The Daily Troll: Big Boeing job cuts. Room for Needle views? Bellevue police in Seattle shooting.

Seattle City Council hears voter unhappiness with "micro housing." RapidRide's politically expedient planning. Disney for grown-ups.
The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

Police shoot suspect

A Bellevue police SWAT team fatally shot a man this morning while serving a warrant in South Seattle near Columbia City. A Seattle police spokeswoman told The Seattle Times that the local police were aware in advance of the Bellevue police serving the warrant, which was connected to an investigation into robberies in both cities. Expect this to take a while to sort out.

Micro housing

The City Council today announced a public meeting on so-called micro housing developments, or apodments. Those multi-family developments with extremely small studio units that have been popping up in some number on Capitol Hill and, to a degree, in some other neighborhoods. The Capitol Hill Seattle blog reported last year on the not-so-happy reactions the units elicit and how they escape reviews that traditional apartments would face. The City Hall meeting will be April 18; details here.

Capitol Hill Seattle mentioned spaces of less than 100 square feet; the council's announcement said units are "typically" 150 to 200 square feet. No, that would not be considered spacious in Tokyo.

Space Needle views

The owners of the Space Needle have launched radio ads to protect views from South Lake Union, which are being threatened by city plans for 40 story buildings there. City Council member Richard Conlin is promising two amendments to zoning laws that should make a difference from parks and streets, according to a report by KIRO Radio's Chris Sullivan: Setbacks and view protection from the sparkling new South Lake Union Park.

Crosscut's Knute Berger recently wrote about the value of the Space Needle as a symbol of Seattle, so what Conlin is saying sounds like a smart move. But don't underestimate the power of commercial interests, including The Seattle Times, to make the council dance to the beat of their drum while singing a soothing lullaby. (Disclosure note: As Berger mentioned in his article, he has worked for the Space Needle's owners.)

Boeing making big cuts here

Boeing will lay off 800 workers in Everett in 2013 as part of larger reductions that will reduce its Puget Sound work force by up to 2,300 positions this year, according to The Herald in Everett. Many of the losses will come through attrition, meaning workers won't be replaced. The layoffs primarily involve 787 and 747 modification workers at Paine Field. Reports from South Carolina a few weeks ago said that a few hundred workers employed under contract would be cut there too.

Boeing says none of the cuts are related to the 787 battery issues.

RapidRide kudos

After a careful study of the Metro Transit RapidRide routes, the Seattle Transit Blog has concluded that there may be a politically expedient reason for their stranglehold on King County geography. That is, their prevalence gives Metro a little something to brag about to voters across the county. Frank Chiachiere writes:

Defense contractors figured out long ago that the best weapons system is one that’s built in all 435 congressional districts and never actually ships. So kudos to Metro making RapidRide “hard to kill” in the political parlance.

We just thought we'd mention that for all of you pro-bus advocates. We've seen you out there, telling everyone about how fast bus service is God's gift to Seattle, while muttering that Sound Transit's light rail is a big political scam/ waste of money/ whatever.

No easy weekend traffic?

Once again, the Washington State Department of Transportation is planning to get a few things done over the weekend. In the middle of some of the busier highways. The closures include up to three lanes of I-5 in north Seattle, ramps from the West Seattle Bridge to I-5 and I-90 bridge express lanes. Details here.

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Posted Fri, Mar 22, 6:19 p.m. Inappropriate

Buses are God's gift to Sound Transit! In the full year 2012 report on ridership from our mass transit rail agency -- -- we can see that the ST Regional Express bus ridership grew more last year in percentage and more in butts-in-seats than Seattle light rail, Sounder commuter rail, and the Tacoma Link trolley car considered either individually or putting all the rail services together.

Including non-ST buses from the likes of Metro, the dominance of buses over trains in providing mobility across our region is certain to continue for many years ahead, until such time as robo-cabs come into being.

What? Robo-cabs? Referencing historic paradigms, robo-cabs are "personal rapid transit" pod-cars without needing elevated tracks. In fact, without using any tracks at all, just the roads that already move people, beer, beans, and other stuff. Robo-cabs are not my idea, but increasingly discussed/ predicted -- for example. Surprising amounts of government-funded work are underway already in Europe and Japan as well as USA.


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