Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sound Transit Construction Update

Sound Transit has begun work on the D to M street Track and Signal Project connecting Sounder trains from Tacoma Dome Station to Lakewood.

For the week of Dec. 29, 2010, to Jan. 5, 2011, you can expect to see on the D-to-M Streets Track and Signal Project:


• Trenching to install utilities down A Street to South 26th Street.

• Additional utility relocation work will follow at the corner of A Street and South 26th Street.

• After utility relocation work is complete, crews will begin making street improvements to A Street between South 26th and South 27th streets, which will become a future detour route when Pacific Avenue is temporarily closed.

During this work, traffic control will be set up along A and South 26th streets. Traffic will be maintained in both directions, and the northbound ramp to Interstate 5 will be maintained at all times.

As construction moves at a rapid pace, here is what you can expect during the month of January. These will include but are not limited to:

• Waterline work in the vicinity of Pacific Avenue, South 25th and South 27th streets in preparation for the closure and excavation of Pacific Avenue.

• Closure of A Street between South 26th and South 25th in mid- to late January 2011 until April 2011 for sewer line work.

• Traffic Signal work at various intersections in the project vicinity, in preparation for the Pacific Avenue Detour.

• Construction of a temporary eastbound (toward Pacific Avenue) detour bypass beside South Tacoma Way.

Beginning in January, Sound Transit will offer a monthly coffee hour. You are invited to stop in and learn about construction. Meetings will be the third Tuesday of every month from 8 to 9 a.m. at Leila’s Deli, 402 E. 26th St., Tacoma. Please feel free to join us at the next coffee hour on Tuesday, Jan. 18, or contact me with any questions at 206-370-5511 or erin.hunter@soundtransit.org. If you know others who would benefit from these electronic updates, please invite them to sign up at www.soundtransit.org/subscribe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Drive Nice, Tacoma

The City of Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Washington State Department of Health want drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be aware of each other and share the road.

In a light and humorous way, the campaign, designed by Rusty George Creative strives to address a serious topic: vehicle-pedestian crashes. The goal was to make people stop and think about who else is using the road and how we can all avoid accidents by paying attention.
Fox News reported on the safety campaign here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Construction continues on Pacific Ave.

Sound Transit has begun work on the D to M street Track and Signal Project connecting Sounder trains from Tacoma Dome Station to Lakewood.

For the weeks of Dec. 16-29, on the D-to-M Streets Track and Signal Project you can expect to see trenching across the intersection of A and South 26th streets. Crews will start from the north and work toward the south and construct the north half on Thursday, Dec. 16, and Friday, Dec. 17. No construction will take place over the weekend. The south half will then be constructed on Monday, Dec. 20, and Tuesday, Dec. 21. Both sides will be repaved and back to the existing roadway by end of day Tuesday, Dec. 21.

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, crews will move up to South 27th Street and begin working from south to north. Crews will be trenching east across A Street from South 27th Street and down A Street to South 26th Street. Parking spots on A Street between 26th and 27th Streets are closed starting today.

During this work, at least one lane of traffic in both directions will be maintained for traffic along South 26th and South 27th streets, the northbound ramp to Interstate 5 will be maintained at all times, and businesses are open for your patronage!

For more information on the D to M project visit Sound Transit’s website, http://www.soundtransit.org/x8955.xml

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spaceworks Tacoma accepting applications now through Jan. 17

Artists, artist groups and creative entrepreneurs can now apply for an opportunity to participate in Spaceworks Tacoma: Round 3. Spaceworks Tacoma is a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma, Shunpike, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce to activate empty spaces with creative use.

“After the initial pilot, Spaceworks Tacoma has emerged as a successful program that turns a typically detrimental thing – vacant storefronts – into something we can use for positive change in Tacoma,” said City of Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “Since July 2010, Spaceworks Tacoma has placed 34 artists or artist teams in 15 spaces around downtown Tacoma.”

There are currently three opportunities available in Spaceworks Tacoma: Round 3, and those selected will receive temporary no-cost or low-cost space, exposure and business consultation in exchange for creatively activating vacant spaces in downtown Tacoma beginning mid-March.

• Artscapes: Those selected for this opportunity would temporarily place visual art installations in interior window storefronts March 15 - July 1, 2011.

• Creative Enterprise: This opportunity provides designers, crafters, consultants and other entrepreneurs with the chance to test new products and services in a physical space on a three- or six-month basis.

• Artist Residency: This opportunity offers dedicated practicing artists the chance to pursue projects and develop work in any artistic discipline for three months, with the opportunity to extend to six months.
Applications for Spaceworks Tacoma: Round 3 will be accepted until Jan. 17, 2011. Visit http://www.spaceworkstacoma.wordpress.com/apply for full details and an application.

Locations and support for Spaceworks Tacoma are provided by property owners Eric Cederstrand, Ted Johnson, Herb Simon, Steve Shaub, George Howe, Al Howe and Jeff Wohler, as well as property managers Shannon Tiegs of Roberson Building Company, Sally England of Colliers International and Michael Norman of Neil Walter. Community partners include Tacoma Contemporary, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts and King’s Books.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Parking Task Force Seeks New Members

Want to make a difference in your downtown? The Parking Management Advisory Task Force is looking for new members who will be actively engaged in decisions and recommendations to the City about downtown parking. The Task Force advises the City Manager on the downtown parking system; duties include the recently introduced paid on-street parking program, but may grow to include the City’s off-street parking facilities.

Currently, there is a need for volunteers representing downtown residents, owners/ managers of commercial properties and restaurant operators within the downtown. The Task Force currently meets the first and third Thursday’s of the month from 4 p.m. to 6.p.m..

Interested persons are invited to complete an application for further consideration by the Task Force and appointment to the Task Force by the Tacoma City Manager. Applications are due by the end of day Monday, December 13, 2010.

For more information about the Parking Management Advisory Task Force and the downtown parking system visit http://www.tacomaparking.com/.

Changes to the on-street parking system

When paid on-street parking began in September the message from the City of Tacoma was the system is designed to be flexible and over time adjustments will be made to the system. In the last several months the City of Tacoma and The Downtown Parking Management Advisory Task Force has been listening to your suggestions for improving the operations of the new pay stations to benefit its many users. Here are several changes you will see in the coming weeks including:

On Saturdays, buy two hours and you can park all day. Parkers will be able to purchase all day parking on Saturday at each pay station for just $1.50. Users can still purchase less than two hours of time when needed, but they will not get the all day parking benefit. This is a pilot program to be evaluated in February.

Parkers can now pre-purchase parking time for the next day beginning at 8 p.m. This change will allow more parkers to conveniently purchase time and display their receipt before enforcement begins the following morning.

No charge for parking on portions of Market Street from S. 11th to S. 21st Streets. This is a pilot program to be evaluated in February. During this period, the City will collect parking data to assess parking demand and turnover in support of local businesses. A 90-minute time limit will be enforced.

