Monday, December 31, 2012

Pacific Avenue Reconstruction Starting

The signs are going up, the lightpoles are coming down.  The ground is opening, but the street are not closing.

On Wednesday, January 2nd, contstruction begins on Pacific Avenue.  The first phase of construction will be focused on the stretch from 9th to 13th and is expected to run until April.

To help keep everyone up to speed, the City has prepared a detailed detour plan that we've uploaded here.  One thing you'll note is that there are no actual street closures.  You can still get to your favorite office/shop/restaurant.  This does not mean to expect a little more dust and a few more people in reflective gear - because both will be out in full force.

In addition to the detour plans, there is a project specific page on the City's site detailing the project with updates and information:

We will continue to post more information as the project progresses as well.

First Night Tacoma 2012: The Year of the Snake

In case you missed it, today is New Year's Eve.  That means First Night is back.

Every New Year’s Eve, Tacoma hosts its own celebration. With the year of the snake coming upon us, this gathering of every age, color and stripe brings music & dance, fire & ice, laughter & wonder all together culminating in a midnight embrace of all that is good and right in the world. This celebration brings together about 10,000 people from Tacoma and beyond for a full day of festivities. 

The first events are already underway now with access to the Children's Museum and the Glass Museum.  If the 6:30PM parade at Broadway & 9th will keep you out to late, the Children's Museum is hosting a parade through its space at noon today.

For the full schedule of events, please visit:

For a great summary of events, you can also check out the TNT article here:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pacific Avenue Open House

We've been talking about the reconstruction of Pacific Avenue for a while now.  This Thursday is the last chance to hear details about the first phase of construction (which used to be the second phase) before it starts.

The open house will detail detours, alternate routes, schedules, and construction plans.  The work will include a vaulted walk, sidewalk reconstruction, additional landscaping, historic street lights and raingardens to filter stormwater.  For a full size PDF of the construction detours and alternate routes, of which the image above is a snapshot, please click here

For more information on the project, please visit

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tacoma Link Expansion Survey

Sound Transit, along with the City of Tacoma and Pierce Transit, have identified six corridor alternatives regarding the expansion of the 1.6 mile long Tacoma Link light rail line. These corridors were chosen based on the following important criteria: 

  • Improve connections to regional transit
  • Increase transit ridership and reduce car use
  • Connect to an existing neighborhood or major activity center
  • Improve transit service between downtown Tacoma and at least one neighborhood
  • Serve existing or proposed areas of high density housing or jobs
  • Serve an area that is home to many low-income and/or minority residents, or has received relatively low infrastructure investments
  • Connect to an existing mixed-use center or a designated manufacturing/industrial center
  • Avoid major costly engineering challenges, such as corridors with steep elevation grades

As such, six corridors were identified (see map):

  • B1- 6th Avenue to Union Avenue via Stadium Way and Division Street
  • E1- 19th and Martin Luther King Jr Way via Stadium Way and Division Street
  • C1- 48th and Portland Avenue via E 25th Street
  • G1- Pacific Highway
  • D4- Tacoma Mall via Portland Avenue, 38th/48th Street
  • E2- A variant of E1 with a downtown loop component on Jefferson Street
Next steps include opportunities for public input and analyzing data regarding potential ridership, square footage, development potential, and capital costs. From there, the list will be whittled down to two potential corridors, followed by additional public comment leading to a preferred alternative to be presented to the Sound Transit Board in April.

To help in this process, Sound Transit would like your feedback. Please fill out their brief survey.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tacoma to Offer Free Holiday Parking Downtown

The City of Tacoma is offering free holiday parking downtown through January 1, 2013 in the Park Plaza North Garage, located behind Pantages Theatre.

The City is giving away 25 parking vouchers good for up to two hours to any interested merchant. An additional 25 vouchers may be purchased for $6.25 (or approximately $0.13 per hour). When a customer uses the voucher, the first two hours are free with every additional hour sold at half price, or $1.25 per hour.

If this promotion is successful, the City may seek to expand it into next year while Pacific Avenue is revitalized.

Downtown businesses interested in the promotion should contact Jennifer Smith of Republic Parking at (253) 627-4401.