Increased costs per trip are a concern when the region has made a major commitment to transit as part of its land uses policies. Adding new transit riders is expensive and getting more so.
Washington may be among the most trade dependent states, but by another measure of international integration—foreign direct investment—it sits toward the back of the pack.
An assumption has been that to increase bicycle commuting and biking in general requires a more complete network of dedicated lanes and tracks so that rider feel safe. So, are we gaining riders as the network expands?
The variation in death rates across cities is quite large. The death rates in Detroit and Boston are about eight times the rates in Portland and San Francisco
The U.S. is different: we have the world’s preferred reserve currency and we offer abundant opportunities for profitable investment. So when we flood the world with dollars by buying more goods and services than we sell, overseas investors soak up those dollars to buy bonds, stocks, real estate and other asset classes
What jumps out is the degree to which spending in most of the large metro areas has recovered far slower than the nation as a whole. Total credit/debit card spending nationwide was down only 2 percent in early October over early March, but was down 11 percent in Seattle.
Housing is an excellent sector to lead the nation out of its slump. It employs people at a wide range of skill levels at good pay. Once homes are finished, their new owners will spend money on furniture, swing sets, shrubs, picture frames and all the other things that go into a new house.
2020 has seen a spike in homicides in cities across the country, including Seattle: 3.7 homicides per 100,000 in Seattle in 2019, and a projected 6.7 homicides per 100,000 in 2020.
If all this looks pretty grim for SeaTac, it is not as bad as elsewhere on the West Coast. While LAX had about 40 percent more operations than SeaTac before the pandemic, they both have about the same number of operations today.
Small scale farming is notoriously difficult, and yet we see thousands of people in the three county area having a go at it. These are the sellers we see at farmers’ markets and engaging with farm-to-table restaurants.
Inflation is not a big concern, and the workers with jobs are getting pretty good paychecks. But they need to get out and spend those dollars on services that may be discretionary to them but that provide the livelihood of millions of Americans.
A drop of 4 percent on average should be manageable for cities, but few cities are average. Some will need a great deal of fiscal help, while others will be just fine.
Efforts to improve education outcomes have focused significant attention on early childhood education. The better prepared a child is when they enter the school system, the greater their chances of success.
We are told that gross domestic product (GDP) grew 33 percent between the second and third quarters of the year. Cooler heads prevailed in some media outlets, but others just ran with the big fat number.
The first of the Baby Boomers turn 75 years old this year. As they have done with every stage of their lives, the Boomers will have an impact on economic geography as they enter the 75-plus age group.
The relationship between taxes and the economy is a complex one. Since most taxes collected in the country are levied by state and local governments, and states have very different systems and rates of taxation, the impacts of taxes on economies and societies will vary around the country.
It is quite possible that young people who want to start families are leaving the Seattle area in substantial numbers, but the implications are not really clear. Do we have a normal underlying, stable demographic with this churning of young adults layered on top?
Since passage of the Growth Management Act in 1990 the state and region have been in the forefront of what came to be know as the Smart Growth movement. If we have been leaders, do we have any followers?