Sound Transit Approves Further Study of E1 Tacoma Link Expansion

Earlier this afternoon the Sound Transit Board of Directors approved further study into the E1 route for Tacoma Link expansion. While the story of that decision is yet to come, here are the presentational panels from the day. The conversation here in Tacoma got a little contentious, but now that we’ve got a decision, are we all on board to make this happen?

Pros and cons listed for the E1 alternative.
Pros and cons listed for the E1 alternative.

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Comments

Erik BRegistered

Nice.  Glad to see sanity eventually prevailed in the decision rather than simply political considerations.  With downtown Tacoma connected to the high density node of Stadium and MLK, Link has the potential for significant ridership and success in the future!

May 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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XenoRegistered

Every route was sane minus the hybrids which skipped a public process step, or at least an expedited step.  It is funny that everyone got all concerned with costs on them though and E1 ends up having a some 30 odd million to be scrounged up from somewhere.  In the end E1 was just as political as the other routes.  People who want to see a B1 extension got just that closer to it and in there you have a Council majority.  But I don’t necessarily fault anyone for that.  Every elected has their interest, and the split vote obviously showed that.

Additionally, the partnership fund debate was ludicrous.  Seems as if everyone was fine to have the Tribe pay anything coming their way but no such condition was placed on any of the businesses on any of the other routes, not even the one that was going to serve Fife!  I think the Tacoma Weekly article was a bit too much but the politics of race still did leave their mark.

May 24, 2013 at 10:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Two dogs cuddling

http://www.tacomaweekly.com/our_views/view/our-view-light-rail-should-run-to-east-side/

Erik B,
  Clearly not everyone sees the world through your self egotizing,  self promoting bull crap you are slinging.  The decision comes down to pure and simple racism masked as economic development to undeserved neighborhoods.  How about you add up the 100s of Millions do dollars poured into the Hilltop and weigh that agains the $millions tribal members have poured into Tacoma to make it better and you will see a deep divide in which neighborhoods are served and which are undeserved. The Puyallup Tribe is now 5000 members strong and we have long memories on how the councilmembers of the 2nd and 4th districts voted, and the the at large members voted.

Stop to consider the needs of other before you beat your chest in triumph for what will be a failed solution, for it was pushed with disreputable motivations.

May 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

Actually, Erik was a huge advocate for another route and is merely here to be supportive of the decision that was made.  But, you know, keep eating that Soylent Green…

May 24, 2013 at 7:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Two dogs cuddling

Actually, Erik was a huge advocate for another route and is merely here to be supportive of the decision that was made…

  6th may have been his preferred route, but his visceral rejection of any thing that did not include the Stadium District Is what I reference.  Read the editorial I posted along and you will see that withy is leadership, the City left 10s millions sitting on table for the possibility that the residents, businesses and hospitals will self assess them selves over 50 million dollars. 

How well did that work out last time when the city asked the hospitals for money?

I’m very clear in what rhetoric Mr. Bjornson repeated over and over. He was warned he was being offensive and did not seem to care. So forgive me if I hold him accountable for his words.

May 24, 2013 at 8:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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James

First off, Erik’s promoting of a line that includes Stadium District does not warrant your accusations. I’m still not sure why he deserves to be ‘warned’.  Heck, I think the Hilltop extension is a giant waste of money, since it’s faster and cheaper to walk between the old and new line. But I’m not ‘warning’ anyone over a difference in opinion! 

Regarding the City of Tacoma needing to be more supportive of Puyallup Tribal businesses… what’s the benefit to the City? If the Tribe wants to begin charging and paying state taxes (gas, liquor and cigarettes would be a good place to start), then I can see the benefit of investment in infrastructure to serve Tribal businesses. Until then, why would the City of Tacoma recommend to Sound Transit new infrastructure that best serves businesses that do not contribute to State revenue? Casinos are one stop shops, with fuel, restaurants, entertainment and shopping all under tribal ownership. All that’s left for the City is hospitality revenue. Maybe the Tribe should go into that business as well…

May 24, 2013 at 10:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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XenoRegistered

I think you’re misguided on this relationship between the City and Tribe.  The Tribe annually pays the City 2% Casino impact funds and 1% charitable causes to the City and surrounding jurisdictions.  No other cities outside of the Tribe’s Settlement Agreement get this alternative revenue.

Second, the Tribe actually contributes millions of dollars to improve City of Tacoma (and other jurisdictions) roads, which the Tribe does not own or maintain (See R Street, 29th, and Grandview, Swan Creek Bridge improvements).

Third, the Tribe does pay gas taxes to the state in their gas tax compact.

Fourth, the Tribe does pay property taxes for properties not held in Federal Trust, which fill the City of Tacoma coffers.

