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This week, for the first time, most Seattle area residents read about Mayor Ed Murray’s ill-advised proposal to greatly increase the height limits in the University of Washington neighborhood, including along The Ave.  Such a change to The Ave would bastardize this popular street and amount to Ballardization on steroids.

Unfortunately, the transformation of “downtown” Ballard has drowned out much of that area’s character and personality, replacing it with a sterile cityscape.  Thirty-two and 24 story buildings along The Ave would be even more destructive to the texture, fabric and sense of place of this critical component of the university community.  Human scale and the defining funkiness and patina would disappear, replaced by the anywhereness of a dark and windy skyscraper neighborhood.

I no longer come into Seattle on weekdays for many things, but one is to have dinner with my son in restaurants along The Ave. Such a destruction of The Ave would mean far fewer of those dinner dates. Why battle the Seattle traffic when I could get that same faceless and characterless experience in nearby downtown Bellevue with its sanitary and uninvolving streetscape below its cluster of shiny skyscrapers.

John Alwin, Bellevue