Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prairie Line Trail Update

The Prairie Line Trail will connect the south end of downtown to the Foss Waterway, as a multi-modal corridor, with resting places, green space, artwork, and historic content. The trail is being developed in part by the University of Washington Tacoma and in part by the City of Tacoma. For more information on the trail's redevelopment click here. To take a look at some of the design through the UWT portion click here.

City Council met on Tuesday to discuss property donations and exhange agreements with BNSF Railway. The city will recieve 20-foot strips of land from S. 26th to 25th St., 23rd to 21st, and Pacific to 15th. This falls under a donations agreement, which also includes 80-foot right of way width from S. 25th to 23rd and at street intersections.

The exchange agreement shares that the city will obtain easements from BNSF allowing for the crossing of the rail line at 15th St. for furture widening of the I-705 overpass, and BNSF agrees to allow construction of a future pedestrian overpass near E. 23rd St. right of way. All of this is in exhange for the city vacating a portion of A St. for permanent closure of railroad crossing; a connection that has already been barricaded for sometime.

The council hopes to have resolutions transactions approved by early march, with a closing date approximately 90 days after approval.

For more information on the terms and visuals of these agreements see the City Council's January 29th Study Session for the handouts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

UWT Prairie Line Trail Design

Japanese School Memorial.
Last week UWT unveiled their design proposal for their portion of the Prairie Line Trail. The proposed trail contains new resting places, green space, beautiful histortical content: such as the existing tracks from the Prairie Line, and new artwork like this Japanese school memorial. 

UW's next move is to start phasing construction on 21st St. so that pedestrians and bicyclists have a safer place to cross.
The University has come up with 3 phases to the create a safe crossing on 21st St. Descriptions are as follows:
  • Phase 1/C Street Crossing = This is the current alignment - a crosswalk crossing 21st St. at C St.
  • Phase 2/Double Median = Increasing safety by adding two medians. See below for example.
  •  Phase 3/Bridge and Tunnel = Future construction plans are to build a bridge with a tunnel underneath for the trail. It is unclear when this might be constructed. See example below.
We are excited to see what the Prairie Line Trail has in store for downtown and the BIA in the future. Look for another post soon on updates for the City's plans and designs are for the trail.

Phase 2: Double Median Design.

Phase 3: Bridge/Tunnel Design.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tacoma Link Expansion Update

Yesterday Sound Transit presented at the Tacoma City Council Study Session regarding potential expansion routes for the Tacoma Link. The Chamber has previously discussed alternative corridors for the expansion of the 1.6 mile long Tacoma Link light rail line. The Tacoma Link expansion process has included numerous opportunities for public input, including meetings with various stakeholders, open houses, online surveys, distributed mailings, roundtable discussions, media articles, and business district and neighborhood council briefings. Through this process have emerged six possible corridors that would expand on the current light rail that begins at the Tacoma Dome Station and ends in the Theatre District.

The six corridors were identified (see map) as follows:

  • B1- North End Central- 6th Avenue to Union Avenue via Stadium Way and Division Street
  • C1- Eastside- 48th and Portland Avenue via E 25th Street
  • D4- South End via Eastside- Tacoma Mall via Portland Avenue, 38th/48th Street
  • E1- North Downtown Central- 19th and Martin Luther King Jr Way via Stadium Way and Division Street
  • E2- North Downtown Central Loop- A variant of E1 with a downtown loop component on Jefferson Street
  • G1- Pacific Highway- Extending from Fife to the Tacoma Dome station

Noted in the presentation were the approximate costs and length of each corridor, as well as the pros and cons associated with each route. A recurring theme of several of the City council members was how each corridor would contribute to the City’s economic development.

The B1 route would link downtown with the busy 6th Avenue business district, potentially attracting many riders and providing faster service to the Tacoma Dome. The area surrounding this route is also already zoned to support higher density mixed use development, all important factors to consider. The C1 route would also provide faster service from the eastside to both the Tacoma Dome and downtown, however a high ridership for the area is questionable and the current zoning is not supportive of higher density mixed use development.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pacific Construction Coffee Talk

The new construction on Pacific Avenue has been quite the buzz these past few weeks. To view more from us on this issue click here.Today, the City of Tacoma held their first “coffee talk”. The event was located at Vinum Coffee and Wine Lounge and discussed the Pacific Avenue construction project. “coffee talks” are scheduled to occur monthly as the construction project continues.

The coffee talk had over twenty people in attendance including: Steve Rich, the project manager. The talk gave downtown business owners in attendance the ability to voice their concerns and share suggestions. One major topic was parking. It was mentioned that there will be more parking spaces coming soon, and free 2 hour parking at the Park Plaza North Garage with validation from participating businesses.

 Tucci & Sons are following a tight schedule, doing 16 months of work in 10 months.
Actions may be made to help get construction ahead of schedule where it is possible. The project is scheduled to end before the 2013 holiday season; their plans include a three week buffer period, which allows room for unexpected delays. For questions, concerns, or more information please visit:

Stay tuned for more updates and information on the next coffee talk.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Pacific Construction Updates & Feedback

As we discussed last week, Pacific Avenue is now under construction.  To start the project, the contractor began opening up the east side of Pacific Avenue between S. 9th and S. 11th.  This has had only a minor impact on circulation as they have gone out of their way to provide continuous access for pedestrians and vehicles.

As you watch the construction move forward, experience the detours, and make your way to lunch, the City wants to get your feedback on how the first two weeks of construction went.  They are particularly interested in any improvements that should be made now - rather than waiting months to see if things are moving smoothly.

To hear about what activities will be occuring in the next month and to share your thoughts on anything that could be improved, please stop by Vinum Coffe & Wine Lounge (1001 Pacific Avenue; 98402) next Wednesday, 1/16 anytime from 9-10AM.