Friday, July 31, 2009

Shoup Talks Tacoma Parking

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber teamed up to sponsor a public lecture and conversation with renowned parking expert and UCLA professor Donald Shoup. City staff, residents, business owners, and students gathered at UWT on Wednesday morning to talk parking in Tacoma.

But parking is not just about parking, according to Professor Shoup. He has done extensive research on connections between parking and transportation, land use, economic development, and the environment. His engaging presentation was rich with Tacoma examples and images. He also highlighted United States' car-centric culture and the consequences on our cities, health, and land. (Did you know that there are 18% more automobiles than there are licensed drivers in the U.S.?)

Professor Shoup is well-known for his analysis of the "high costs of free parking," arguing that while a driver may not pay a direct fee for pulling into a "free" parking space, there are hidden costs for the community, businesses, and he advocates for charging the right price for parking, which is the lowet price that will still maintain some vacant slots. He also advocates for parking meter revenue to go directly to the neighborhoods that genereate it so people see the connection between their fare and safety, cleanliness, and aesthetics.

After the public lecture, City Staff stayed for a private conversation with Professor Shoup.

If you weren't able to get your dose of parking this week (or if you want more), here is a link to a 2007 New York Times editoral by Professor Shoup.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Parking Puzzle: How the pieces fit in downtown Tacoma

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber invite you to a free public conversation with renowned parking expert and UCLA professor Dr. Donald Shoup.

Dr. Shoup has done extensive research on parking as a key link between transportation and land use, with important consequences for cities, the economy, and the environment. With this expertise, Shoup will address parking and mobility in downtown Tacoma.

Dr. Shoup will also be giving the keynote address at the PIPTA (Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association) annual conference and trade show being held in Tacoma July 26-28.

When: Wednesday, July 29, 8-9 am

Where: UWT Carwein Auditorium

Who: Open to the public

Cost: FREE!

This is an exciting opportunity for us transit and parking geeks, and anyone interested in the economic vitality of our downtown - mobility is key.

See you there!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is your business or organization an easy target for crime?

While overall crime in downtown has declined, acts of theft and vandalism continue to persist. Without adequate security camera images criminals are difficult to catch and prosecute.

Attend the Chamber's upcoming Good Morning Breakfast, Tues., July 28th, and learn easy steps on how to position your security cameras to adequately capture facial images and assist law enforcement to apprehend criminals.

Hear an informative presentation by Sagem Morpho Inc. on how its high tech biometric facial recognition application enables law enforcement and intelligence analysts to quickly compare photographs of suspects against large databases of images and make identifications within seconds. Sagem Morpho Inc., based in Tacoma, is an integral part of Sagem Securite’s global success in the development, manufacture and integration of biometric technologies including fingerprint, iris, palm and facial recognition. They provide services for systems throughout North America, including law enforcement, Federal Government, Homeland Security, civil identification and applicant background check systems, and is the biometric algorithm provider for the FBI AFIS.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department became the first law enforcement agency in
the United States to deploy the MorphoFace Investigate (MFI) system as part of a pilot program initiated in 2008. That same year Pierce County scored its first arrest utilizing the MFI – making national news. By comparing an automatic teller machine (ATM) photograph against the sheriff’s department’s digital database of 350,000 mug shots, a criminal was identified and apprehended. For more information visit

Breakfast will be held at La Quinta Inn & Suites Conference Center, 1425 East 27th Street Tacoma 98421. Cost is $14 Ambassadors pre-paid; $15 Members pre-paid by July 23; $20 members after July 24; $35non-members / walk-ins.

Register online:; or Janice Hutchins or 253.627.2175.

Special thanks to event sponsor, Sonitrol Pacific.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DaVita's Jim Hilger to Speak at City Center Luncheon- July 17th

Register NOW for this Friday's City Center Luncheon!

