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Wednesday Links: April 26

Transportation is this week’s theme, with SDOT announcing a new pilot program that will allow shuttles for private companies to use regular bus stops for their pick ups and drop offs.  This is pitched as an effort to more efficiently use public curb space.  The shuttle stops are currently available only to Microsoft and Children’s Hospital shuttles, and the shared stops are concentrated mostly in the dense neighborhoods near downtown and the canal, but there’s also a pilot stop in West Seattle.  It’ll be interesting to see how sharing the space will work out.

Sharing space is part of what helped the new 520 bridge bag the prestigious ACEC award for engineering on an infrastructure project.  Not only does the bridge float, but it has capacity to support pedestrian and bike traffic and, someday, will support the light rail’s expansion across Lake Washington.  That is, in fact, pretty nifty, and it’s great to see our bridge get that level of recognition.

Speaking of congestion and increased capacity…okay this is a stretch, but the Seattle Bubble has a good analysis of the new Case-Shiller numbers for February.  We’re still growing faster than we were before.  Yay!  (This is going to be a long, long summer market.)

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Bussing Broker: Week 12

I have declared iced tea season open.  I even have fresh basil growing in my window sill to mix in with the tea.  I’m originally from Virginia: Iced tea season is a big deal.  (Though, technically, thinking of iced tea as seasonal is not terribly Virginian.)  Still, it’s warm, it’s sunny, and this time I’m even more sure that my cursed bike tire is lastingly fixed.  Just to be safe, I didn’t put the wheel back on until before leaving for tour today.  I’m happy to report that this level of caution worked.

I’m still utterly enamored of the new train stops, and today marked my first light rail trip with bike in tow.  I could have biked the whole way, but the train gets across the canal faster than I do, and leaves me much less sweaty.  I’m pretty sure listing agents appreciate it if I at least pretend to be professional when I show up to tour their property.

My plan had been to see five properties spread across Bryant and Ravenna, but client work held me up longer than anticipated and I didn’t make it to one of my intended opens before it closed.  I think that would have been the case even if I’d driven, so I’m not counting that against my success rate.

I covered a lot of the same ground I covered a couple weeks ago when I toured Ravenna.  It’s much, much faster on bike.  Hopefully I’m right about curing my tire of recurring-flat-itis and can keep using my handy bicycle for efficient touring.

Also, if you’re interested in a fixer-upper for under $600,000 in Bryant, there’s a good one on offer right now.  It’ll either go super fast or linger, depending on whether people feel like taking on a project.  I’d love to pair it off with somebody charmed by the bones that are there rather than seeing it torn down for a modern build.

Location: Bryant, Ravenna
Time: 2hr
Transit modes: Train, Bike
Cost: $2.25
Cats petted: 0
Properties Viewed: 4

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Bussing Broker: Week 10

Today will get no prizes for efficiency.  The sun was out, I didn’t have any client commitments, and it feels like ages since I got in a good bike ride.  I had a productive morning and when lunch time came around I tromped merrily to my bike, ready to go look at some property.

I’m officially convinced that my front tire is cursed.  I thought it was fixed.  The very friendly folk at the bike shop assured me that everything was fine and diagnosed my series of flats as “bad luck.”  It must be very persistent bad luck because it struck again! So, no bike ride for me.

But the sun was still out, I still had a few hours I could comfortably spare, and there was still property I wanted to tour.  So I changed plans, hopped on the bus, and set off.

My original plan had been to take a look at properties in Laurelhurst and Ravenna.  The new plan required me to scale back and I only made it to Ravenna.  Bus service through those areas is not awesome in the middle of the day, and my feet are only so fleet. I only made it to half the properties I wanted to.

I’m not going to put this one in the fail column, though.  I didn’t realize it until today, but I’ve never walked up 55th through Ravenna.  You get a different feel for a commercial street on foot than you do driving, and I’d been missing that for this neighborhood.  So I may have seen less of what’s on the market, but I got a better feel for a neighborhood and that, especially in a market moving as quickly as this one, has much more value.

Also, I may or may not have spent some time at the Queen Mary Tea room.  If I did, it was entirely because I am that dedicated to knowing the gritty details of neighborhoods.

Location: Ravenna
Time: 2.5 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus
Cost: 2.50
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Queen Mary Tea Room
Properties Viewed: 3