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Reasons for Seattle: 1) take a long shower 2) wash your car 3) water your lawn 4) cheap electrical rates 5) enjoy the outdoors 6) awesome IPA's 7) pot is legal 8) great culture 9) moderate weather as global warming progresses

downside - traffic is horrible.

That is my take as a long time Seattlite.

Been here 12 years and while I agree with those things (not that I care for IPA or weed), there are HUGE major cons:

-Traffic is quickly becoming worse than all cities in the US and the tunnel nightmare will not solve that (many projections say it will make it worse)

-Local and regional bureaucracy is far worse here than comparable west coast cities

-Massively regressive taxes due to no state income tax (consumption taxes disproportionately levy the burden on poor people, and regional small business taxes/fees/etc are incredibly bureaucratic here in comparison to other areas, though the state laws are favorable)

-NIMBYism is just as bad here as it is in SF, and worse in some areas

-As a result of the above, property values are skyrocketing at rates faster than some areas of SF. My $230k townhome in the middle of a "bad area" bought 4 years ago is worth $500k+. This is ridiculous. There is no reason I should have experienced a 100% ROI windfall for simply accidentally timing the market for housing.

Heroin epidemic is especially bad here, Seattle City Police have been investigated and busted by the US DOJ in the past, high school education has serious redlining going on which encourages private schooling (which is insanely expensive here), and so forth.

I love it in Seattle but it's very much moving the same way SF is, and in many ways, trending much worse.

You act like people are forgoing some Epic Utopia City to live in Seattle. Hate to break it to you but every major US city has these problems and usually more. Dysfunction is at every level.

The "cons" are literally comparative to other cities.

There are plenty of nice school districts outside of Seattle. Bellevue, Shoreline, Northshore....

Coming from LA, I'm looking forward to cheaper housing prices when I move there next month.

>Bellevue, Shoreline, Northshore

That's the issue. It's all urban flight to suburbs. I live in the inner city and see it every day.

And of course, that means heavy commuting and long drives to where the tech campuses are.

What? Most of the campuses are on the east side. Unless you are working for Amazon or maybe Apple, your commute is super easy from Bellevue vs. Seattle. Coming down 405 from another can suck, however.

Nothing new with east and north side schools being better than Seattle schools. It was that way in the early 90s when I was in HS.

Yeah, I admit I was thinking of Amazon because of personal bias...it's the only PNW company I have any experience with.

Amazon is the perennial company in Seattle, but the Seattle's tech center has always been dominated by the empire Bill built (aka, Microsoft). Google, for example, has two campuses, a smaller one inFremont (which is Seattle), and a much larger one in Kirkland (to attract former MS employees). Ditto for Facebook.

(I just noticed Facebook is located in South Lake Union now as well...that area is getting hot!)

Yes, but Bellevue is itself a cluster of tech and only minutes away from Redmond. Also, I've been told it's like being back in India :)

Seattle was nice but it had no lightning bugs so I left. Lightning bugs are important.

There are a lot of nice things about Seattle, but I moved away after over a decade because I found that almost never seeing the sun was making me incredibly depressed. Moving to a place that's sunny has improved my quality of life even more than I could have imagined. YMMV.

Did you move to Philadelphia?

Southern California.

Also: no income tax. If it's introduced, people will leave in massive droves, because as nice as those things are, 6 months of rain every year is not everyone's cup of tea

The rain's not so bad. The 9 months of grey is.


Seattle is very progressive, and highly in favor of income tax.

Nah. Seattle is really faux progressive, thankfully. Two of the world's richest people peacefully coexist with a massive (and growing) population of homeless people, and all those Hillary-votin' rich yuppies will run away the moment they're forced to put their money where their mouth is. 2.25% tax in Seattle itself is already being contested. And state income tax is not really possible as it requires two thirds majority.

State income tax will also be met with the largest employers here expanding to other municipalities and states that play by their favorable rules. I worked at one of the tech giants in management consulting and they have had contingency plans to ship stuff to Austin the minute taxation became more of a burden on income.

Good, I hope they do leave, and it's 9 months of rain, not 6 :). Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?

So you'd like to turn Seattle into Detroit? I take it you don't live here.

Actually, I'm a PNW native, my parents were, their parents were, ... My dad lost his job as part of the big Boeing bust of 1971 (where the "will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights" sign came from!). Seattle as ALWAYS been a boom and bust town way before I was born.

We always exaggerated the rain and the people just kept coming. So there must be something else going on.

Yes, exactly, thanks for reminding me, one BIG reason I have stayed and work remote, I get 10% more.

Traffic has gotten so much worse since I first came here in 2011. The good news is that Seattle is small enough that you can walk to most places just fine, and the bus and light rail systems are fantastic.

