Thursday, July 30, 2009

Volunteer Training - Thursday August 6th

Volunteer training - Help stop the Sound Transit berm in Tacoma, Thur. Aug 6th at 6:30 p.m., Crystal Voyage. 2601 East D Street #201, Tacoma, 98421 Turn into alley off D St and park behind building. We’ll bring you up to speed on the project/issues and our strategy. Our first training session was very good so we decided to organize a second training. Please join us if you can.

If you pull any weight and have the ears of our elected officials we'd especially like to educate you on the issues.

In addition, we're looking for an attorney to help us with our cause and a fund raising expert.

Contact us at:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Volunteer Training - Wednesday July 29th

Volunteer training - Help stop the Sound Transit berm in Tacoma, Wed. July 29th at 6pm, at Crystal Voyage. 2601 East D Street #201, Tacoma, 98421 Turn into alley off D street and park behind building. We’ll bring you up to speed on the issues and train you on how to present most effectively to other community groups, the City Council, Sound Transit and anyone. Training session will last about an hour. Please join us if you can because we need your support.

RSVP to is possible, however it's OK to show up without, also bring a friend or two.

Article from The News Tribune on Monday Sound Transit meeting:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sound Transit Meeting - July 27th

In the next twenty-four hours we need concerned citizens to get active and involved. Sound Transit is building a new rail line through Tacoma and one particular section in the Dome District has not been designed well and design needs changed.

Join other concerned citizens, Sound Transit Board Members, the Tacoma City Council, and other elected officials, Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. to learn more about the Sound Transit plan. The meeting will be held at Freighthouse Square, main lobby where Sounder tickets are sold, or in the large room at the East end of Freighthouse Square. The meeting is still scheduled for the Monday the 27th at 9:00 a.m.

This is really an important meeting and may be our last hope of getting Sound Transit to adjust their plans. This is your chance to speak up and be heard. Also, after the meeting send follow-up email to the Sound Transit Board and City Council members and tell them thoughts about the meeting and proposed design. You will find an email list just to the right of this article in the top section.

We're not trying to slow the project down, just get it done right.
Please bring your friends and anyone else that might be interested in this project.

Reasons why Post and Beam option is a better option:

Map and directions to Freighthouse Square.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Important Sound Transit Meeting

Important meeting notice. Please attend because your support is needed at this meeting. The letter below is addressed to the Dome Business District but is intended for all interested citizens. Please let your friends know about this meeting, it is very important that citizens attend and learn more about this project.


July 17, 2009

Dome Business District
2601 East D Street, #308
Tacoma, WA

Dear Dome Business District Members:

Recently, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy met with members of the Sound Transit Board from Pierce County and representatives from the Dome District. The subject of the meeting was the Gateway Concept and earthen embankment chosen as the final design alternative for the D-M Street Sounder Extension.

Dome District representatives raised a number of issues about the design decision and stated that their concerns were also shared by many of Tacoma’s community leasers and other groups involved in environmental and development issues.

As a result, the Executive shared with us that the Pierce County members of the Sound Transit Board would like to meet with community leaders to present data prepared by Sound Transit explaining the basis for the recommended final design, as well as address the post and beam alternative offered by the Dome District representatives. We have been asked to forward the meeting information so that you can attend if you are available.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 27th, 9:00 a.m., at the Freighthouse Square center lobby and ticket vending area. The group will begin with a presentation and then walk the alignment so you can connect design elements with actual locations.

Map link and directions to Freigthouse Square:
Address of Freighthouse Square is 2501 East D Street, Tacoma, 98421

Since this meeting will only be successful if members from the community can attend, we are hoping to see you there.


Bill Baarsma Eric Anderson
Mayor City Manager

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Post & Beam is a Better Option
for Sound Transit's Heavy Rail

Sound Transit plans to build a large earth berm through the Dome District of Tacoma for their new heavy rail Sounder tracks. Here's some reasons why this is a bad idea and why using Post and Beam elevated construction is a better solution.


1. The "B" Street Ravine, is identified in Tacoma's Open Space Habitat and Recreation Plan as a Habitat Corridor. This Habitat Corridor will be lost in the Dome District, if filled (bermed).

2. Dirt Berms weigh a lot and could greatly affect the flow of ground water in the aquafilter causing unexpected flooding.

3. The "B" Street Ravine is part of a large Urban watershed and water flows underground and downhill through it and eventually into Puget Sound.

