April 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM
Seattle city planners should take a hint from Vancouver
Seattle’s traffic must be taken into consideration
While we can applaud Vancouver, B.C.’s efforts to become the world’s greenest city, it is a very different city from Seattle [“Apply urban-design lessons from downtown Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle,” Opinion, April 14].Mr. Toderian suggests that money spent on replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct could have been spent building a better city. He apparently does not understand that Seattle lies in the center of a metropolitan region that relies on considerable vehicular traffic passing not only into and out of it, but through it, unlike Vancouver, which is a terminus city. Other than northern Vancouver across the straight and the highway to Whistler, not much happens to its north.
Mr. Toderian is right, however, about the need for consistently high urban-design standards if we are going to attract people to high-density urban living. This includes requirements for parks, schools, day-care centers and convenient nearby services. What Vancouver has that we don’t is a tradition of great subarea planning where these are made an integral part of such plans and considered a prerequisite to new development.
Donald K. Erickson, former Vancouver, B.C., city planner, current chair of Tacoma Planning Commission, Tacoma
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