Transportation Benefit District Progress Report

In 2012 Tacoma formed a Transportation Benefit District; in 2013 the City passed a $20 car tab fee to be used for maintenance, preservation, and improvements to the City's roads under the TBD.

Last summer the $20 fee went into effect, and began funding work on Tacoma's roads. Included in last week's City Manager's report to Council was a progress report on work accomplished so far, thanks to the TBD.

In 2013, $4 million was collected by the TBD. As of the end of 2013, less than half of that had been spent, mostly on "street rehabilitation," with smaller amounts going toward non-motorized transportation improvements and traffic signal upgrades and repairs. 

Highlights of the progress report for those of you on pothole patrol include temporary repair of 6,941 potholes, and permanent repair of 1,722 potholes. Funds also covered chip sealing and paving for residential blocks and installation of ADA compliant ramps.

As TBD car tab fee collection enters its first full year, these smaller-scale road repairs will continue. $4 million seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the $800 million in street and sidewalk repairs identified by a Tacoma task force in 2012, but it's a start. Now if we could just get the Pothole Fairy to take a vacation from creating new potholes... 


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Comments

JDHasty

$2.5 million awarded to UWT students and faculty who went out under cloak of darkness and vandalized City of Tacoma streets.

The lesson to be learned is that working within the system in Tacoma is not the way to have your voice heard.  The City knows who the people who were responsible are and instead of arresting them and recovering the cost to taxpayers of cleaning up the mess they made they are rewarded. 

Governance by temper tantrum, way to go Tacoma. 

April 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan Blackmore

Speaking of tantrums.

April 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Garrett

I thought we didn’t know who did the guerrilla sidewalks. JDHasty, you seem to know.  Did you have any particular names of UWT students and faculty?  Or evidence beyond veiled accusations? I mean besides you or anyone saying, “Well everyone knows,” or, “It’s obvious”... Because it’s not obvious. Sounds more like gossip.

April 23, 2014 at 6:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

The City knows exactly who the individuals involved are.  They acknowledged as much at the Prop 1 meeting held last summer at Fern Hill School.  Fact of the matter is City staff confirmed that UWT students and faculty were responsible.

April 23, 2014 at 8:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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nwcolorist

Good news that we are starting to address a long existing problem. Bad news that we are additionally assessed to do something that should be covered under basic street maintenance.

April 23, 2014 at 8:13 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Teri

Ut-oh, if we fix the potholes, where will the pot-hole-pig go to play?

I’m glad they’re using some (if only a tiny amount) for curb ramp upgrades. I sometimes think about the profane things I would yell as a handicapped person trying to maneuver the sidewalks around my home.

April 23, 2014 at 9:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

The “potholes” in Tacoma’s pavement are no laughing matter and as far as the Pot-hole-pig is concerned - that was cooked up to make this situation seem like something that should not be taken seriously.  In case you are not aware, the city’s entire burred utility infrastructure is at risk of serious damage due to the fact that Tacoma’s street’s are WAY BEYOND being potholed, they are now structurally failing at an alarming rate because water is infiltrating into the base courses and causing fine material e.g. clays etc to become aggregated with the crushed rock and sand that should be there. 

Once this happens the sub grade will no longer support the heavy loads of garbage trucks, buses, moving vans, cement trucks etc and they will crush the utilities buried beneath the streets. 

Tacoma is at a tipping point and the choices that are made today will determine whether Tacoma becomes another Detroit, Gary, Buffalo or any number of other examples who preceded Tacoma by a few decades in neglecting infrastructure maintenance and focusing effort and revenues on chasing an illusion.  That is when the City’s elected and appointed officials are not actively feathering the nest of friends (i.e. campaign contributors), family and longtime business associates.

April 23, 2014 at 10:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

Even if we knew who did this the punishment wouldn’t fit the crime.  Vandalism charges are what? A misdamenor? The City wouldn’t even be in a position for damages.  Plans to recoup the cost are a fantasy.  The best defense was for the City to address the problems to avoid liability and from this from happening again.

April 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Garrett

JDHasty,
I find it hard to believe the City indicated at a meeting that they knew exactly who the individuals involved were. However, I wasn’t at the meeting. If it is true, then it is sad that the City is engaging in gossip.  Unfortunately the blame game is still meaningless because “UWT faculty and students” can’t respond to an accusation.  “Professor Plumb in the civics department” can respond.  “Mr. Jones, head of the student whatever activist group” can respond.  But to say it was “UWT faculty and students” is relatively meaningless.

One other point of contention in your later post regarding the “city’s entire [buried] utility infrastructure.”  While it could be debated that the pothole situation increases the overall cost of road maintenance (and I personally wouldn’t immediately concede even that), I don’t follow what you’re describing as the fines’ ultimate effects on the sub grade being that heavy traffic loads will crush the utilities.  I’m not a geotechnical engineer but I work with many, and one (who I won’t name, haha) backed me up that that argument doesn’t make sense at least as it pertains to buried utilities.

April 26, 2014 at 8:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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