4. The "B" Street Ravine has been identified as a Seismic (Earthquake) Hazard Area.

5. Sound Transit has stated, the berm will be planted with grass. Look at any of Tacoma's existing berms and you'll see they are not maintained, they are overgrown and full of invasive plants.

6. The "B" Street Ravine is important because it connects to a much larger open space to the South and connects to the Foss Waterway.

7. The Dome District Development Plan identifies the "B" Street Ravine as a green space. If the ravine is not bermed there will be a better chance of rebridging East 25th Street in the future to complete the pathway to the Foss.

8. As cities grow and expand Green Belts and Open Space are disappearing. We need to protect the ones we still have available.


9. Berm width makes any available lots too small to build on and since the tracks are not self-supporting no developer will build near the tracks with the chance of subsidence.

10. The berms take too much land off the tax rolls, and it's land that someday could produce tax revenue for the city if it were developed.

11. 84 parking spaces will be lost if the track is bermed. Will have to build parking to replace the current parking spaces on land that is much more valuable as housing/office sites.

12. We understand that the cost of the Post and Beam is very similar to the berm and there are more unforseen costs (unknown utilities, unknown soil conditions...) in berming.


13. The Dome District should be the Transit Oriented District for Tacoma. It is poised for density, helping to relieve the pressure on Tacoma's older single-family Neighborhoods. Post and Beam would allow development to occur along the tracks, in a sense encapsulating them with buildings of offices, entertainment, parking and housing.

14. Berms separate and divide communities from one another.

15. Berms are for rural areas, not urban areas. For successful pedestrian use of street level businesses, retail and entertainment, it must be continuous. Even a half block break can stop the success of street level retail, as they have found on Pacific Ave. at the huge parking garages.

16. A large berm in the middle of the Dome District will create a potential danger zone by reducing visibility through the area. The berm will create a large blind spot and make it difficult to see up the 705 corridor and green belt. As of the 30% drawings of Sound Transit's, there is now a 300 foot long wall, starting in the ravine, at 20' high to 10' high west at E"A"St. creating the worst CPTED conditions right in the middle of a promising mixed-use district.

17. Everyone wants the downtown renaissance to continue south on Pacific Ave. and now that the Dome District is part of the Downtown, that development should turn and continue to the transit hub in the District. Berming would stall this out at the interesection of E.25th St. Embankments are not part of a business/retail renaissance.

18.The "B" Street ravine could someday be a trail way connecting the area to city parks and the Foss Waterway.

In January, our City Council passed Resolution No. 37726, that among other things stated "The 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.

Building a berm through a Habitat Corridor and across Pacific Ave. does not make sense for the future of our City or our region. Post and Beam is a much better option.

These are a just a few of the reasons berms is not good. Some are more important than others and there are plenty of other reasons too. If you have any thoughts or ideas please add them in the comment section of this article.


Please attend an important meeting on Monday, July 27th, 9:00 a.m., at the Freighthouse Square, main lobby where Sounder tickets are sold. Address is 2501 East D Street, Tacoma 98421

Several members of the Sound Transit Board will be there, also the Mayor of Tacoma and members of the City Council, as well as other key players in this project and concerned citizens.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How To Help
Support A Good Cause

We want our City Council to demand Sound Transit use Post and Beam construction (concrete or metal pillars) for the new Sounder track, instead of an earthen berm through the Dome District. We are firmly of the opinion that Post and Beam “makes sense” from East “C” Street to South “C” Street, especially across the Habitat Corridor, called the “B” Street ravine, continuing under I-705 to East “A” Street and at Pacific Avenue. This will provide the possibility for more economic development, will strengthen rather than diminish Tacoma’s Transit Oriented District and protect land for the future recreation and environmental needs of the City of Tacoma.

• Send email to members of the Tacoma City Council, tell them you want Sound Transit to use the Post and Beam option through the Dome District. It makes sense in this area.

• Attend any Sound Transit or City of Tacoma meeting related to the Project. We usually post them here as soon as we know about them.

Very important meeting coming up on Monday morning, July 27th, 9:00am, at Freighthouse Square center lobby and ticket vending area. The group will begin with a presentation and then walk the alignment so you can connect design elements with actual locations.

Map link and directions to Freigthouse Square:
Address of Freighthouse Square is 2501 East D Street, Tacoma, 98421

• Send us an email stating your opposition to Sound Transits berm plan. Your email will be used as support material when talking with public officials.

