Exit133 is about Tacoma
Imagine Tacoma – Transit Alley
Given the recent interest in looking at ‘options’ for a revitalized Pierce Transit Hub in Downtown, Imagine Tacoma reviews the existing Commerce Street Facility for in-situ enhancement considerations.
Of course one great way to improve the environment and operation of the facility would be to relocate the bLINK to another route location – thus allowing for the traffic lanes to be narrowed and the platform staging areas expanded – but since that is unlikely to happen given the investment politics, what about considering the following:
- Fill in the 10th Street Enclosed Stairway: Pedestrian-ize the existing streets instead of maintaining this creepy corridor.
- Fill-in all Alcoves along the Street: Fill-in all those dark alcoves along both sides of the street (this is a basic urban design 101 issue for both the perception and reality of the safety of the pedestrian environment).
- Remove Clutter: Remove all of the various bits of extraneous street furniture – tree pots, oompa-loompa bollards, pedestrian light stanchions (but not the trash cans!) – and thus increase the clarity of the space and queuing area for bus riders (FYI – the ‘clutter concept’ that was the basis of the original transit corridor design assumed that all of the different bits of brightly colored street furniture will make the street look active and alive so you won’t feel that you are all alone when you are all alone– to me it just looks like Pierce Transit got a good deal at a jumble sale of McDonald’s furniture).
- Leaning: All furniture that is along the platform should be of various heights for leaning (one of Lars Gemzoe’s 12 Quality Criteria for Urban Life).
- Security Grilles: Replace – or at least repaint – the security grilles along the parking garage to remove that ‘penal’ aesthetic overtone – maybe these become a canvas for metallurgy artists?
- Paint: Paint all of the interior walls under the parking garage– maybe these become canvases for expansion of Frost Park Chalk Challenges?
- Platform Canopy: Construct a continuous translucent canopy along each sidewalk that provides weather protection within 18” of the curb and incorporates integral lighting (thus allowing removal of more light stanchions).
- Landscape the ‘Jabba the Hut’ Memorial Fountain: In the Pacific Northwest, water is great under a boat or frozen under skis, but not necessarily desired when waiting for a bus in the middle of winter/end of spring. Fill in the scary alcoves and totally vegetate the rock.
Now this probably is not as sexy as being part of a mixed-use savior project for a long neglected historic building – but it does build upon current infrastructure investment (and thus leaving the Elks for a public/private partnership for the Children’s Museum).
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