The Ballardization of Stone Way continues with this beauty, located at the corner of 46th and Stone Way, by the Wallingford Post Office:
There’s not much information available yet, even through the Seattle Design Review, but keen-eyed observers may raise an eyebrow at the ratio of units to parking spaces. Some residents will argue it is ludicrous, whereas mathematicians will simply describe it as undefined.
This isn’t the first development near Wallingford to go up recently without parking spaces. The new project at Motor and Linden earned the ire of vandals for its lack of space allotted for the new residents’ cars:
That spraypaint reads “WTF! NOGARAGE!? NO GARAGE?” and is followed by a bull’s-eye.
As you can imagine, nearby residents are angry that finding parking near their own homes will become more difficult with the addition of 40 units and, presumably, 40 corresponding cars.
A common response to this anger in discussion forums has been something to the effect of “owning and operating a car in the city is detrimental to the environment and costs the city taxpayer money (i.e., non-car owning taxpayers subsidize car owners), so maybe this is a good thing.”
A common response to that has been (again, aggregating and paraphrasing): “lovely sentiment, but public transportation infrastructure in Wallingford isn’t good enough to comfortably support that lifestyle.” (Another thread degenerates into “Evil bicyclists are undermining the American way with their War on Cars,” but those wishing to pursue that line of “reasoning” can head to the FOX News and MAGA boards.)
To which the response is “It should!” And so on…
For me, what bugs me more about the Linden and Motor development, and so many similar ones in the neighborhood, is less the lack of parking and more the lack of friendly street interface. I believe that the high-frequency, low-effort interactions we have with our neighbors is a critical ingredient to building the relationships that are the substrate of community (the Proximity Principle). I can live with 40 more units if the people in them become a part of our community. Forget garages, I want front porches!
As well, I’ll add that developments like this, and the one going up on NE 40th Ave and 1st are just plain ugly.
Density is inevitable, and while I’d love to preserve my little idyl, the single-family craftsman bubble I live in, Seattle’s population is exploding, and I’d rather have people live closer to the city core than gushing out to the suburbs like an overflowing sewer. But please, developers, can we do it with some dignity? We can add housing without sacrificing character entirely.