Seattle is sprouting. Census Bureau figures released earlier this year show that the city added 15,000 people between summer 2017 and summer 2018, a 2.1 percent jump from the prior year, marking the Emerald City as the nation’s second-fastest-growing large city. Construction of multifamily units is down slightly over last year, but the cranes are still swinging and the jackhammers still jacking: By July of this year, the city had issued permits for 15,000 apartment units.
Jim Curtain puts it more succinctly. “The building out here is going gangbusters,” he says.
So it’s curious, perhaps, that Curtain, the director of the project development division at Seattle’s Department of Transportation, is helping to slow the city down. Way down. This week, the DOT, along with Mayor Jenny Durkan, said it plans to lower the speed limit on all major roads to 25 mph, down from 40 mph in some places. Many residential streets in the city already top out at 20 mph.