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.

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

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 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,
For more information about the parking changes go to

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