continue to thrive with shitty business plans and little competition. I’ve used UberX a lot since it started, and every experience has been top notch. You schedule a pick up from your phone, they charge your bankcard so you don’t have to worry about cash, the drivers are always nice, the cars are clean, and they drive direct routes. It’s amazing. Cabs on the other hand, are nothing but a nightmare. You have to stand on the side of the street, waving your arms and hoping one stops. If you’re downtown, good luck getting them to drive you 10 minutes north, and an even bigger good luck if you don’t have cash. You know, because so many people carry cash these days. Oh and hope you like taking the long route, and listening to your driver talk on the phone the entire ride (wait, I thought talking on your cell phone and driving was illegal here in Washington), because both are happening in a yellow cab. My guess is this all probably has something to do with the taxi drivers having a contract with the Port of Seattle (Sea-Tac Airport).
2. King County Metro Buses
King County Metro is about to be 75 million short of the needed funding to keep bus service alive. After just hitting peak ridership numbers, they’ll be forced to reduce service and force more people to drive to work, adding to the congestion in this city that lacks a solid public transportation option. In my opinion, the Light Rail is not the solution (and the tunnel is definitely going to make things worse. If it ever gets built).
For the past 6 years, I drove to work. First, I spent 5 years driving to Kent. Then, I spent 6 weeks driving to Bellevue (terrible). But recently, I got a new job in Seattle. It’s 2 miles from my door, and the location is conveniently serviced by two bus lines (one on each side of my neighborhood). However, if there isn’t a vote to save the buses, the routes will be gone. So I’ll be either walking to work, which is great when it’s nice out, or I’ll be driving and getting a parking spot in the garage, or trying to park on the street. But both of those options are pretty lame for a 2 mile commute. And after spending 6 years in my car for extended commutes, I’ve found out the bus is pretty awesome. And I should mention the fact that it’s always packed, whether I’m catching the 7am, 830am, or a bus in between. I can’t imagine what the streets will be like soon. I’m hoping this city can pull together and make the vote count.
A. Pretty sure my foot is wrecked. I started getting back into running, which is a dumb activity but also good exercise. 3 weeks in, the bottom of my left foot became extremely sore, and now my ankle is swollen every night and has to be iced. And I really haven’t done anything on it for 2 weeks now. So that’s fun.
B. I turned 30 and so far so good. I’m actually a bit surprised by the excellent mood I’ve been in. It could also be the warmer days, flowers blooming, and all that spring brings. But most likely its the Stumptown Cold Brew I pound each morning. That stuff is like whoa. Seriously.
C. Getting a hitch and bike rack installed on the car. Mountain Biking is a go this summer.
D. Going to try to remember to blog. It’s hard to be on a computer all day, and then come home and be on one some more.