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 .

CONTACT: Kimberly Reason — (206) 689-3343 or

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:
Vulcan Inc.

CH2M Hill
Parsons Brinckerhoff
The Boeing Company
HDR Inc.

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 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 ( 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, 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