Monday, August 17, 2009

Pictures of Tacoma Rail Line Berms

Here's a look at some rail line berms, currently in Tacoma. These pictures were taken last week and feature tracks that Sound Transit uses for the Sounder. The berms are located near Portland Avenue at East 25th Street.

What do you think? Do you want more berms like these in Tacoma? Is this what our city should look like? Berms are not good in an Urban environment, and they almost always look bad no matter what city they're in.

These berms featured in the pictures are property that is maintained by Tacoma Rail. Neither Sound Transit nor City of Tacoma General Gov't have maintenance responsibility for them.

Click on the picture to see a larger image, then click your browser back button to return to article.

In addition to looking bad, berms divide communities. You cannot see through them and this can create safety issues for the Police and Fire Departments. There are lots of reasons why they are bad for Tacoma, especially in a business district like the Dome District.

Join us at 5:00 on Wednesday, August 26th, at 402 East 26th Street, Tacoma, 98421 for an important information meeting and tour of the area. Let's show the news media, our City Council and Sound Transit that we want our new rail line done correctly and in a way that is best for Tacoma.


  1. At a minimum they create huge dead zones.

  2. Wow will Pacific Ave and A Street look good for fifty years. Portland Ave was done in 2003.

  3. Give up City Council and Sound Transit. Be real and do it the Post and Beam method like the whole City knows it should be. And so do you. Suck up your pride,we will still love ya.

  4. Hey, those aren't Sound Transit berms. Those are Tacoma Rail berms. Sound Transit's berms would look like Sound Transit projects. Here's an example of a landscaped area Sound Transit has done:

  5. One minor detail: those aren't "Sound Transit's Tacoma berms". They don't own that track. BNSF or Tacoma Rail own it.

    Second minor detail: your intrepid instigator/photographer is shooting pictures in an industrial zone, where design standards would have been either absent or minimal.

    Dome District activists may have legitimate concerns about the D Street to M Street rail project. But they don't serve the public interest by using blatant scare tactics all the time.

    Please try to stick to the facts. 95% of this website is speculation and conjecture. And even for ideologically driven activism, that's not a very good accuracy ratio.

  6. Hey, you guys realize those are Tacoma Rail berms, not Sound Transit berms? Sound Transit didn't build those.

  7. The pictures are of Tacoma berms and Sound Transit uses the rail line. Sound Transit may not have built them but they use them.

    Bottom line, berms are usually ugly and they are usually not maintained. These berms and any future Tacoma berms should not look like the ones in the pictures. If new berms are built in Tacoma, they need to be attractive and properly maintained, not ugly.

    The pictures posted on the blog are current berms in Tacoma. They should look better and future berms should not be built in an Urban environment like the Dome District.

  8. Ben's link is meaningless, ST will not landscape, they have said so very clearly. The Dome District is not exactly being treated like the Rainier Valley. What’s with Capitol Hill folks pushing for the berm??

  9. The latest D to M street fact sheet does say the berm will be landscaped, I might add.

    If doitrighttacoma could stick only with actual problems and not create false ones, you'd get a lot more traction.