DAVE ROSS

Ross: People moving downtown could make the commute easier

Dec 20, 2022, 7:51 AM | Updated: Dec 21, 2022, 2:21 pm
downtown seattle safe office...
(Photo by Bohemian Nomad Picturemakers/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bohemian Nomad Picturemakers/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

There are still a lot of empty offices in Seattle. But it’s not just Seattle, it’s across the country: San Francisco, Philadelphia – even Manhattan – where the office vacancy rate is 22%, more than twice the rate in Seattle.

And it’s bad enough that New York is seriously considering “re-thinking” Manhattan.

More from Dave Ross: Rating how useful feedback surveys are anyway

Mayor Eric Adams wants to reimagine Fifth Avenue as a pedestrian mall. The idea is to attract people back downtown – not just to work, but to live.

And to make downtown living more affordable – New York has been reclaiming underused office buildings.

Which makes a lot of sense to me.

The pandemic got a lot of office workers hooked on the commute-free life. So if companies really want workers physically back at the office, they need to eliminate the commute!

So why not pay them to live downtown? In snazzy state-of-the-art remodeled office buildings?

If your home is just a few blocks from your office – or even in the same building – it’s a lot easier to show up in person.

And when the computer acts up – as it will – the IT guy is right there to fix it. Plus there’s a cleaning service to tidy up, you can concentrate on your job instead of the distractions of being at home – and you get a change of scene.

Your work life and home life would still be separate – just not by 20 miles.

You can easily walk home for a midday nap, or enjoy a nightcap after work without needing a $50 Uber.

And at the same time, you’re saving the Earth, because you’re not driving in circles every day. With less freeway traffic, we wouldn’t have to spend billions to turn freeways into runways. And no more stress from tailgaters sniffing your car’s genitals, or BMW’s practicing for Daytona.

You’d finally see non-athletes in the bike lanes. Businesses would return, everyone would feel safer, and snow would be somebody else’s problem.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

awe...
Dave Ross

Ross: An odyssey of awe, a leaky ceiling and the power of self-confidence

Three weeks ago, Colleen and I interviewed researcher Dacher Keltner on the subject of Awe – which he defines as follows.
2 days ago
ticketmaster...
Dave Ross

Ross: Ticketmaster’s monopoly challenged in congressional hearing

Members of a Senate committee – Republican and Democrat seemed to agree at yesterday’s hearing that Ticketmaster has become a monopoly.
3 days ago
McCarthy house republican spending cuts...
Dave Ross

Ross: Republicans know their spending cuts are unpopular

Have Republicans specified what it is they would cut that's a big enough spending item to make a difference in the debt?
4 days ago
debt...
Dave Ross

Ross: A big, trillion dollar platinum coin can solve the debt crisis

A $1 trillion coin obviously has no practical use – my barista won’t take a fifty – but it would instantly put debt below the current limit.
5 days ago
housing...
Dave Ross

Ross: Finland’s affordable housing strategy could work here too

You can’t make a profit building low-income housing and providing support services to the residents, but one Finland resident found a way.
8 days ago
coffee...
Dave Ross

Ross: The coffee jitters are the least anxious part of my morning brew

Is it environmentally responsible to make your morning coffee with a single-use coffee pod? Dave dives into the data.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Ross: People moving downtown could make the commute easier