Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of February 4, 2014

Tacoma Link Expansion

Probably the most prominent topic of conversation for the City Council this week will be the discussion of the Council's choice for its preferred alignment for the future expansion of the Tacoma Link light rail system. It's on the agenda for discussion at this week's Committee of the Whole meeting, and the Council is scheduled to vote this week on a resolution approving the A1/B1 alignment as the preferred route for the expansion. The resolution also includes a request to remove from consideration the A3 and B2 options.

The Council had already ruled out a couple options that would have had passengers walking a block or two to transfer from the existing Link line to the new one. The A3 option, which this resoltution recommends removing from consideration, would have navigated its way out of town via Broadway. It would have climbed the block from Commerce through either Theater Square or the parking garages and lots just south of the Elks Temple and Spanish Steps. Neither of those options have been very popular.

Assuming the resolution is adopted this week, the preferred alignment goes to Sound Transit with a recommendation that it move on to the environmental review phase. In that phase the impacts of the project are considered, along with the impacts of possible specific stops along the route.


Mildred Street Improvements

A purchase resolution on this week's agenda would award a $2,139,670 contract, budgeted from the Transportation Capital and Surface Water Funds, for a project that will significantly change the look of South Mildred Street between South 12th to South 19th Streets. The project includes the removal of existing asphalt, to be replaced with eight inch thick concrete; as well as removal and replacement of storm water mains and catch basins, cement concrete sidewalks, curb and gutter, and ADA curb ramps. This section of Mildred will be reduce from five lanes to three, with the addition of a bike lane in each direction and two mid-block crosswalks with flashing beacons and a median pedestrian island.


Proclamations, Recognitions, Presentations, & Announcements

It's a big week in this category, with four items appearing on this section of the Council meeting agenda. The first will proclaim February 15, 2014 as Chancellor Debra Friedman Day, in honor of the life of the UWT Chancellor, who passed away last week. A memorial to Friedman is planned for that day.

The Mayor will also be proclaiming the week of February 2 - 8, 2014 as Toastmasters International Week, and the week of February 7 - 14, 2014 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. On a somewhat lighter note, there will also be a recognition of Fab-5 for their completion of the Hilltop Business District Flower Pot Painting Project.


Other Items

A resolution on the consent agenda this week would set Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., as the date and time for a hearing before the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate the remainder of the alley between Pine Street and South Junett Street north of South 50th Street.

We will also hear the final reading of an ordinance that would implement rates of pay and compensation and changes in classification for non-represented City employees. We heard the first reading of this item at last week's meeting.

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Confused in the North End

So in addition to having to spend more on storm drains around the recent Stadium Way project (2 million more and additional traffic interruption?) we are going to tear up Stadium Way again for the link?!!  There are so many road maintenance projects that could benefit from these expenditures and effort if we got it right the first time.  Seems that some sort of vision and a true transportation plan is in order.

February 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Both Broadway and Stadium are new streets.  While St. Helens could have been improved to allow such an improvement, it was also one of the most costly to do so.  Stadium has essentially been prepped and ready for light rail and as long as you have qualms on price, it is the cheapest solution.  Stadium was improved earlier and if you look to areas in Portland where they placed the street car and the MAX this happens all the time.  Absent of this fact the City is working on a Transportation Master Plan, so hindsight is 20/20.

February 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Edison Liberty League

Maybe the confused Northenders and us Edisonites should work together. There is no plan except to continue to spend our tax dollars downtown. We love nothing better than to place concrete and proceed to tear it up.

February 4, 2014 at 10:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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