Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Purchase of a First Night button provides all-access admission to entertainment spanning seven venues, including:
- Rhythms of Grammy Award winning recording artists in the Pantages Center;
- Antics of Nellie the Performing Pig--who dazzled Leno, Letterman and Oprah--as she takes the stage at the Rialto Theater;
- A scene from "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" at Sanford & Son;
- The Club SOTA Instrument Petting Zoo;
- An opportunity to help create 1,000 cranes at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center.
The buttons also provide a free visit to the Museum of Glass and the Washington State History Museum between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. First Night button holders will also enjoy 15 percent savings while dining at Ravenous, Varsity Grill, India Mahal and Stadium Bistro. Appetizer specials are offered when showing the button at TwoKoi, El Toro or Galanga Thai, and Hello Cupcake is offering a two for one discount.Buttons may be purchased in advance for $7.00 at Museum of Glass, Leroy Jewelers, Glenna's Clothing and Sanford & Son; on Monday, remaining buttons will be available at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts box office (with the price then at $8.00). Kids ages 7 and under are admitted free to all venues.
The BIA is providing stepped up security patrols and cleaning to help make the evening brighter. The Tacoma Link light rail hours of operation will be extended until 1:00 a.m. Tuesday to accomodate First Night traffic.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Russell’s major leases in Tacoma expire in 2013--a strategic corporate move to consolidate operations. At that time, the company has three options:
- Add on to the current 'A' St. headquarters;
- Build a high-rise office tower elsewhere in Tacoma;
- Build a high-rise office tower or a low-rise corporate campus elsewhere in the Puget Sound region.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Local business leaders are also coming to the table with a new program--Destination Downtown Door-to-Door (DDDD or "D squared"). The program takes its name both from Tacoma’s current urban center plan (“Destination Downtown”) and from a repeated observation by City Manager Eric Anderson (derived from the ongoing series of public forums he has been facilitating around downtown parking and transit issues) that an effective transportation demand program will provide downtown stakeholders with a variety of travel choices “from door to door.”
Between now and May 31, 2009, Destination Downtown Door-to-Door will help eliminate 300 daily commute trips to and from downtown Tacoma. The new program will be coordinated by the Chamber but is a collaborative effort with Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, the City of Tacoma, and individual businesses and property owners. Funding for the program is derived from the Trip Reduction Performance Program (TRPP) of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
Destination Downtown Door-to-Door augment the resources of city government and local/regional transit agencies already dedicated to commute trip reduction with currently unavailable or underutilized resources from the private sector. The new program will add to existing commute trip reduction efforts in these ways:
- Provide incentives and transit subsidies to more downtown employees and residents;
- Build excitement and awareness through new venues such as monthly “Commuter Club” socials and educational meetings;
- Engage “buy in” from business leaders at the highest levels;
- Broaden the appeal of alternatives through use of highly visible promotions and expand marketing efforts to include non-affected employers.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Statewide, CTR programs--mandated for major employers (i.e., those with 100+ at a worksite)--remove approximately 20,000 vehicles from roadways every morning, reduce air pollution by 3,200 tons every year, and save 6.5 million gallons of petroleum annually. More than 1,100 worksites participate in programs. These companies encourage employees to find alternatives to driving alone, such as working from home, using an alternative work schedule, vanpooling, riding the bus, walking or riding a bicycle.
By 2020, Tacoma’s downtown area is expected to add 11,600 jobs (Puget Sound Regional Council estimate). Given current commute patterns, accommodating this growth will require creation of more than 11,000 new parking stalls (at a cost of more than $200 million); increasing transit use by 4% over the same period will save Tacoma more than $9 million.
As the City of Tacoma moves forward on parking & transit recommendations made by the City Manager--as well as the ongoing work of the Transit & Parking Advisory Committee--commute trip reduction efforts are essential to managing demand for parking and increasing mobility. CTR offers other benefits, including:
- Increased ability to strategically address new regulations from the state and federal levels (i.e., new, higher attainment standards for clean air);
- Building stakeholder support for new technologies and funding methods (e.g., pay stations);
- Allowing support for new development without raiding the general fund to build more parking structures;
- Helping to conserve road surfaces, parking spaces and fuel resources;
- Improving competitiveness versus other downtowns in the Northwest;
- Providing a foundation for introduction of new services (e.g., Flexcar);
- Reducing emission of greenhouse gases to help forestall global warming;
- Giving downtown workers the precious gift of more time and a better quality of life.
The City of Tacoma already sponsors a CTR program that includes transit and vanpool subsidies which employers can offer as an employee benefit. Another outgrowth of the City's program has been development of a Growth Transportation Efficiency Center (GTEC) plan for downtown to further reduce solo commute trips. Recently, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) approved $300,000 to fund implementation of the plan, which will focus on University of Washington Tacoma students and faculty, new residential development in the north end of downtown, and smaller clustered employers.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Workers will be installing concrete barriers around the building on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until completion, which is expected by 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. Traffic will be flagged for short periods of time on 13th between Pacific and Commerce, and then on Pacific Avenue as the blocks are brought out to the street to set them. The crew will also be setting up temporary sidewalk closures, one to direct pedestrians across 13th at Commerce for foot traffic down Pacific, and the other at 14th & Pacific on the west side to direct pedestrians across since the walk will be blocked at 13th.
For more details about the project, contact Rich Barber at (253) 591-5497.
D Town has been an above average generator of calls for service to both police and BIA patrols for the past few years. Owners of the Winthrop Hotel evicted D Town from their property in 2005, after which the store moved across the street to its present location.