Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City Council Endorses Parking Meters for Downtown

Last night the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance endorsing parking pay stations in downtown Tacoma. Pay stations are one piece of a parking strategy that strives to encourage long-term parkers (i.e. downtown workers and students) to park in garages and lots and leave the on-street stalls to shoppers, restaurant goers and business clients.

The ordinance dictates that
1. Parking rates will be market driven with the goal of achieving 15% on-street parking stall vacancy and start at $0.75 an hour.
2. All revenue from the pay stations will go into a Parking Enterprise Fund to be used for parking-related expenses.
3. A citizens taskforce will be established to oversee the functionality of the on-street parking system.

The pay stations will be similar to those in Seattle or Portland, in which the parker purchases a window sticker with a time stamp and can take their paid time with them throughout the metered area of downtown. The boundaries of the initial metered area are roughly the boundaries of the BIA, all streets between S. 7th and S. 21st, “A” Street and Market St.

The parking pay stations will be rolled out this spring in conjunction with an extensive public outreach process to educate the public about use of the pay stations as well as alternative transportation choices for drivers unable or unwilling to pay and for downtown users looking for an alternative to driving their cars.

The specific details of the system (length of stay, when and how rates are adjusted, etc) will be decided by the citizens committee, which reports regularly to the City Manager and annually to the Environment and Public Works Committee of the City Council. This ordinance was the outcome of more than 18 months worth of public input from a diverse group of downtown and neighborhood stakeholders.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversation Re: Tacoma Lecture Inspires Tacomans

At the New Frontier Lounge yesterday evening, Tacomans gathered for Part II of the three part lecture series Conversations Re: Tacoma. A crowd of 60+ listened intently to guest speakers Eric O. Jacobsen and Jim Diers, each offering his insight on the much needed change in town and neighborhood planning.

For his part, Mr. Jacobsen focused much on the history of why cities and towns are planned in a way that promotes disengagement and demotes town fabric. Mr. Diers offered his thoughts on bottom-up neighborhood planning, sharing examples of neighborhoods both near and far that have achieved the extraordinary through community activitism.

The only question that remained - "Will Tacoma do what it takes to enhance and improve "town fabric", and will its citizens lead the way in doing so?"

Interested in attending Part III of the lecture series? The event, which will focus on the new Urban Waters Building, will take place on November 12th at 6:30pm in the Carwein Auditorium of UWT's Keystone Building. Tickets can be purchased and more information found by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pierce Transit System Redesign ~ Downtown Community Workshop this Monday!

When... Monday, October 26th, 7:00-8:30pm

Where... Evergreen State College, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma 98405

Why... Despite the increasing numbers of transit riders, Pierce Transit is facing its biggest budget challenges yet. With sales tax dollars bringing in 73% of PT’s revenue (fares bring in 14% and grants 10%), and these dollars plummeting since 2007, PT predicts a 2009 budget deficit of more than $10 million!

Because of this alarming number, PT has taken steps to cut expenditures - instituting hiring freezes, decreasing capital projects, and reducing service in July 2009 by 5%. But clearly, with a predicted budget shortfall of $10 million, they will need to do more and cut more.

Many of these changes and cuts may come to downtown Tacoma.

Whether are a transit user or not, voice your opinion! Although you can attend any one of the 8 community workshops (3 in Tacoma) offered throughout Pierce County in October and November, the Downtown workshop is your best option for expressing your thoughts on transit in the downtown core. Check out the workshops, RSVP (not required but preferred), and read more about PTtomorrow at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Love Tacoma is hosting a double feature for our October event! Join us on October 20th for dinner at Minoela followed by a movie at The Grand Cinema, for movies and times go to

What: Love Tacoma @ Minoela & the Grand Cinema
When: Tuesday, October 20th at 5:30PM-7:30PM
Where: 604 Fawcett Ave Tacoma, WA 98402

Pronounced “min-oh-la”, the restaurant is a wine bistro with a comfortable cafĂ© feel. They feature fresh local produce and organic options as well. Raffle prizes will include discounts and free meals from the restaurant. There will also be a special $5 glass of wine. Love Tacoma does not charge a membership fee and our socials are open to everyone. Come Love Tacoma with us!

Explore. Play. Repeat.

Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city’s urban hotspots. It’s a great way to meet new friends and celebrate the places, people and activities that make Tacoma great. From casual happy hours to sophisticated wine tastings to next week's most anticipated show, you'll be able to meet and mingle with amazing people in Tacoma's urban community.

For more information, check out our website at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tacoma Bike-In this Saturday!

This Saturday, October 17th, the Cascade Bike Club and the Tacoma Wheelmen will host a Tacoma Bike-In. The event will include a workshop on cycling advocacy, a bike tour of Tacoma, and of course, a post-event social.