Did you know…

• You can take your unexpired pay station time receipt to another parking space. Each pay station receipt has a time stamp that can be used in any stall within the paid parking area downtown.
• Twenty-five cents buys 20 minutes of time. The minimum cost for parking is $0.25 – for those short trips into a store or any quick stop.

For more information about the on-street parking system go to http://www.tacomaparking.com/.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Charette for Pac Ave Streetscape Project

Exciting changes are coming downtown and the City invites you to get involved.

The City of Tacoma is holding a Public Charette for the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project and would like feedback. The public is invited to provide input and comment on conceptual designs completed for the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project.

Thursday, December 9, 2010
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Tacoma Art Museum
1701 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402

Phase One of the project will improve the right-of-way from 7th Street to 17th Street and provide a streetscape design that complements the completed Pacific Avenue streetscape (17th Street to 21st Street).

The project will incorporate innovative stormwater management design, complete streets concepts, multimodal transportation and wayfinding. The new streetscape will also be designed to attract and encourage new business in downtown Tacoma.

If you would like more detailed information on this meeting, contact Sue O'Neill or you can phone her at 253.591.5789.

Anyone wanting to submit written comments may do so no later than 5 p.m., December 10, 2010 to Sue O'Neill, Asst. Division Manager, PW Engineering, 747 Market Street, Room 544, Tacoma, WA 98402.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Sound Transit's D-to-M Streets Project Open House this Thursday

Big changes are coming to downtown as Sound Transit prepares to begin construction on the extension of the Sounder commuter rail service to Lakewood from Tacoma. Sound Transit will soon lay new track between East D and South M streets, resulting in street closures and traffic detours. Construction is expected to start in fall 2010 and conclude in fall of 2012.

Perhaps the biggest impact on downtown will involve the closure of Pacific Ave. for the construction of a railroad bridge that will enable a continual flow of traffic once the rail line is complete.

Find yourself wanting more information on this very significant project? Attend the...
D-to-M Streets Project Open House
Thursday, November 4th
Visit anytime between 4:00-7:00pm
Milgard Family Assembly Room,
Philip Hall ~ UWT
1918 Pacific Avenue

At the Open House, information will be available on:
- Construction schedule, phasing, detours, and safety
- Sound Transit art program (STart)
- Sound Transit Proposed 2011 Budget

For more information, or to schedule a presentation with your group, contact Erin Hunter at 206-370-5511 or erin.hunter@soundtransit.org, or visit the project website at www.soundtransit.org/DtoM.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coming Soon…Infrastructure improvements downtown

Despite the down economy the City of Tacoma and private property owners are planning for exciting investments in buildings, streetscapes and services that will help pull downtown out of the recession. Register now for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s quarterly City Center Luncheon on November 19th to learn about:

Pacific Ave. Streetscape improvements
With help from the Federal Government, the City of Tacoma is planning for a major reconstruction of Pacific Ave. between S. 7th and S. 17th in the core of downtown. Plans are still in development, but will likely include new sidewalks, street trees, storm water enhancements, street furniture, lighting and bike lanes. Learn more about the plans at the luncheon from City Manager Eric Anderson.

New Tacoma Link station
Tacoma Link was built with a gap in the system, a stop that serves the businesses in the downtown core. The new stop, to be constructed on Commerce St. between S. 11th and S. 12th Streets will drive traffic to near by offices and retailers. Join us to learn about what to expect from the construction and the new stop.

Plans for the Foremost Dairy
The Foremost Dairy building on the corner of S. 25th and Pacific was originally built in 1927 for Royal Ice Cream and Milk Company. After sitting vacant for years, the historic building was purchased in 2008 and is on track for redevelopment (some work has already begun). Come learn how this redevelopment is helping to spur growth in downtown.

It’s your Business Improvement Area
The Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area provides safe and clean services (and the hanging flower baskets in the summer) for 84-blocks of downtown. Join us to learn about how you and your business can take advantage of BIA services and meet your clean and safe crews.

The luncheon program is still being developed. Check back regularly for new information.

When: Friday, November 19th, 2010
Time: 11:30 (registration) 12:00-1:30 (program)
Location: Pacific Grill Event Center, 1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402.

Please consider walking, biking or carpooling to this event.
If you must drive, validated parking is available in the Convention Center.

To register for the luncheon visit the Chamber’s website, call or email Cathy Thompson (253) 627-2175, cathyt@tacomachamber.org

Trick-Art-Treat in downtown with Mayor Strickland

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland invites you don your best costume and Trick-Art-Treat with her in downtown Tacoma Oct. 28 from 5 – 7 p.m.

The Trick-Art-Treat celebration is Spaceworks Tacoma’s Round II opening of vacant retail spaces transformed into creative enterprises and art installations. Trick-Art-Treat will feature many new exhibits by local artists, film, performance art, music and more. Pick up a map of the Spaceworks Tacoma spaces at any of the locations below.

Highlights include:

913 Pacific Ave.
• Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Theater Company
• PiƱatas by Cheryl Rux and Nichole Vandever
• Stick around for a preview of Titus Andronicus at 8 p.m.

915 Pacific Ave.
• Chiffon: original fashion, jewelry and vintage collections
• Raffle for a unique piece of jewelry
• Costume party complete with a DJ, treats and henna tattoos

906 Broadway
• fly: the best in renegade craft and art

1114 Pacific Ave. Residency Suite
Meet the artists and see some of their latest work.
• Meghan Lancaster, textile artist  - See the new installation and enjoy refreshments.
• Josh Everson, photographer - Get a Halloween portrait taken.
• Isaac Olsen, filmmaker - He will be projecting his new, feature-length film, “Quiet Shoes” (as seen at this year’s Tacoma Film Festival).
• Michael Kaniecki, painter - Come see him at work.

The opening will also feature new installations by Barbara DePirro, Scott Huette, Sisy Anderson, Holly Senn, Alyson Piskorowski, Alexandra Opie, Alice DiCerto, Kyle Dillehay, Jessica Bender, Tania Kupczak, Craig Snyder and Ruth Marie Tomlinson.

Spaceworks Tacoma, which aims to activate empty storefronts and vacant space in downtown Tacoma, is a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma, Shunpike and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. The initiative makes no-cost and low-cost temporary space available to artists, fledgling creative entrepreneurs, organizations and community groups, and allows a diverse range of art installations and performances, artist residencies, creative enterprises and pop-up events to occur.
For more information, visit http://www.spaceworkstacoma.com/ or e-mail rsolverson@cityoftacoma.org.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Link to close later than planned for Biden visit

The Tacoma Link closure schedule has changed for Friday's visit by Vice President Joe Biden.  In coordination with the Vice President's visit Tacoma Link will not run starting at 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  Morning commuters parking at Tacoma Dome Station and riding link into downtown will still be able to do so on their regular schedules.

Check out our previous post for details on street closures and transit impacts.

Note that closure times and locations may change...it's the Vice President of the United States. Thanks for being flexible.

