Seattle's Capital Hill, the neighborhood in question, is a relatively small area with a dense population where parking is prohibitive and walking is the culture. Most denizens of the area don't own a vehicle and they usually aren't going far enough to require public transit.
Originally Posted by The Question
It is actually quite a nice place to live, I lived there myself for over 10yrs and walked all over hell and gone in varying states of sobriety. There is a seamy side to the population that is brought out by the active street life but it is generally quite a safe place to walk because there are always people about.
And finally my point: not walking is not an option for most on Capital Hill.