Once again Felix Salmon cannot acknowledge or even consider the psychological value in owning a house and doing what you want with it such as painting it the colors you like or redoing the yard or putting in a hot-tub.
He's flipped it around so that the rent/buy calculation trumps every factor and that the "lifestyle" (for want of a better word) attributes are simply ignored.
At about 4:00pm on April 12th, the victim and her companion were walking through the Washington State Convention Center when they noticed two men following them.
As the victims walked through the convention center and out in to Freeway Park...
Without knowing all the facts, it could be that the first mistake was go out of a staffed building into Freeway Park.
In sense the Park was designed for danger: the Park was designed specifically to be un-urban -- a place to get away from the city, little bit of wilderness. And so what do you think wilderness is about -- besides physical beauty? wilderness is also about physical danger.
Now in the sense that the designers didn't mean it but in the whole world, what animal is the most dangerous one? And the Park gave plenty of secret places, isolation etc for people to do bad things.
Freeway Park should have been designed to be convivial and social. Now a break from commercial life on thew sidewalk where you can sit and rest is a fine idea -- I have no issue with parks, And in fact the impulse to bridge over I-5 to both create a park and connect two neighborhoods was a brilliant and worthwhile idea.
The only problem -- and it could still be remedied -- is to eschew the idea of a wilderness park and make it a social park where there is visibility from into and out of the surrounding streets and sidewalks.
The image of Seattle as an archipelago suggests that it will need a lot of "boats." On each "island" pedestrians and cyclists will be able to get around locally without much trouble, but getting from one island to another will be a challenge. Is it possible to design bike boulevards that will connect all of the islands? Some effective boulevards already exist, crossing water barriers where the topography is gentle, such as the link north from downtown across the Fremont Bridge. But many desire lines face huge topography barriers. It's hard to envision any infrastructure that will make an average cyclist want to ride from downtown to the fortress-like hilltops of West Seattle -- let alone that archetype of Dutch cycling, a 60-year-old woman with two bags of groceries.
So archipelago cities who want to invest deeply in cycling -- and who want cycling to penetrate the culture beyond the young and athletic -- are going to need some links between these islands. Perhaps we should be thinking about rapid transit more specifically in those terms. Perhaps this means that highly obstructed "crossings," such as downtown to West Seattle, should have rapid transit options where you can take your bike on board. Sound Transit's new Link light rail line is one such, and it usefully connects downtown to the bikeable "islands" of the Rainer Valley and Tukwila. But elsewhere, Seattle has buses, and the standard bus generally has limited provision for bikes.
I wrote about "bikes on buses" in City Comforts in 1995 as a way of "extending the regional grid."
The plan does need a strong dose of the little things that create a livable city: bike lanes, better sidewalks, a family-friendly focus, a parking strategy, retail rules to create shop fronts instead of interior malls and linked greenways and parks.
But it can't neglect that vision thing.
Indeed, major infrastructure is needed. But the vision thing is also actually the "little things that create a livable city." Though I sure am glad that the argument against city comforts, though obviously I disagree strongly, is put so directly as the issue can be discussed openly.