P.S.:  Received at 11:00 p.m., Thursday: 

The Tacoma Link closure schedule has changed for Friday's visit by Vice President Joe Biden.  In coordination with the Vice President's visit, Tacoma Link will not run starting at 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  Morning commuters parking at Tacoma Dome Station and riding link into downtown will still be able to do so on their regular schedules.

Major Street Closures Downtown on FRIDAY, October 8th

There will be major street closures and transit impacts in downtown Tacoma this Friday, October 8th, in coordination with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit. The Vice President will be speaking at the University of Washington Tacoma campus in the afternoon.

Tacoma Link service will be shut down from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

All streets around the UWT campus will be closed, no through traffic or parking:

- Pacific Avenue between S. 21st and S. 17th

- S. 21st between Pacific Ave. and Market St.

- S. 17th St. between Pacific and Market St.

- Jefferson St. between Pacific and Market

- Likely Market St between S. 17th and S. 21st St.

Buses in the area will be rerouted to different streets. Contact the transit agencies directly for more information about impacts to transit service. Sound Transit, 206-398-5000; Pierce Transit 253.606.4626.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sound Transit unanimously approves new Link stop

Today the Sound Transit Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the construction of a new Tacoma Link station in downtown Tacoma. The station’s southbound and northbound platforms will be constructed on Commerce St. between S. 11th and S. 12th Streets. Construction is scheduled to begin in late January 2011.


Read previous posts on this topic here and here.

WALK Tacoma "Step into Fall" Lunchtime Walking Series


Please join Downtown: On the Go! on each of the five Fridays throughout October as we take a lunchtime walk along each of the five WALK Tacoma routes. Join us on this walk and receive a set of WALK Tacoma walking maps.

Friday, October 1, 12-1pm:
Wright Park to Stadium District Walk
Come out to see the fall color of Wright Park and enjoy the history of the Stadium District. Meet up near Wright Park white lions on 6th Ave. Enjoy cider and autumn treats for this walking series kick-off event.

Friday, October 8, 12-1pm:
Downtown to Hilltop Walk
Meet up in front of the historic Woolworth Building on 11th and Broadway.

Friday, October 15, 12-1pm:
South Waterfront to Tacoma Dome Station Walk
Meet up in front of Union Station and return via the Link. Includes a brief tour of the public exhibition of Chihuly glass inside of Union Station.

Friday, October 22, 12-1pm:
North Waterfront to Theatre District Walk
Meet at the corner of 9th and Broadway for this walk in the heart of downtown.

Friday, October 29, 12-1pm:
Brewery District to South Downtown Walk
Meet in front of The Swiss for this walk of the historic brewery district.

About the WALK Tacoma Downtown Walking Maps
In early 2010, Downtown: On the Go! convened a group of stakeholders within the downtown community to create downtown focused walking maps. With goals that included incentivizing walking as a healthy lunchtime activity, encouraging awareness of walkable distances, and cultivating an appreciation of Tacoma’s rich past, present, and future, the stakeholders developed five downtown walking map routes.

Branded as WALK Tacoma by a PLU Student Design Team, each route takes the pedestrian on an interpretive tour of 8-10 sites. Even veteran Tacomans will discover something new as each map blends information on major landmarks and hidden gems. Routes average 1.5 miles in length, range in difficulty, and include estimates for calories burned. To learn more about how to obtain a set or sets of maps, click here.
GET OUT, GET ACTIVE - WALK TACOMA!

Monday, September 20, 2010

12th Street Hill Climb Opens

The new and improved 12th Street Hill Climb next to Pacific Plaza is now open to the public. The finishing touches are still being put on the staircase and art installation by Jill Anholt, but the stairs which provide a mid-block shortcut between Pacific Avenue and Commerce are open.

Cycling enthusiasts will be please see and now use the metal wheel gutters for bringing bicycles up the stairs.

The sidewalk along that portion of Pacific Avenue has also been reopened.  Pedestrians will no longer be forced into the street when walking by the project.














Read previous BIA coverage here.

The News Tribune reported on the hill climb’s progress back in July

Paid Parking begins Today

After years of planning, paid on-street parking begun in downtown Tacoma today. Friendly ambassadors are out in force to help parkers with the pay stations and answering questions.

Over the next few weeks the availability of parking on-street will be erratic as employees and other long-term parkers move to off-street lots and garages opening up spaces on the street for short-term parkers shopping, eating or doing business in downtown.

Here’s what you can expect:
·      Park for up to 2 hours in one location
·      Pay 75 cents per hour, you can purchase a minimum of 20 minutes for 25 cents
·      Pay to park 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday
·      Stick the parking stub in your window and take your unused time with you anywhere in downtown

For more information go to http://www.downtowntacomaparking.com/


Monday, September 13, 2010

PARK(ing) Day Comes to Downtown Tacoma this Friday!

Park(ing) Day is an international day of turning passive urban parking stalls into active mini-parks filled with people, plants, music, art and games. After a successful inaugural Park(ing) Day in 2009, Transportation Choices Coalition is partnering with area businesses/organizations to bring you yet another year of converting on-street vehicle storage into public spaces. It all happens this Friday, September 17th between 10am and 2pm. Check out the map of downtown Park(ing) spaces by clicking here.

To add to the excitement, Downtown: On the Go! will lead a walking tour of the these spaces between noon and 1:00pm. The walking tour will start in front of the UWT Bookstore, and culminate at the final "park" in front of Doyle's Public House. You can then vote for the best park(ing) space on the Downtown: On the Go! Facebook Page.

Park(ing) Day started in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, transformed a parking stall into a park for two hours. It has now grown to more than 700 “parks” in 140 cities across the world. Check out www.parkingday.org and the Flickr Park(ing) Day pool to see inspiring photos.

Both Transportation Choices Coalition and Downtown: On the Go! hope that you'll take advantage of Tacoma's well-designed public park(ing) spaces by joining fellow Park(ers) for lunch or coffee, choosing to make a Park(ing) space your office for the day, or just admiring the creative use of public space during the lunchtime walking tour. Become a fan of Downtown: On the Go! on Facebook to get all of the details on Park(ing) Day 2010!

Welcome, Welcome Figure

As of this morning the long-awaited Welcome Figure now watches over Tollefson Plaza. The wooden statue of a Native American woman stands 22 feet tall and wears a traditional woven cedar hat and white dress with a Thunderbird design, her hands outstretched in a welcoming gesture. She was carved by Puyallup native artist Shaun Peterson (Qwalsius).


The figure will welcome all who visit downtown Tacoma and stands in tribute to the Puyallup’s who were the first people to inhabit the area. The land around Tollefson Plaza was once an important village site to the Puyallup Tribe.

The Puyallup Tribe, City of Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum will celebrate the installation and unveiling of the Welcome Figure with a blessing ceremony Saturday, September 18th, 10am – noon in Tollefson Plaza (S. 17th and Pacific Ave.).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

City seeks Parking Ambassadors

For many customers, clients and visitors parking is their first and last experience of downtown. The City and downtown businesses want this experience to be a positive one. One of the main purposes of the new parking program is to insure that those who need short-term parking in downtown can always find a space on-street in the vicinity of their destination.