As a motorcyclist, whenever I was in SEA on my motorcycle I was always dismayed that lane splitting / filtering is not legal in the state. Motorcycling is still the fastest way (for me) around SF and the Bay Area, and the lane splitting in dead stopped traffic is a large reason why I started riding in the first place.

California is the only state in the US where that is legal. I'm guessing serious traffic problems are the reason why.

I read somewhere that California has a tradition of lane splitting due to the fact that it was an early adopter of multiple controlled access freeways that would be often have traffic jams for miles. Most early motorcycles would overheat if not moving, so motorcyclists had a high incentive to drive between stopped cars in a traffic jam. This tradition continues to the present day, even though legality of lane splitting is still not defined in California. The American tradition of that which is not prohibited is allowed, still applies in this case.

This is actually still a problem with some air-cooled bikes, and a lot of even the common beginner bikes made up into the 00s are air-cooled. The bike overheating aside, when you're sitting stopped on 101 near Mineta airport on a gasoline-powered heater, you will overheat too.

Actually lane splitting has been legislated in the past year and is definitely legal when not >15mph faster than nearby cars.

What I read is that what "lane splitting" is was legally defined in 2016 but the action was not officially sanctioned or made illegal. Illegal lane splitting is covered under reckless driving. You can see some of the CHP recommended guidelines here[1]. If you have a reference for the lane-splitting legislation, I'd appreciate it as a California rider myself.


Chicken-and-egg: no other state allows lane splitting out of concern the citizens wouldn't know how to drive amongst such motorcyclists.

Also, motorcycles aren't exactly a large block of votes. And, many lane splitting bills include helmet provisions which are a non-starter for some riders.

Source: watched as attempts failed multiple times in Texas.

It's been getting progressively worse, but they recently added HOV lanes both ways on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue and that has decreased commuter congestion fairly markedly for pretty much everyone who lives in Seattle and work on the Eastside. The HOV lane additions eliminated a few merges so it's now better for everyone. Once the train is running in place of the recently-bygone reversible express lanes life will be even better.

+1 for the bus/rail systems. They also recently upgraded the bike lanes downtown and added some fancy bike lanes in several neighborhoods. I'm hoping over the next few years they expand the light rail through the other neighborhoods.

You can walk to most places if you have chosen hyper-inflationary, expensive, gentrified housing in the city.

Which is utterly astounding to me. The traffic was beyond atrocious when I left in 2002. The Bay Area was a significant upgrade in terms of traffic.

No state income tax has to be a big advantage too.

However the rain and lack of sun kills me. I could handle year round rain if it meant it's at least sunny a lot too. It would suck, but personally the lack of sun affects my mood too much.

Otherwise especially with the no state income tax, if I'm making pretty good bank, and moving isn't an issue, moving to Seattle would be a top choice. Instead, the people who do move for tax reasons have almost all moved to Florida/Miami. Two to Austin and one to Vegas.

There's certainly less sun in Seattle, but it's not too bad: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Washington/annual-day...

SF has about 60 days more of sun per year: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/California/annual-day...

Personally, I find the weather quite nice in the PNW.

The traffic though... it's really the worst. Traffic is constantly bad during business hours.

Does it depend on where you are in the Pacific Northwest for sun? Like is it consistent with the location of the city? I'm wondering how much sun Portland and Vancouver get.

Yeah it isn't too bad. But I get seasonal depression on top of issues already. So it would be hard for me personally. Weather is great though.

From what I've observed, Vancouver weather is closely correlated to Seattle weather (it's fairly close to Seattle). I haven't actually compared the data though. Similarly, I would imagine that weather in Portland is quite different than the Seattle/Vancouver area. The entire King County area experiences the same weather - Lake Washington probably influences things, but anecdotally I haven't heard anything like "location foo gets more rain than location bar".

Generally, the weather is Seattle is heavily influenced by Puget Sound and the rain shadow east of the Olympic Peninsula (parts on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula are actually classified as rainforest). So we get less rain than you would think and it's fairly moderate.

Re. some of those: Seattle also has the highest water bills in the nation (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/rain-soaked-se...)

Seattle has some pros but, of the 9 points listed, 4 of them are wrong - #1-3, as mentioned above, are invalidated by the insane water rates in Seattle. #8 is subjective but this is literally the first time I've ever heard someone say Seattle had a great culture. Edit: Also, the weather in Seattle may be "moderate" temperature-wise but it's definitely not for everyone and the majority of folks would just classify it as "dreary".

Why would you wash your car or water your lawn in Seattle?

As much as it rains here, during the summer, it actually rains so little that you have to water your lawn if you want it to stay green.

> downside - traffic is horrible.

Pretty sure I hear that downside for every major US city.

I just hope Seattle doesn't turn into SV...

The only downside you can think of for Seattle is traffic? Are you serious?

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