Sound Transit Can’t Deliver Planned ST3 Link Service Levels Without Major Changes "Starved of vehicles and storage space, the full light rail expansion program is threatened with reduced service levels and quality. Another major reset is now in order to deliver the voter-approved Sound Transit 3 program." (The Urbanist)

How developers helped shape Seattle’s controversial tree protection ordinance "Benign as 'tree protection' sounds, it’s one of the most contentious, emotionally charged, and technically complex issues that cities face, lying at the confluence of housing and health, building density and wild habitat, local livability and global climate. Three mayors had avoided wading into the issue before the newly installed Harrell, in February 2022, introduced a tree ordinance drafted by SDCI under his predecessor, Jennie Durkan." (InvestigateWest)

Downtown Seattle is showing a turnaround. If only it can last "My colleague Gene Balk reported that worker foot traffic crossed 50% of pre-pandemic levels in May and June. The data is from the Downtown Seattle Association, compiled by The Silicon Valley firm uses foot-traffic analytics from smartphone tracking and defines a downtown worker as anyone who visits the area at least three days from Monday to Friday....That translates to 82,449 this past May (51%) and 86,444 in June (54%), the first time Seattle’s central core has cracked the halfway-back employee numbers since February 2020." (Seattle Times)

A Vacancy Tax Won't Save Seattle, but Council Candidates Say It's Worth a Shot "Despite the tax’s trendiness, even its proponents warn of its limited ability to chip away at the two issues the vacancy tax aims to address; an understocked housing market and the projected $200 million budget shortfall the City will face in 2025. On top of that, the City might struggle to write a vacancy tax that passes state constitutional muster." (The Stranger)