In pursuit of this goal, the City of Tacoma is looking for volunteer ambassadors to assist parkers with the new parking pay stations starting September 20th. The volunteers will provide assistance to parkers with using the machine, information on off-street parking options and general customer service for the initial days of the program.

Volunteers are needed for the weeks of September 20th and 27th (including Saturdays but not Sundays) from 7:30am to 4:00pm. Volunteers will work either a 4 hour shift or an 8 hour day. Several one hour training sessions will be held on Wednesday, September 15th and Friday, September 17th between 4pm and 9pm (to be firmed up next week) at the Wells Fargo Building. Identifying vests will be provided for the volunteers to use while on duty.

If you’re interested in being an ambassador and helping parkers learn how to use the new parking pay stations please contact Kathy Kuzemka, 202-756-5744, Kathy.kuzemka@acs-inc.com
For more information about the parking changes go to http://www.downtowntacomaparking.com/

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Off-street parking map now available

Off-street parking map

When paid on-street parking starts in downtown Tacoma on September 20th downtown employees and other drivers looking to park for stays longer than 2 hours should consider parking in an off-street garage or lot.

Employees and residents who park on the street in the core business area of downtown take up parking stalls that would otherwise be used for short-term parkers, namely customers, clients and visitors to downtown. To create a vibrant, active and prosperous downtown that everyone will benefit from we must make downtown more accessible to those who shop and do business here.

The City of Tacoma has developed a useful map to help long-term parkers find off-street parking. There are 63 off-street parking facilities with over 7000 parking stalls in the core business area of downtown. Rates range from $1-$10 per hour, $3-$20 per day or $38-$164 per month. There is a parking spot for everyone who wants one in downtown Tacoma.

Public Meeting on downtown pay stations - TODAY

On-street parking pay stations are coming to downtown Tacoma September 20th.

Learn more about the status of on-street parking pay stations system in at a public meeting today, Sept. 2 starting at 5 p.m. at the Pantages Theater (9th Street and Broadway in Studio 2. To reach the studio, walk past the box office and take the silver elevator to the second floor.). This is the last public meeting before the pay stations are operational on Sept. 20, 2010.

Paid on-street parking in downtown will open up short-term (2hour) parking stalls for customers, clients and visitors to downtown. Drivers looking to park for longer stays should consider parking in an off street garage or lot.

Over the last year, a 12-member panel of citizens and business leaders was established to advise Tacoma’s city manager and the City Council on key features of the paid parking system. The advisory group has held monthly meetings for stakeholders and interested citizens on the first Thursday of each month since April 2010.
The parking system improvements will soon be finalized for implementation. If you would like to weigh-in on the process, you are encouraged to attend the meeting today. Or for more information about the pay stations, visit http://www.downtowntacomaparking.com/.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Downtown, a new Link station is headed our way

A new Tacoma Link light rail stop is planned for S. 11th and Commerce. The downtown business community including DaVita, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and other members of the Tacoma Partnership have advocated for a Link stop at this location, which will provide better Link access for businesses and residents in the north end of downtown.

The plan presented at today’s City Council Study Session calls for two station platforms. The south bound station is proposed for just north of the South 12th St. skybridge, in front of the School of the Arts building. The northbound station is planned for just south of 11th St, near Chase Bank.

The additional stops will increase the headway or time between trains from ten minutes to twelve minutes. Members of the business community believe this increased time is worth the additional ridership and access to businesses a stop at this location will provide.

Design of the stations by city staff is 60% complete and includes additional security cameras and better lighting in the area around the stations. The station designs will require Link trains to stop in the roadway adjacent to the platforms. The existing sidewalks will be extended out to meet the tracks and new platforms. The construction cost is estimated to be $350,000. The City of Tacoma will pay for cost associated with construction and maintenance of the new stations.

The Sound Transit Board of Directors must give its approval for the proposal to move forward. The proposal and plans will be discussed at a number of Sound Transit committee meetings in the coming weeks and will go before the entire Sound Transit Board for a vote in October. If approved, construction could begin in January 2011 and completed in March 2011.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prairie Line Trail Update

On Monday, August 9, 2010 the City of Tacoma applied for design and construction grants as part of the ongoing process of transforming the abandoned Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad corridor into an urban pedestrian and bicycle trail.

The Prairie Line Trail will be a linear park linking planned redevelopment in the Brewery District to the University of Washington Tacoma, Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma Art Museum and the Thea Foss Esplanade. The trail will provide better access from the south end of downtown to the Foss Waterway and will be a benefit to businesses and employees. Additionally, the Prairie Line Trail will connect to other regional trails including the Historic Water Ditch Trail and the Scott Pierson Trail.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Access to parking improves in Park Plaza North

Park Plaza North (923 Commerce St.) is one of the largest City-owned parking garages in downtown Tacoma. It is also the most central and easy to access garage for theater-goers, shoppers on Antique Row and visitors to the City’s Municipal Building. Pedestrians can cross the skybridge near the Theater on the Square on Broadway. Vehicle access is on Commerce St.











Until now, the closest parking stalls in the garage to the Broadway skybridge access point have been largely reserved for the City of Tacoma motorpool vehicles. This week the City moved the large code enforcement trucks and other City owned vehicles to the top level of the garage, opening up convenient parking for the public. Thank you City of Tacoma!

This change is one of the steps being taken by the City to improve on and off-street parking in downtown. Paid on-street parking starts in downtown on September 20th. For more information go to http://www.dowtowntacomaparking.com/

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spaceworks Tacoma Block Party this Thursday


Spaceworks Tacoma – an initiative to activate empty storefronts in downtown Tacoma with art and creative enterprise – celebrates its official launch on July 29th with a Kick-Off Block Party Event that is free and open to the public. Spaceworks Tacoma is a joint project of the City of Tacoma, Shunpike and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.

When: Thursday, July 29, 4:30pm-8pm

Where: 9th & Broadway, Downtown Tacoma

See how artists are revitalizing vacant spaces and helping to enliven downtown Tacoma with projects ranging from visual art to film production to boutiques full of hand-made products. Join us for walking tours of all of the transformed vacant spaces, live music and performances, food and drinks and ALL Out - the first gathering of the new Arts Leadership Lab Tacoma.

Read what The News Tribune has to say about Spaceworks Tacoma

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Sounder service is headed our way

The Sound Transit board of directors today took a major step towards delivering the Sounder commuter rail expansions that voters approved in 2008 by authorizing the purchase of rights to four additional south line Sounder round trips.


The $185 million purchase agreement with Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway enables the regional transit agency to incrementally expand its popular commuter rail service from nine to thirteen round trips a day, with the first new round trip starting as soon as 2012. The expanded service will add four peak direction, peak hour trains to the Seattle-to-Tacoma Sounder schedule, with flexibility to run reverse commute and midday service based on ridership demand.

