Thursday, July 20, 2006

Giving the Recommendations Legs

Today more than sixty community leaders celebrated the release of the final report from Project for Public Spaces in a gala luncheon in the Wells Fargo Plaza. The focus of the report was on Pacific Plaza, but the potential benefits can be applied throughout downtown. The meeting introduced six committee efforts already underway to help implement the recommendations that Fred Kent, Cynthia Nikitin and Ben Fried made in the document:

Stewardship of Pacific Plaza - an effort is underway to coordinate all of the neighbors for this public space, as well as other partners, for developing a non-profit entity that will solicit events, promote use of the plaza, and otherwise proactively manage it. Whether this will entail expanded use of an existing organization like the BIA or creation of a new entity has yet to be determined. People interested in joining this ongoing effort should contact Joanne Buselmeier, a staff member for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber;

Showcasing skateboarding - another team comprised of business and property owners and skateboarding enthusiasts is grappling with how to provide appropriate venues for this urban sport while reducing damage to downtown buildings. The chair for this committee is Judee Encinias, a board member for the Downtown BIA;

Establishing a regular "art mart" - downtown merchants and members of the arts community are exploring organization of a regular venue that would be much like a farmers market for arts, probably launched in Pacific Plaza. Downtown Merchants Group leader Marty Campbell is coordinating this effort;

Exploring how to attract sidewalk vendors - current merchants, potential street vendors and others are invited to participate in a review of the obstacles that are preventing the proliferation of seasonal carts and stands. BIA staff person Paul Ellis is the contact for anyone interested in joining this committee;

Considering narrower width for Pacific Ave. and S. 17th - this group will look at ways to make Pacific Ave.--five lanes wide between Pacific Plaza and Tacoma Art Museum--less forboding. Once again, contact Paul Ellis about participating in this committee;

Removing barriers to walkability - local attorney Erik Bjornson is working with architects, photographers, security experts and others to examine how current obstacles to walking might be overcome. Particular focus will be given to the hillclimbs between 9th & 11th and between 11th & 13th.

The lead persons for each of the above-mentioned efforts will be invited to post meeting information and results on this blog, so keep reading!

1 comment:

  1. The report downloaded nicely only 1.55 MB even with all of the pictures. Very nice.

    Hope to see more activity on Pacific Plaza soon.

    It would be nice if someone just ran it like Farmers Market and managed a calander with events at the square.

    Of course, there would likely need to be some sort of board to decide what events and vendors would be appropriate and other "use" issues.