• Download our Signature Petition, print it and have your friends and colleagues sign it, and be sure to return it to us.

• Send email to members of the Sound Transit Board, and to other public officials letting them know your concerns with this project and the impact it will have on Tacoma.

• If you’re a member of an environmental group or community group please mention the Sound Transit project at your next two meetings. Ask if they will send us a letter of support from the group. The written text on the Signature Petition is a good starting point.

• Invite everyone on your email mailing list to visit our blog so they can learn more about the project and issues:

• If you have a Facebook or MySpace page, please mention our blog as the place to learn more about Sound Transit and the Tacoma Sounder project, your friends might want to become involved.

• Join Community Stewards:
It's a discussion area and site organized by Cascade Land Conservancy. You can read additional information in the Transforming the Dome District group.

• If you have other ideas let us know, we need your support.



Signature Petition

Public Official Email List

Our Mailing Address:
Do It Right Tacoma, 301 Puyallup Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98421

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


July 9th - We have now presented information to 4 Neighborhood Councils with 3 more scheduled in the next week, also to the Community Councils of Tacoma (which is all the Chairs of the Councils). We have been received very favorably, with the CCoT writing a letter in support of the Post and Beam and the Councils either promising to write a letter or signing our petition. We, now, have over 250 signatures on our petition.

We also met with County Executive Pat McCarthy and with Matt Perry, of Congressman Adam Smith's office sitting in. County Executive McCarthy as a new Sound Transit Board member, asked the other South Sound Board Members, David Enslow and Claudia Thomas, to join her. This was our toughest audience to date. They want to get to Lakewood! We emphasized, that we do too. And that we thought, the Post and Beam method of construction would get us there quicker and cheaper, in the long run. The sad part was that none of the Board Members had any idea there was opposition or a request for a comparative construction estimate for this stretch of track through the Dome District. They promised to go back to the full Board and ask about it. We were also told that we could present to the full Board. Is this our next step?

At their monthly meeting this morning, the Tacoma Downtown Merchants Group voted and agreed to write a letter supporting the post and beam option and a statement saying they are against the plan to berm through the Dome District.

The Important "B" Street Ravine

By 2040, an expected 100,000 new people are expected to end up in Tacoma. This growth will present an enormous challenge for our city. How should we grow? Where should we grow? How will people get around? How will this growth affect the environment? How can we shape this growth in a manner which both improves our environment, our economy and our quality of life? Through transit oriented development.

We have an opportunity to achieve this type of growth in the Dome District of Tacoma, a relatively undeveloped neighborhood that already serves as a regional transit hub serviced by Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, Greyhound, Amtrak and the Link Light Rail service to downtown Tacoma. With incredible transit access, parks all around, the Thea Foss, easy access to Downtown and the Dome; the Dome District is poised to become “the place to live” in Tacoma and transform itself into a real transit-oriented community.

But we need your help for our city to realize its potential. Sound Transit is extending commuter rail service from the Dome Station to South Tacoma and Lakewood and is planning on building an enormous earthen berm right through the heart of our neighborhood. They are even planning on filling in and berming the B St. Ravine, identified in our City’s Open Space Habitat and Recreation Plan as a Habitat Corridor! In addition, the Dome District Development Strategy (which, like the Comprehensive Plan, has been adopted by the City Council) identifies the B St. Ravine as a green space and potential location for important trail connections through our neighborhood.

Click the picture to enlarge, then Back to return

In January, our City Council passed Resolution No. 37726, that, among other things, stated, “The 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.” Building a berm through a Habitat Corridor does not make sense, neither for our neighborhood, or the future of our region. Destroying this important green space will make it nearly impossible for the Dome District to realize its potential; hurting both our city and our region. We need your help; please ask the City Council to demand Sound Transit use post and beam construction across the B Street Ravine, it makes sense to save this ravine for the future of Tacoma.

The red circle indicates the location of the B Street Ravine. Please note the close proximity to the Thea Foss Waterway, which will have parks on the South end in the near future. Just across the tracks is a large Public Works parking lot, which someday it could be restored and become valuable park land with connections running through the B Street Ravine. It’s important to protect and save this area and the small habitat corridor. Someday it will be needed to connect, the Tacoma Dome, the LeMay Museum and the community to the Thea Foss Waterway and downtown Tacoma.

For more information please contact us at and also visit to join our online group, “Transforming the Dome District”