**new presentations added**

When: Friday, July 17th, 11:30 (registration) 12:00 to 1:30 (program)

Where: Pacific Grill Event Center (1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma), validated parking is available at the Convention Center

What: The City Center Luncheon is a quarterly event hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

The theme of this quarter's City Center Luncheon is "Experience Life Locally". Join us to learn about:

Local Commitment
Jim Hilger, Vice President of DaVita will discuss the company's decision to stay in Tacoma and their plans for the future.

Local Living: Go Local
Tacoma is going local to support independent businesses and build a prosperous community. Learn how Go Local Tacoma is participating in this national movement and how you can join in your neighborhood business district.

Local Events:
Tollefson Plaza is coming to life this summer; tables and chairs are already there. Come learn what's in store for this summer's Friday Lunch Series and 3rd Thursday Art-Marts in the Plaza.

Local Transportation
Downtown On the Go! Transportation Innovators Awards. Downtown: On the Go! is downtown Tacoma's commute options campaign. How about relaxing to and from work by letting someone else do the driving? Wouldn't it be relaxing to walk, bike or ride the bus to work, or share a ride? Employees across Tacoma are saving money and time by switching to an alternative commute. Join Tacoma's alternative commute movement at the City Center Luncheon.

Local Business
The City of Tacoma's Economic Gardening program cultivates local entrepreneurs by providing them with the information and training they need to be successful in today’s marketplace. Learn about what's being done to keep local businesses up and running in Tacoma in tough economic times.

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

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

How Do You Envision Tacoma?

Is your vision of Tacoma the tough blue collar industrial town of years past, the cultural and artistic center of the Puget Sound, a bustling walkable community, a bit of all three or something completely different?

The Puget Sound Regional Council projects Tacoma to grow by 127,000 people by 2040, this growth will be like adding the population of Bellevue within Tacoma’s city limits.

The City of Tacoma has a vision for where to put all these extra people. Their vision is articulated in the mixed use centers strategy, which attempts to strategically direct this anticipated growth into existing neighborhoods and business districts by increasing the allowable heights is these districts and offering additional bonuses to developers that provide public amenities.

The City Planning Commission has closely reviewed the mixed use centers process and proposals and has provide a series of recommendations to the City Council to be included in the Mixed Use Centers Zoning and Land Use Code amendments.

Transportation and smart growth advocacy organizations, Transportation Choices Coalition and Futurewise commented on the proposed amendments in an op-ed in today’s News Tribune.

The first reading of the mixed use centers ordinance (No. 278180) will be heard by the Council at today’s City Council meeting, 5pm in the Council Chambers, 747 Market Street.

Love Tacoma (and a sunny Wednesday) at Woody's on the Water

What better way to soak in the sun TOMORROW and Love Tacoma than hang out on the deck at Woody's on the Water.

Woody’s is a local, family-owned and operated restaurant with a fun beach casual atmosphere. They offer delicious seafood, steak, salads, and cocktails. The outdoor waterfront patio has a great view of the Foss Marina Waterway and Woody’s is a favorite for local boaters. Come enjoy the sunshine and a signature cocktail with us at Woody’s on the Water!

When: Wednesday, July15, 2009, 5:30pm
Where: 1715 Dock Street (Thea’s landing building on water side).

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, July 01, 2009

Parking Expert Donald Shoup Comes to Tacoma

Tacoma parking geeks unite! This summer’s PIPTA (Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association) Conference & Trade Show will host Dr. Donald Shoup in Tacoma from July 26 – July 28.

PIPTA is comprised of parking and transportation professionals and their partners in related fields from Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

This year’s conference at the Hotel Murano promises to be their most diverse educational program ever, including a wide range of planning, design, operations, programmatic and management topics including:

· Parking & Transportation Contributions to Downtowns & Economic Development
· Aesthetic and Environmental Considerations in Parking Facility Design
· Bicycle Facilities and Creating a Bicycling Culture
· Engaging Communities in Comprehensive Parking Management
· And many more…

Tacoma has long struggled with how to manage our on and off street parking system. Here’s a chance to learn from experts in our own backyard.

For more information review the conference flyer or go to the PIPTA website: