Exit133 is about Tacoma
Imagine Tacoma – Climbing the Hill #1
With the Broadway/St. Helens LID Project nearing completion, and as the City looks to implement a Complete Streets policy, there is still the challenge of navigating up and down the ‘numbered’ streets in Downtown. Just take a continuous walk from Pacific Avenue up to Tacoma Avenue on a number of your choice, and I guarantee you that you will be much more attuned to your physical state than a comparable distance at the Tacoma Mall (try 7th sometime – whew). So imagine providing good pedestrian connections within the core – even with significant terrain – that give ‘hope’ for development (or redevelopment) up the hill from Pacific Avenue:
South 11th Street:
Connecting Thea Foss to Market Street.
North Side Sidewalk:
Locate a wider sidewalk along the North side of the street – thus allowing for pedestrian climbers to be ‘in the sun’ (when it is out like it was on Wednesday).
Good Surface Traction:
Enough of the cute sidewalk patterns and insets brick pavers (or similar – are these purposely meant to be slippery when wet?). These hillside walks need to have a rough surface concrete finish with step grooves to provide the greatest possible slip resistance for pedestrians.
Work with the existing building owners to provide meaningful depth canopies (the buildings are already there – so why not use them – BUT the existing area ways need to be removed so pedestrians can walk right along the buildings (either meters in vaults or grate over for a continuous walking surface). And what better place to locate canopies then along the South side of the building?
Yes handrails. Provide handrails at the center of the walking route once the steepness of the hillside becomes significant (approximately West of Court C – typical). Hey – they do it in Europe all the time.
While many of these concepts can be applied to the existing numbered streets (where there are buildings and not surface parking lots) – there is also the infamous mid-block connections (the original ‘Escalade’) and the more secretive and compelling ‘interior hillclimbs’ that utilize existing building passages to consider. So many opportunities for rumination.
Broadway LID – you must have a good link for this.
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