The easement rights for the four additional trains grant use of the Seattle-Tacoma railway in perpetuity.

“The expansion of Sounder service is a smart investment in our region’s transportation system that will pay dividends for generations to come,” said Sound Transit board chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “Since it began service 10 years ago, Sounder has carried more than 14.5 million passengers, with more riders hopping on board as our region’s economy recovers and population centers continue to grow.”

“This is terrific news for south King and Pierce County commuters,” said Claudia Thomas, Sound Transit board member and Lakewood City Councilmember. “As we extend our Sounder railway from Tacoma to Lakewood, more riders will be able to take advantage of this needed transportation option.”

“These additional trains will go a long way toward building our capacity to deliver regional transit services to the growing cities south of Seattle,” said Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow. “Adding Sounder runs to our schedule will help improve the quality of life for south sound residents by giving them more choices for efficiently traveling up and down the congested Seattle-Tacoma corridor.”

The four perpetual easements purchased from Burlington Northern will expand Sounder service on a staggered schedule, with the first additional train beginning operation in July of 2012, followed by a second in the fall of 2014, a third in the summer of 2015, and a fourth the following year.

For more information, please go to http://www.soundtransit.org/documents/pdf/about/board/resolutions/2010/Reso2010-14.pdf .











CONTACT: Kimberly Reason — (206) 689-3343 or kimberly.reason@soundtransit.org

Downtown may get another Link light rail stop

If the downtown business community has its way an additional Tacoma Link light rail stop will be constructed between S. 11th and S. 12th Streets on Commerce.

A stop in this area would improve Link access for employees and visitors in downtown’s primary business core. Currently link access in this part of downtown is limited to the stops at S. 9th and S. 15th. An additional stop in this area has been listed as an incentive for businesses interested in locating downtown.

Sound Transit, who owns and operates Tacoma Link is in the process of defining the minimum requirements necessary for an addition stop. The City of Tacoma will be responsible for engineering and constructing the stop based on those requirements.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tacoma Streetcar Forum, July 23rd

What Lies Ahead for the Tacoma Streetcar?

To find out, join Transportation Choice Coalition, Downtown: On the Go! and the City of Tacoma for a comprehensive update on rail transit in Tacoma.

In 2008 voters approved $80 million for Tacoma Link extension. Just how much rail can that buy? What's the difference between streetcars and light rail? What are the benefits of building more rail transit in Tacoma?

Learn the answers to these questions and more from panelists: Greg Walker, planning and development director at Sound Transit; Alisa O'Hanlon, government relations coordinator at the City of Tacoma; and Bill LaBorde, policy director at Transportation Choices Coalition.

Join us for a discussion on everything you need to know about the future of streetcars in Tacoma!


WHEN: Friday, July 23, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

WHERE: University of Washington Tacoma Campus, Garretson Woodruff Pratt Building, Tacoma Room (Room 320)

Special thanks to the City of Tacoma and Downtown: On the Go! for sponsoring the Tacoma Streetcar Friday Forum. As always, feel free to bring your lunch.

The Transportation Choice Coalition Friday Forum Series is sponsored by:
PLATINUM
Vulcan Inc.

GOLD
CH2M Hill
Parsons Brinckerhoff
The Boeing Company
HDR Inc.

SILVER
HNTB Corporation
Wilbur Smith Associates

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Parking Pay Stations “Go Live” September 20th

It’s official, downtown parkers will pay to park on-street starting September 20th, 2010. The implementation of pay stations in downtown Tacoma marks the culmination of nearly a decade worth of work and input from literally hundreds of community members.

The high demand for parking in downtown means that visitors, customers and clients to downtown often have difficulty finding a place to park in the vicinity of their destination. The market-based approach to parking adopted by the City of Tacoma ensures that the price to park combined with consistent enforcement will incent employees and other long-term parkers to find a spot in a garage, leaving on-street stalls available for shoppers, eaters and clients. This effort is largely supported by the downtown community including : the Downtown Merchants Group, restaurants, property owners, large employers, residents, cultural institutions and others.

For more information on downtown parking, the process and the details visit http://www.tacomaparking.com/ or read previous posts on this topic:

June 28, 2010
June 14, 2010
April 30, 2010
March 2, 2010
September 2, 2009
October 28, 2009
September 15, 2008

July 16th City Center Luncheon focuses on Transportation

Transportation is a hot topic in Tacoma this summer. The Chamber’s July 16th City Center Luncheon, sponsored by CH2M Hill, will feature the latest updates on the biggest projects including: Sound Transit’s Sounder extension construction, Pierce Transit’s redesign plans for downtown, preliminary plans for the Prairie Line walking and biking trail, car sharing opportunities, walking maps, parking and more. Register Now! This City Center Luncheon is not to be missed.

When: Friday, July 16th, 2010
Time: 11:30 (registration) 12:00-1:30 (program)
Location: Pacific Grill Event Center, 1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402.
Please consider walking, biking or carpooling to this event.
If you must drive, validated parking is available in the Convention Center Garage.

This quarter’s luncheon will feature:

Sound Transit’s South Sound Projects
Sound Transit, the Puget Sound’s regional transit provider is busy planning for investments in Pierce County. The Sounder extension to Lakewood, Tacoma LINK/ streetcar planning and the light rail extension from SeaTac airport are all part or Sound Transit’s plans for the future in the South Sound. Join us to learn more.

Pierce Transit Redesign: the plan for downtown
Over the past year Pierce Transit and the community have been reevaluating the 30-year old bus route structure and services and planning for the future. Through this planning effort, downtown Tacoma is slated for major route changes that will improve efficiency and service for downtown residents, employees, students and visitors.

Prairie Line Trail: preliminary plans
The Prairie Line Trail is an urban biking and walking trail planned for the abandoned Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad corridor that bisects downtown Tacoma. The Prairie Line Trail is slated to be transformed into a linear park linking planned redevelopment in the Brewery District to the University of Washington Tacoma, Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma Art Museum and the Thea Foss Esplanade.

Car Sharing: opportunities for downtown, UWT, UPS and PLU
Car sharing is an alternative to car rentals and car ownership and it’s in the works to site in downtown Tacoma and at local universities. Car sharing programs enable residents and biking, walking, transit, carpool and vanpool commuters access to a car when they need it, reducing transportation costs and eliminating excuses to alternative commuting.

Update on Paid Parking in Downtown Tacoma
Parking Pay Stations are coming to the streets of downtown September 20th (http://www.tacomaparking.com/). The implementation of paid on street parking is an effort on behalf of the City of Tacoma and downtown businesses to insure that customers, clients and visitors to downtown can find on street parking in proximity to shops, restaurants and cultural activities. Join us to lean more about the details of the parking meter implementation and alternatives to parking on street in downtown.

