Thursday, February 25, 2010

Buy a cookie – save a bus

Bus riders and mobility advocates host bake sale for Pierce Transit

Pierce Transit, Pierce County’s transit agency is in a dire financial situation. Unless new revenue is identified, by 2012 the agency will be forced to cut service by up to 57%. Service could be eliminated in most of East Pierce County, Northeast Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Steilacoom. Lean more about Pierce Transit’s financial crisis from The News Tribune.

Every penny helps save bus service. Next Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 7:00 a.m. to 9 a.m. stop by Frost Park, next to the Commerce Street Transit Center (Commerce St. and 9th St) for a free cup of coffee, buy yourself a breakfast cookie and find out how we can Save Bus Service for Pierce Transit.

Contact: Andrew Austin – or 253-732-9434

Urban Grace Church hosts town hall meeting on urbanism tonight

Join Rev. Eric Jacobsen, Mayor Marilyn Strickland and other local urbanists for a presentation and panel discussion on urbanism and development in Tacoma.

Time: February 25, 2010 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Location: Urban Grace Church (S. 11th and Market St.) in the Parlor
Organized By: Theater District Town Hall

Rev. Eric Jacobsen, senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church has devoted a considerable part of his career to taking a hard look at "poor decisions that are being made in this country regarding our human habitation" or what he calls the "false gods" and "broken promises" of sprawl and standardization. Following on his presentation during last fall's Urban Design Lecture Series, Conversations re: Tacoma, we have the opportunity to hear Jacobsen share his thoughts at the upcoming Theater District Town Hall meeting at Urban Grace.

The meeting will feature a keynote by Jacobsen, followed by a panel discussion with Jacobsen, developer and downtown resident Blaine Johnson, Mayor Strickland, Executive Director of the Tacoma Housing Authority Michael Mirra, Urban Grace Pastor Tad Monroe, and a representative from the Broadway Center. The panel will conclude with an open discussion with the audience.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tacoma's Mobility Master Plan Up for Public Comment

If you're interested in biking and walking in Tacoma (and who isn't), then the City of Tacoma wants to hear your thoughts on the draft version of the Mobility Master Plan, which will be incorporated into the City's Comprehensive Plan if passed by the City Council. This document alone will significantly impact the future of Tacoma's biking/walking system, and aims to make biking/walking a more feasible option, especially for commuters. Attend one of these two sessions to learn more about the plan and offer your feedback.

Presentation at 12:00pm sharp
Thursday, Feb. 11
Carwein Auditorium, Keystone Building, UWT
Click here for a map and location details.

Presentation at 7:00pm sharp
Thursday, Feb. 11
Rasmussen Rotunda, Wheelock Student Center, UPS
Click here for a map and location details.

The plan is available for pre-review on the City's website.
Contact Diane Wiatr, City of Tacoma Mobility Coordinator, at

Monday, February 08, 2010

Why property owners and businesses should care about the City’s Urban Forestry Program

Have you ever wanted tree branches pruned in front of your business or wished that the roots lifting the sidewalk in front of you building could be removed?

If so, you should care about and comment on the Urban Forestry Plan and Policies being reviewed for adoption into the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan.

City staff is currently overhauling the policies related to Tacoma’s Urban Forest, which includes downtown street trees, trees and plantings in front of buildings and along city streets, neighborhood parks & open spaces, and private property.

The updated Urban Forestry Element on the Comprehensive Plan will:
• Clarify ownership and maintenance responsibilities for trees in the rights-of-way
• Clarify policies regarding preservation and removal of trees
• Specify policies addressing building and sign conflicts with trees

The plan updates are the first step in a long process to take better care of trees in the urban environment, which will in turn help businesses. Research indicates that for every $1 invested in urban trees, approximately $3 is returned in benefits such as stormwater interception and air quality.

Important dates to know:
• February 10 - The “official” public document will be sent out and available on the Urban Forestry website. It is crucial that the public (especially business and property owners) provide input on the policies outlined in the document
• March 3 - Planning Commission Public Hearing
• April - Planning Commission will make recommendations to the City Council
• May - City Council Public Hearing
• June - City Council adoption

For more information email

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Chamber Returns Tollefson Management to City

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has historically assumed, and continues to play, an active role in the revitalization of downtown Tacoma through such activities as managing the BIA and promoting and recognizing development through its City Center Luncheon. Given this commitment and as a follow-up to its involvement in the Project for Public Spaces activity and its sponsorship of Richard Florida’s Creative Cities class, the Chamber entered into a license agreement with the City of Tacoma to manage Tollefson Plaza, in the spring of 2008. The license agreement was not accompanied by any City funding.

The Chamber is very grateful to numerous community partners and the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Utilities staff for their efforts in helping to overcome barriers in activating the space. However, the recent and current economic situation has made it extremely difficult to secure adequate funding and sponsorships to fully underwrite staffing and appropriate marketing for meaningful programming of the Plaza.

Unfortunately, those challenging economic conditions and Plaza design issues have combined to thwart the Chamber’s ambitions to provide active management and programming for Tollefson Plaza. As a result, the Chamber has requested to be released from its license agreement with the City of Tacoma.

For the past 18 months, the Chamber has worked with sponsors and community partners to present two holiday season Tollefests, a Friday lunch summer series, a Lunar New Year event and has welcomed a variety of community events. Processes were established to accommodate various uses of the Plaza. A website and logo were created and promotional materials were developed.

Although the Chamber’s official role of managing Tollefson Plaza has ended, the Chamber looks forward to opportunities to collaborate on future efforts to activate the space.

Through its Metropolitan Development Manager Chelsea Levy, the Chamber will continue to invest considerable staff effort in both the management of the BIA (Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area) and in associated activities including working on downtown parking policies, graffiti prevention and filling vacant storefronts. The Chamber recognizes that the health and vibrancy of downtown is essential to attracting and retaining employers in Pierce County, and is the key to how visitors and employers experience Tacoma and Pierce County.

Inquiries regarding rental of Tollefson Plaza should be directed to the Tacoma City Clerk’s office.