The hosts will discuss how bicyclists can use their clout to demand better facilities and just laws for bicyclists. Also, they will announce the outcome of the bicycle and pedestrian count, and how the data collected is crucial to bicyclist safety.

Together, the group will strategize on making a difference in Tacoma and working together for better state laws and federal funding of bike trails and other facilities.

To RSVP with the Cascade Bicycle Club, click here.

Event Information
10am - 1pm:
Workshop at the Tacoma Main Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave S

1pm - 3pm:
Bike tour of Tacoma with bicycle planners and special guests (stay tuned for details!)

3pm - evening:
Meet at the Harmon HUB for drinks

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Changes to licensing requirements for entertainment venues on the way

The PROACTIVE Business Licensing Team (City of Tacoma Safe & Clean Team) is hosting a public meeting on Thursday October 8th, 2009 at Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

This meeting is a follow up to the community engagement meeting held in February in which the City, restaurant and bar owners and other community stakeholders brainstormed ideas on night club licensing and the myriad of issues that arise in and near these businesses. The PROACTIVE team wants to go over recommended changes to the Tacoma Municipal Code (Chapter 6B.70; Entertainment & Dancing-Alcohol Served).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Friday's City Center Luncheon to feature Dome and Brewery Districts Plans

Reserve your seat now for this Friday's City Center Luncheon
hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

When: Friday, October 9th 11:30 (registration) 12:00 to 1:30 (program)
Where: Pacific Grill Event Center (1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma), validated parking at the Convention Center is available

The theme of this fall’s luncheon is “Celebrating Downtown Life”. There are many plans being made and programs offered that make downtown’s future bright. Join us to celebrate all that downtown Tacoma has to offer now and in the coming year.

Presentations include:

The Visions for downtown’s Dome & Brewery Districts
The City of Tacoma is making plans for the future. The City of Tacoma and community stakeholders in two of downtown’s up and coming neighborhoods, are envisioning the future of retail, housing, transportation and urban open space development. Planning Director, Peter Huffman will discuss the exciting visions for these unique neighborhoods.

Downtown Parking Pay Stations – They’re Coming
For the past year and a half a diverse group of downtown stakeholders have worked with the City of Tacoma to develop recommendations for implementing paid on-street parking. The primary goal of the stakeholders is set on-street parking prices that insure 155 parking spot vacancy so that shoppers and visitor to downtown can always find a parking spot near by their destination. City Manager Eric Anderson will discuss other guiding principles of the stakeholder group, roll out timeline and cost.

The Grand Cinema’s New 4th Theater
The Grand is growing! The non-profit Grand Cinema is excited to announce that they are adding a fourth screen to their existing three screen cinema. Construction began in September and is scheduled to be complete sometime prior to Christmas of this year. Once complete, the Grand will be able to bring more quality, first-run, art-house films to Tacoma that in most cases would never have played anywhere else in Pierce County.

First Night 2010
First Night is Tacoma and Pierce County's New Year's Eve festival; a family-friendly, alcohol-free, and most of all fabulously FUN celebration. The celebration grows and changes every year. Join us to learn what’s in store for 2010.

And…Introducing Shunpike
Shunpike a Seattle-based arts service organization now works from their Tacoma satellite office at Suite133 to strengthen Tacoma arts groups with its back-office support and financial services. Shunpike partners with small and mid-size arts groups to develop, train and implement best practices. Since 2001, the organization has been successfully supporting artists with their live performance, film, literary arts, visual arts and arts education programs.

To reserve your seat register on line today at or contact Cathy at the Chamber,, 253.627.2175

$20 Chamber Ambassadors prepaid
$25 Chamber Members prepaid
$30 Members at the door
$35 Non-members prepaid or at the door

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October is Crime Prevention Month

Take part in Crime Prevention Month The City is joining with the National Crime Prevention Council to observe Crime Prevention Month during October.Crime prevention and safety takes a community to be successful; it is being aware that a crime can occur, anticipating how, when, where and who might be the victim, and taking action to reduce the chances of it happening. Crime prevention is using instinct, common sense and action to eliminate or greatly reduce the criminal’s opportunity.

The Tacoma City Council and staff are working hard to make Tacoma safe, clean and attractive, and your contributions to the effort will make the difference.
You can get started now by:

Removing opportunities for criminals to steal your car by locking it up and/or parking in your garage.

Check the locks on your home’s doors and windows to make sure they’re in good working order, and fasten them securely when you leave home, every time.

Together we can have safer and cleaner neighborhoods. Read more about the City’s Safe and Clean effort and find out how to get involved at or by calling (253) 591-5130. For more information about National Crime Prevention Month, visit