Wednesday, June 24, 2009

City of Tacoma / Sound Transit Meeting

On June 25 (Thursday) from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., the City hosted a bridge design workshop for the Pacific Ave section of track. This was the first of two meetings. At the second meeting, the project team plans to present conceptual renderings of the ideas that were presented during the first meeting.

The D-to-M street project will include a 1.4 mile section of rail corridor when new track is constructed connecting the Tacoma Dome Station to the existing rail right-of-way. The new rail line will cross a lowered Pacific Avenue on a railroad bridge, which will give traffic unimpeded access north and south of the rail line. The City Council previously approved a low profile bridge and the workshop was to only discuss options and architectural features to enhance the bridge design.

Please read the comments below 


  1. It was great to see the display at the Monkey party last night describing the proposed project and the negative ramifications of building a berm. There must have been at least 200 people coming together at this most impressive Old City Hall building. (By the way, they're renting!)
    The monkey party participants showed great interest and concern about the proposed course of action which threatens to eliminate green space among other concerns- and people wanted to know how they could become more active. . . Thanks for this blog - it helps us get a sense of what's going on in our community and gives us a chance to work collectively.

  2. The two meetings held last night were the perfect example of the dichotomy of our City of Tacoma government. At 5:30pm the City Dept. of Public Works Engineering division held a "Workshop" on the look of the Sounder bridge over Pacific Ave. The audience was cautioned that there were people who had strong feelings about the project but that they were only here to discuss the look, not the design of the bridge which had already been decided upon by the City Council. The City's Engineering Dept., at the direction of someone much higher (it became pretty obvious that several of the City staff were uncomfortable with this narrowly focused meeting), had tried to direct the comments to only color, style (classical, traditional or industrial), types of lighting, and artwork through very snazzy, finished presentation boards and a one-on-one approach to questions and answers by the 10 or so available City staff waiting around the room. The sparse audience started to talk/ask questions as a group but was told that questions should be directed to the issue addressed by the presentation boards -the look, the colors, the lighting of the bridge.

    At 6pm the Community Councils of Tacoma held their monthly meeting next door. This is the meeting of the Chairs (with other exec. board members) of each of the 8 Neighborhood Councils, who make the umbrella for lots of smaller neighborhood community groups in their districts. Basically, they represent the City populous. Jori presented the Dome District’s view of the issues surrounding the berm versus the use of post-and-beam-where-applicable along the 1500LF of new track in the Dome district. Some knew of it, some didn't. There were good questions asked and advice given on how Jori could more concisely present the issues, rewrite the petition to speak more to the issues and who should be asked to help with the effort. Thank you very much for presenting this important issue...
    Later in the regular agenda of the meeting under New Business, one of the members wanted the group to discuss the Dome District's plight, reminding the group that this is what they were here for, to help each other, each neighborhood group, as was needed. After a round-the-table, lively discussion, a motion was made, 2nded and passed, to write a letter to the City Council in support of the Dome District's track design concept!
    Keith or Jori have now been to at least 5 Community groups to present the DomeDistrict’s Concept of post-and-beam-where-appropriate, and have come away with total verbal support from the groups, many individuals signing the petition (even though it's badly written..) and a promise of a letter when the executive committees meet again next month.
    We can see where the dichotomy is but can not figure out why. How can the City not see what is right in front of them. Why can't the City see the bigger picture and visualize what our City would look like under these two scenerios. How can the City make decisions top down without the populous behind them? If there is a real reason the people need to know what it is. We need to be informed. Right now, we have only the Council resolution No. 37726, which says among other things, "post and beam construction may not be uniformly appropriate, but should be used where it makes sense with City of Tacoma and Sound Transit staff working together."
    And we have a whole city of people who have found places along the track line, in the Dome District, where it makes sense to use the post and beam method of construction.