Fifth, the Tribe payed about 60 million dollars in state and federal taxes last year, so I really don’t know where you’re going with these claims.  http://www.puyallup-tribe.com/assets/puyallup-tribe/documents/puyallupcommunityreport_2012_web.pdf

In short I think the Tribe pays for its fair share to be part of the Tacoma community.  It seems people think the Tribe could never pay enough to ever get any benefit to City of Tacoma infrastructure when the Tribe is actually rebuilding it for the City.  Sad sad sad….

May 24, 2013 at 10:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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James

Thanks Xeno.  I wasn’t saying that the Tribe is a bad neighbor or that the relationship isn’t positive. Your list of taxes the Tribe does pay is all very good, but how about the list the Tribe doesn’t pay.

For example: last I heard the tribe pays 50% of the gas tax, but the final court appeal on that has yet to be reached. Again, not saying the Tribe is in the wrong on anything, just curious if they are on equal footing compared to other businesses and constituents, regarding the State and City revenue they contribute.

May 28, 2013 at 9:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davieRegistered

Sad that ethnic considerations play such an important role in transit decisions. Apparently,  no civic decision can be arrived at without some appeasement and/or acknowledgement of every race and ethnicity. The next time our family goes out for dinner I’m going to insist that the restaurant have workers of every race and ethnicity before we order.

May 24, 2013 at 8:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Two dog cuddling

I think the bigger issue is a neighboring government was wiling to put up 10s of millions of dollars at not cost to Tacoma taxpayers, but council instead choose to committ Tacoma taxpayers to at least $50 million plus cost overruns. In five years the City will be begging more taxes to cover the shortfall. Oh that’s right most of the current council won’t be here to mop up the mess.

May 24, 2013 at 8:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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XenoRegistered

Sadder that ethnicity typically denotes income bracket, which in turn reveals transportation options.  We could have built light rail to Pottery Point, I’m just not sure they’d want to pass up the chance to drive their BMW in the process though.

May 24, 2013 at 10:36 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Chris

We can work with this decision.  Conceptual engineering including track configuration and station locations are the next issues on the docket.  Once we get into environmental review, I think we’ll all have a clearer picture of what this is going to mean for the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods.  There will probably need to be zoning height increases in the station areas, as well as other actions to ensure that fewer people are negatively impacted by the changes that will be coming.

I’m happy to get on with the actual work.  I hope that people are just as involved in the design process as they were in corridor selection.

May 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

I can’t wait for the city’s transportation study to be done.  Then we can allow outside experts (without personal agenda) decide where these amenities should go.  This process has been draining in the sense that people who know zero about this topic (and the dozens of peripheral topics) have been the loudest voices.

Hurry up with that study!!!

May 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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MichaelRegistered

I too liked the 6th Ave extension better, but believe the route chosen is a reasonable next step for the Tacoma Link that will benefit Hilltop, Stadium, and through improving those core areas it will help the whole city.  I’m sure the Link will eventually serve the EQC and Portland Ave., but it makes sense to send it to our relatively dense neighborhoods first in order to ensure high use.  Starting with EQC would have condemned our light rail to being viewed as a “casino shuttle,” serving a facility that is prospering and expanding independent of transit investments.

May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Two dogs cuddling

Jesse.
    An outside perspective would be great. Did you review the recommendation of the citizens committee? About 55% felt a fully funded H2 was best. about 45

May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

H2 would be great but it wasn’t picked because to qualify for the small starts grant of $50million, the entire project has to stay under $150m total.  So picking H2 would have reduced the money available for the project by $50m while at the same time increasing costs substantially.
As well, there’s a lot of dead property with very little vision to be had along Puyallup Avenue on the way to the MUC at Portland Avenue.  This area is also suburban, where nobody in the country is building streetcar style rail transit and its also not very walkable once you’d get off said streetcar.

May 28, 2013 at 11:48 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

Sorry, I meant to say that beyond Portland Avenue MUC is suburban.  Puyallup Ave is Industrial.

May 28, 2013 at 11:51 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Two dogs cuddling

Jesse.
  An outside perspective would be great. Did you review the recommendation of the citizens committee? About 55% felt a fully funded H2 was best. About 45% thought C1 was the smartest route. The remaining 10% like B1 or E1.

I would love to see how the Tacoma City Council can justify not only ignoring the recommendations of the outside committee, but how they Left tens of millions in grant $$ on the table.

Hurry up with that study!!!

May 28, 2013 at 11:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

I think your numbers are off quite a bit.  Any time I went to any of the meetings, the most popular route was the one closest to wherever the meeting location was.  Basically, people want it by their house—which is a good thing!

May 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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