Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 19th is National Dump the Pump Day

As the price of gas tops $4.30 per gallon Pierce Transit is joining transit agencies around the nation to encourage non-transit users and transit regulars to change their commute for one day and try transit. That means hoping the bus or a train, sharing the ride in a carpool or vanpool, or using human power by cycling or walking.

To encourage participation in National Dump the Pump Day, June 19th, Pierce Transit will be distributing “I dumped the pump” stickers to riders at select transit centers throughout Pierce County between 6:30 and 8 a.m. on the 19th.

Many resources exist for people looking for alternatives to driving.

Try transit, you just might like it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The City Plans to Close "A" Street!...What?

No, the City of Tacoma will not be closing all of "A" Street in downtown Tacoma. However, I have heard a number of shocked, confused and concerned comments like this in the past couple weeks. Let me set the record straight.

Misinformed rumors of the "A" Street closure began in mid-May when the City announced plans for the long awaited Prairie Line Trail improvements. The Prairie Line railroad right-of-way, owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), runs from near South Tacoma Way to the Thea Foss Waterway and bisects the University of Washington Tacoma Campus.

The City has reached a proposed “win-win” agreement with BNSF in which the railroad company will trade the City a 20-foot wide strip of property within the Prairie Line right-of-way in exchange for the closure of the railroad crossing at "A" Street and Dock Street. The acquired land will provide a non-motorized trail link between the Thea Foss, UWT and amenities in downtown Tacoma. Another exciting feature of this proposal is the opportunity for an additional pedestrian bridge linking downtown to the Thea Foss (more details on this to come).

The rail crossing is commonly closed due to flooding and BNSF contends that the curve of the tracks at this location makes the crossing particularly dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians. Furthermore, the agreement states that the "A" Street crossing will not be closed until the new "D" Street overpass project (that provides access to Dock Street) has been operational for 90 days.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for June 17th, 5pm at the Tacoma Municipal Building.