Spaces are limited. Register today by contacting Cathy Thompson, (253) 627.2175, cathyt@tacomachamber.org or online


Prices: $225 Corporate Tables of 8
$20 Ambassadors pre-paid
$25 Members pre-paid
$30 Members at the door
$35 Non-members/Walk-Ins

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spaceworks is filling up downtown

Spaceworks Tacoma(http://www.spaceworkstacoma.com/), a collaboration between the City of Tacoma, Shunpike and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is placing local artists and entrepreneurs in vacant retail spaces in downtown Tacoma. The artists began installing their work on Monday. Expect to see more art, pop up stores and artists creating art in the coming weeks.

Here is the list of what to expect and where you can find it.

950 Pacific Ave (Property Owner: JohnsonSimon, LLC)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
June Sekiguchi
Mary Coss
Pam Hom

Woolworth Building (Property Manager: Tacoma Contemporary)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
Lisa KinoshitaAndrew Peterson
Joseph Songco
Gretchen Bennett
Zeitbike Crew: Scott McGee, Eric Holdener and Bil Fleming


628 St. Helens (Property Owner: Eric Cederstrand)
Sarah Magnum and Aaron Flett of the fledgling film production company, Aroma Films, will use the space as the principle location for their feature-length comedy which takes place in Tacoma.

906 Broadway (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
Michelle Acuff
Tory Franklin
Ben Hirschkoff

Jennifer Adams will create an art boutique called “FLY” that will represent several different local artists who create hand-crafted or designed items. FLY will be a mix of gallery and retail.

913 Pacific Ave. (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Susan Thompson creates pottery and will use the space to not only sell her products but also allow people to watch her create pieces while in the space. She will use this space during our second round of installations.

Kristie Worthey and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Theater Company will use the space as a rehearsal and performance space. Rehearsals and performances will be open to the public.

915 Pacific Ave. (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Tiffanie Peters is fashion designer who designs apparel, jewelry and accessories. She will be creating a boutique of her own hand-made products where people can shop and get one of a kind products.

1114 Broadway (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Isaac Olsen is a filmmakers and artist who will use the space to continue his film work and also sell merchandise such as DVD’s of his films, t-shirts and posters.

Joshua Everson is a teacher of Art, Graphic Design, and Photography who will use the space as a portrait studio and also a place for Joshua to provide services and lessons for other artists.

Meghan Lancaster is an artist who uses fiber and textiles to create works of varying scales. She will be using the space to display her art in the storefront window while also creating new pieces.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paid on-street parking public meeting this Thursday

Only two more months until the on-street pay stations "go live" throughout downtown in mid-September. Now is the time to comment on how the public will experience the system.

The next public meeting on draft recommendations for downtown paid-on street parking system is this Thursday, July 1st, 2010, 5:00-6:00PM at the University of Washington Tacoma in the Tacoma Room (above the bookstore @ S. 19th & Pacific).

Meeting Topics:
5PM - The Return of Paid Parking in Downtown Tacoma
5:05 - Issues under review
- Paystation On-street Locations (See this previous post for more information)
- Paystation Signage
- Paystation Instructions
- Paystation Receipts
- Permits (Day Use, Barricade, Delivery, etc)
-Regulatory Changes
5:15 - Public Feedback
6PM - Adjourn

For information on Task Force recommendations or schedule please visit us online at www.tacomaparking.com. If you would like to comment, but can't make it to the meeting provide your feedback to tacomaparking@cityoftacoma.org. The Task Force looks forward to input from the community and responds to all comments and questions received.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food Vending Pilot Takes Off Downtown

Just in time for summer, a “sidewalk vending unit” pilot project (testing less stringent food cart vending regulations from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department) will begin in the BIA (Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area).

The Chamber’s Metropolitan Development Manager, Chelsea Levy, who oversees the BIA, “brought a deep knowledge of downtown Tacoma and is a big reason why downtown Tacoma was chosen as the pilot area,” said Tacoma City Councilperson Marty Campbell. “She was instrumental in bringing about the conservation about food carts. [Levy] was able to bring the perspective of many of our business owners and worked hard to make sure this would be a winnable solution for all.”

The hope is promotion and development of street food vending would create a liveliness that would attract more foot traffic and draw more business to the community.

Campbell cited compelling reasons why launching the pilot project in downtown Tacoma is important. “[Not only] will it bring vitality and foot traffic to our streets, along with activating sidewalks and public areas like Tollefson Plaza, it will bring entrepreneurial opportunities to Tacoma. It will provide low cost opportunities to both launch new businesses, but also allow current restaurants to project their presence and a sampling of their foods to people who may be unfamiliar with their menu,” Campbell said.

On June 15, the Tacoma City Council had their first reading of the ordinance changes. Given the level of interest expressed in the program, look for more tasty food choices springing up downtown in the near future.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Potential On-Street Parking Pay Station Locations Indicated throughout Downtown

Noticed those small white triangles on sidewalks throughout the downtown? If you're curious to know what these are and why they are there, read on!

As you are probably well aware by now, on-street paid parking will officially become a reality in downtown Tacoma this September. A voluntary, citizen-led Parking Management Advisory Task Force has been hard at work over the past months offering recommendations to the City of Tacoma on the roll-out of the new on-street system. Details on the on-street system can be found at http://www.tacomaparking.com/.

Over the summer, parking pay station infrastructure will be placed throughout the downtown. In a first cut at placement of these pay stations, the City of Tacoma has sprayed small, white triangles (pictured above) at the tentative location of these stations (example pictured below). The long side of the trangle is the back of the paystation, while the arrow points in the direction of the front side of the pay station where the customer interacts with the machine. The pay stations will be approximately 1 foot square and 5 feet high.

While the tentative locations of these stations is based on the criteria for placement set forth by the Parking Management Advisory Task Force, it is a first-cut at this placement. The City is very interested in property owner, business owner, student, and citizen input before final placement is determined. While this is not a call for debate on whether or not pay stations should be placed downtown at all, it is a call for specific concerns pertaining to placement of specific machines.

Should you have comments on a location of parking pay station, please submit to tacomaparking@cityoftacoma.org by Thursday, June 24th.

Should you want to know more about on-street paid parking in downtown Tacoma in general, including how you can provide more general public comment, visit http://www.tacomaparking.com/.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

NEW Walk Tacoma Downtown Walking Maps Now Available!


Interested in walking Tacoma's downtown? Downtown: On the Go!'s 5 new downtown walking maps will get you out and active while showing the many different sides of the South Sound's urban hub.

Branded as Walk Tacoma, each of the 5 routes takes the pedestrian on an interpretive tour of 8-10 sites. Even veteran Tacomans will discover something new as each map blends information on major landmarks and hidden gems. Routes average 1.5 miles in length, range in difficulty, and include estimates for calories burned.

How did the Walk Tacoma maps come about? In early 2010, Downtown: On the Go! convened a group of stakeholders within the downtown community to create downtown focused walking maps. The goals for these maps included: incentivizing walking as a healthy lunchtime activity, encouraging awareness of walkable distances, and cultivating an appreciation of Tacoma’s rich past, present, and future.

