Region Of Boom: We Hear You!
We have been collecting audience responses about changes they are seeing in the Seattle region as part of our Region of Boom project.
You sent us hundreds of responses detailing the frustrations of a booming city and how the physical shifts in and around Seattle are affecting your life in the region.
One of the most common complaints was about new construction and what that means for the way the city is changing.
"All the cranes in the air are for massive apartment buildings. All glass and metal. I feel like the character of our city is losing ground," wrote Vickie Woo. "It feels like the urban planners aren't really planning for the future, but rather for the present."
The vast majority of reactions to the changes we are seeing are negative. Do you have a different take? Have you seen big benefits to our big growth? We need to hear from you too!
We compiled some of the comments below based on common themes that surfaced. But that got us thinking about other questions: How is the city's growth affecting the way you raise your kids? Has it expanded your culture or curiosity? What parts of your lifestyle are shifting? Let us know!
Jump to a section to explore comments:
"I feel as though we're losing Seattle's character -- the fishermen, the grunge music scene, the artists, the arts, the culture that has formed because of the incredible, astonishing wet and soggy environment around us. My neighborhood is filling with folks who don't know where their water comes from, where their waste goes, who don't appreciate the fragility of the environment and our great obligation to protect and preserve it. There's so much mindless consumption, luxury cars with drivers who are impatient and rude." -Laureen, Magnolia (Seattle)
"The worst problem as I see it is that the city is being changed from one of small town feeling to that of an impersonal big city full of stress and hassle. I'm sure we will move at some point due to all the noise and congestion." -Sherry Tuinstra-Rosales, Northgate (Seattle)
"Several houses and a strip mall were knocked down to build a six-story apartment building with retail space on the first level. Neighbors are referring to the building as "the monstrosity" because it is so out of character from the rest of the neighborhood of single family houses." - Marie DeBenedictis, Proctor District (Tacoma)
"In the past year, we have seen massive tear downs, and there are more to come. Now it's affecting small mom-and-pop businesses with historical roots to be replaced by six to seven-story apartment buildings instead of permanent housing." -Sandra Street, Queen Anne (Seattle)
"Developers like to talk about the 'vibrancy' that development brings to neighborhoods. I think community, affordability, and sustainability need to be considered, too. Change is inevitable, and I support it, but the change that is going on now seems to be driven more by profit motive than consideration of whether it is 'good' for the neighborhood. I also worry that, as retirees, my wife and I can afford to stay in the neighborhood in which we have been very active, given the increase in property taxes." -Mike Veitenhans, Phinney Ridge (Seattle)
"Every single tree, vegetation, flower and bush has been taken out during development and redevelopment, an accounting of biological loss that has yet to be accounted for in the City but will be this year. If we are worried about climate change, flooding, erosion and poor water quality, paving over the city without creating or saving natural spaces is a quick way to accomplish ruin." -Heidi Siegelbaum, Ballard (Seattle)
"Growth is good, but unchecked growth is not. We're not getting new green spaces that's for sure." -Vickie Woo
"Addition of bicycle lanes that no one uses and traffic impediments at crossings where no problems have existed. Bicycle lanes are a solution looking for a problem as are the new traffic islands. Unnecessary expenses suggest a city government completely clueless." -Sherrie Quinton, Fishermen's Terminal (Seattle)
"These past few years we've watched a steady march of taller and taller buildings moving toward us from the financial district, and mid-rises popping up all around us, many increasing density in Belltown. What's been hard is to have both nearby parking and bus access disappearing at the same time." -Kate Hurlocker, Belltown (Seattle)
"We moved from south Beacon Hill to Renton a few years back and love it - got a huge house with a view for the price of a shack in Seattle. Was surprised with how great downtown Renton is physically: great spaces, transit-friendly, all walkable, affordable housing -- all the pieces are there. I expect the surge is about 10 years out." -Devin, Renton
"Development in southern Bothell is going berserk. There is only one protected crosswalk in the mile between the Kirkland/Bothell line and Bothell Way." -Anonymous
"Woodinville advertises its wine tasting districts as a destination for anyone visiting Seattle but it is not easy to get to from downtown unless they rent a car, there is nowhere to stay in the area (which is pivotal when alcohol is involved) and there is a disconnect between the Hollywood Hill district and the warehouse district. The city of Woodinville doesn't seem to support growth of the industry, resulting in an 'unfinished project' type vibe." -Anonymous