Thursday, November 02, 2006

A 'Tale of Two Tracks'

Businesses in the Tacoma Dome District of downtown feel that Sound Transit’s preferred commuter rail route through Tacoma to Lakewood would close businesses, isolate the Tacoma Rescue Mission, create dead-end streets in an area targeted for a multimillion-dollar redevelopment, box in Brown & Haley’s planned expansion, block off and reroute historic Highway 99 and drop Pacific Avenue into a 14-foot-deep gully underneath a railroad overpass. At their request, the Tacoma chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has conceived an alternative route that would mitigate these negative impacts.

An editorial in today's edition of The News Tribune argues that Sound Transit should study AIA's rail alternatives. City Councilmember Julie Anderson will be asking Sound Transit’s finance committee today to approve spending $20,000 to $30,000 or so to include a preliminary assessment of two community-based alternatives in study of the agency's "preferred alternative" route.

Interested downtown stakeholders can see the alternatives at this quarter's City Center Luncheon sponsored by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber:
  • Monday, November 6th
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • The Tacoma Club
    Sponsored by Venture Bank
Cost for the event is $25 for members pre-paid and $30 for non-members pre-paid; corporate tables are available at a discounted price. To reserve space at this meeting, please contact Janice at the Chamber, (253) 627-2175.

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