The Walk Tacoma maps were then designed by talented students from Pacific Lutheran University’s Design Team, and generously printed by MultiCare’s Center for Healthy Living.

Interested in obtaining copies? Visit Downtown: On the Go!'s website for more information:


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Walk Tacoma: A Lunchtime Walking Event to Introduce Five New Downtown Walking Maps

Wear your walking shoes and come ready to walk - Rain or Shine!

When:
Friday, June 4th 11:45am-1:00pm

Where:
The Waterfront Amphitheater
(on the waterfront side of the Museum of Glass and Albers Mill)

What:
Downtown: On the Go! and partners will introduce five new
Walk Tacoma downtown walking maps during this lunchtime walking event.

Enjoy a healthy lunch (free for the first 50 pedestrians), music, a goodie bag full of great giveaways, and a brief interpretive walk along one of the five new walking map routes.

Walk Tacoma Walking Maps Background Info
In early 2010, Downtown: On the Go! convened a group of stakeholders within the downtown community to create downtown focused walking maps. The goals for these maps include: incentivizing walking as a healthy lunchtime activity, encouraging awareness of walkable distances, and cultivating an appreciation of Tacoma’s rich past, present, and future. The stakeholders developed five downtown walking map routes and the maps are now ready for distribution.

The Walk Tacoma maps were designed by talented students from Pacific Lutheran University’s Design Team, and generously printed by MultiCare’s Center for Healthy Living.

Branded as Walk Tacoma, each route takes the pedestrian on an interpretive tour of 8-10 sites. Even veteran Tacomans will discover something new as each map blends information on major landmarks and hidden gems. Routes average 1.5 miles in length, range in difficulty, and include estimates for calories burned.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bike to a Better Tacoma @ The Hub a HUGE SUCCESS!


More Bike-to-Work Week Events Remaining!

Bike to a Better Tacoma, hosted by the City of Tacoma, took place yesterday at The Hub. Over 65 people attended, crowding the temporary bike racks and delighting Tacoma's bike enthusiasts and mobility planners. Participants enjoyed free pizza, contagious enthusiasm about cycling in and around Tacoma, and an opportunity to provide feedback to the City on bicycle infrastructure.

Like other Bike Month events throughout May, the turnout exceeded expectation, and demonstrated the excitement around the potential for Tacoma's future bicycle network.

Interested in participating in the remaining Bike-to-Work week events (including free movies, Zeit Bike at the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Bike Commuter Lunch & Fashion Show)? Check out PierceTrips.com to learn more!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eat Fondue with Love Tacoma at the Melting Pot

Come Love Tacoma at Tacoma's finest fondue restaurant, the Melting Pot in downtown Tacoma. This Tuesday, May 18th starting at 5:30PM enjoy mouth-watering samples of cheese and chocolate fondue with old friends and new. The Melting Pot promises an explosive signature cocktail, just for Love Tacoma-- don't miss this opportunity to love this town. http://www.meltingpot.com/

What: Love Tacoma @ Melting Pot
When: Tuesday, May 18, 5:30PM-7:30PM
Where: 2121 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402

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, while promoting new businesses and undiscovered hangouts in Tacoma’s diverse neighborhoods.

For more information, check out our website at http://lovetacoma.com/

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Exciting Events during Bike-to-Work Week: May 17th-21st

During Bike-to-Work week, regular and not-so-regular cylists are incentivized to dust off those bikes and get to work without their cars.

Aside from biking to work everday and/or forming a workplace team, you can also participate in any one of the several events and activities planned by the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit, Pierce County, and Downtown: On the Go!.

Daily Bike Commuter Stations
7am-9am
*Monday, May 17: REI at Narrows Bridge Memorial Park
*Tuesday, May 18: Tacoma Bike, 309 Puyallup Ave
*Wednesday, May 19: Old Town Bicycle, 3009 McCarver St
*Thursday, May 20: Rainier Cycle Sports, 3816 N 26th St
*Friday, May 21: Bike Tech, 5408 S. Tacoma Way
Commuters can stop by for some coffee and snacks, and talk to staff about bike maintenance, good commuting routes, and upcoming events. Bike technicians will be available to give recommendations and hand out coupons for specials on bike tunes and gear.

Monday, May 17th
Bike to a Better Tacoma at The Hub
5pm-7pm
Location: The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. South
Join with fellow bicyclists and City staff members to get happy and updated on the Mobility Master Plan. Talk with a bike Technician from REI, and take advantage of valet bike parking! And, if you bike to the Hub, grab a free slice of pizza, enjoy night-long happy hour specials, and be entered into a drawing for a $50 or $25 Hub gift certificate.

Wednesday, May 19th
Bike Movie Series: American Flyers at The Red Hot, co-sponsored by New Belgium

8:30pm
Location: The Red Hot, 2914 6th Avenue
Bike down to the Red Hot for good brews, American Flyers on an outdoor screen and a raffle with great gear from New Belgium Brewing. This event is ages 21+ only.

Thursday, May 20th
Zeit Bike at Tacoma Art Museum’s Third Thursday
5pm-8pm
Location: Tacoma Art Museum
Come see innovative kinetic bicycle sculptures by local artists at the venerable Tacoma Art Museum. Also, watch the Olympia documentary, “Necessary Folly”, chronicling one man’s kinetic bike adventures. Admission is free as part of Third Thursday.

Bike Month Movie Series: Necessary Folly
during Zeit Bike event, see above
Watch this Olympia documentary, chronicling one man’s kinetic bike adventures.

Friday, May 21st
Bike to Coffee with City Council Members
7am-9am
Location: Market Street Satellite Coffee Co and UWT Starbucks
Start the last morning of the Commuter Challenge off right with a free cup of coffee served up by a City Council Member.

Friday, May 21st
Commuter Picnic & Bike Fashion Show at Wright Park
11:30am-1pm
Location: Wright Park
Celebrate a successful Bike-to-Work Week with fellow Commuter Contest participants at a lunch-time picnic in Wright Park sponsored by Downtown: On the Go!. Free lunch will be provided for the first 75 cyclists. For some entertainment, watch local cyclists strut their stuff on the catwalk during the Bike Fashion Show!

Saturday, May 22nd
Bike Movie Series: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure at the Grand Cinema
10:30 am
Location: The Grand Cinema, 606 South Fawcett Ave.
Come enjoy Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, a fun family film about bikes! Free admission!

To learn more about these great events and more, and to register for great Bike-to-Work Week prizes including $250 and $100 gift certificates, check out the full list of events and the trip logging calendar at www.piercetrips.com.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Plans Progress for Downtown Parking

The Parking Management Advisory Task Force (PMATF), appointed in March to make recommendations on the paid on-street parking system has worked diligently to create a on-street parking system that prioritizes customers, clients and visitors to downtown Tacoma, ensures 15 percent vacancy of on-street stalls, and is easy to use and understand.

The Task Force has an ambitious schedule of topics to address before the pay stations are turned on for public use in early September. To date, the Task Force has made the following recommendations. The public is encouraged to attend and share their thoughts about these recommendations at the monthly public meeting. The next public meeting is May 6th, 5-6pm in the Pantages Theater Lobby (S. 9th and Broadway).

Days of Paystation Operation: Monday – Saturday
The PMATF recommended Monday through Saturday operation based on current days of operation and consistency with other local jurisdictions – thereby making it easy for customers to understand. Furthermore, there was no data to support the need for enforcement on Sundays.

Hours of Paystation Operation: 8AM – 6PM
The PMATF recommended 8AM – 6PM operation based on current hours of operation and consistency with other local jurisdictions – again simplifying the system for customers. While consideration was given to the need for later hours in certain portions of downtown, the data collected showed on-street vacancies increased to about 50 percent by 7PM. Until more data is collected, the PMATF did not feel comfortable extending these hours.

Time Limits: 2-Hour Time Limit
The PMATF recommended a 2-hour base time limit (consistent with other jurisdictions) rather than another time limit or unlimited time. The PMATF felt that unlimited time purchases would encourage all day parkers to compete with customers for on-street spaces. By establishing time limits, the City retains the ability to use other tools (price and chain parking restrictions) to encourage all day parkers to use garages and lots.

Criteria for Paystation Locations
The PMATF has worked with a representative of the potential vendor to establish criteria for the draft map of the placement of paystations. These criteria will help determine the draft map which will be later refined by on-the-ground work.

Area of Enforcement Buffer Time Limits
The PMATF recommended a 90 minute time stay and enforced buffer area around the paid area to discourage employees from parking here to avoid paying. The boundaries of the buffer zone are S. 4th, S. 21st, Dock St. and Tacoma Ave.

Revised Chain Parking Ordinance
The PMATF has reviewed Tacoma’s chain parking ordinance to find a more effective way of limiting chain parking and encouraging all day parkers to park off street in a garage or lot. The Task Force continues to evaluate this issue

Communications Plan
The PMATF continues to work with the consultants on a communications and marketing plan. In partnership with the City staff a local advertizing firm will be hired to develop the communications campaign.

Exception Spaces
The PMATF is currently evaluating the process for requesting and or locating short-term 30min stalls, loading zones, valet zones, etc.

The PMATF plans to take up the following issues in the coming months:
- Parking Signage
- Paystation Graphics
- Display Graphics
- Receipt Design
- Parking Fines
- Other Municipal Code Changes
- Parking Permits (Residential, Construction, Service, Delivery, etc.)
- Other topics

For more information about Downtown Parking and the Parking Task Force go to http://www.tacomaparking.com/. To share a comment please email tacomaparking@cityoftacoma.org

other post on this topic:
Council endorses parking meters
Paid on-street parking is coming

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spaceworks Tacoma to fill downtown’s vacant storefronts

Spaceworks Tacoma is seeking artist, creative entrepreneurs and property owners to join in an effort to fill downtown Tacoma’s vacant storefronts with creative, innovative and active uses. The initiative is a partnership between the City of Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, and Shunpike.

The intent of Spaceworks Tacoma is to build a critical mass of destination quality art installations, creative retail opportunities, artist studios and events in downtown Tacoma. These opportunities will serve to put feet on the street and reinforce Tacoma’s burgeoning image as a city for and about the arts.

Spaceworks Tacoma will connect property owners looking to gain exposure for their available retail spaces with artists and entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. For a limited time and reduced rents these connections will help to breathe life into downtown’s streetscape.

A community information meeting will be held April 28th from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at Suite 133 (703 Pacific Ave.). This is an opportunity for community members, artists, entrepreneurs and property owners to learn more about the Spaceworks Tacoma initiative and how they can participate.

For more immediate information go to: http://www.spaceworkstacoma.com/, find us on facebook or contact Lindsey@shunpike.org.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Unveiling of NEW Plans for Elks Temple & New Tacoma Award Winners at City Center Luncheon

Businesses, organizations and individuals who make outstanding contributions to downtown Tacoma were recognized with the annual New Tacoma Awards at the Chamber’s quarterly City Center Luncheon today.

Grace Pleasants and Rick Moses from Elks on Broadway LLC presented exciting updates for the revitalization of the historic Elks Temple. While there was mention of previously announced plans including a brew-pub, spa and a ballroom, the developers presented new designs for a rooftop bar and a 100-room hotel for McMenamins—drawing applause from attendees. A groundbreaking during the first quarter of 2011 and then a grand opening fall of 2012 is anticipated.

The 2010 New Tacoma Awards winners are:

Doyle’s Public House and Dragonfly for the Schoenfeld Award that recognizes exemplary performance and pizzazz as a retailer.
Pacific Plaza, LLC for the Ghillarducci Award that recognizes successful new development, renovation or beautification.
Tacoma Farmers Market and Stan Selden for the Union Station Award that recognizes leading organizations, companies or individuals that have built or sustained momentum for revitalization.
Derek Young for the Popham Award that recognizes the individual who has done the most to build community spirit.

Find more photos of winners on the Chamber's website.


Nominees of the New Tacoma Awards were recognized at the luncheon as well, including 1022 South, Angela Jossy (The Speakeasy Art Cooperative), Jeff Brown (BCRA), Business Examiner, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Quincy Henry, Seabury School, Tempest Lounge, Watermark Gifts and William W. Phillip Hall, University of Washington Tacoma.

Attendees also learned about Spaceworks Tacoma, (creative uses for vacant space) and heard information on Spring/Summer sports events from the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Commission.

The Luncheon, held at the Courtyard by Marriot was sponsored by Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell. The next City Center Luncheon is scheduled for Friday, July 16, 2010.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pierce Transit Downtown Commuter Survey

Pierce Transit is redesigning its routes and the way they deliver service. Over the past six weeks, they have talked to thousands of people and gathered input from people across Pierce County. They heard very clearly from the downtown Tacoma community that changes were needed to the downtown portion of the draft plans. Before they finalize any changes, they want to get your thoughts on a few draft proposals.

Below is a link to a quick web survey specifically designed for the downtown commuter. Please consider taking the survey whether you ride the bus or not, as it will take less than two minutes and will provide Pierce Transit with invaluable information to be used in shaping their next round of system drafts.

Downtown Tacoma Commuter Survey

Please note that this survey will close Thursday, April 22nd. If you have additional comments, please visit www.PTtomorrow.org to provide specific input or see the draft plan details. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide Pierce Transit with your preferences!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Fireworks in Tollefson Plaza, no kidding

In the wake of Seattle’s announcement cancelling the Lake Union 4th of July Fireworks show and Tacoma’s invitation for all to join Tacomans at Freedom Fair on Ruston Way. The Washington Recreation and Parks Association has applied for a permit to light up Tollefson Plaza with fireworks on April 15th as part of their State Conference. This private event is unrelated to the Independence Day celebrations, but certainly a creative use for our barren cement plaza in the heart of downtown.