Tacoma Urbanist

Nov. 26, 2007 at 12:08am

Dueling Sound Transit "Artist Renditions"

One of the recent criticisms of the proposed Sound Transit line is of the over reliance of the overhead computer generated "artist renditions" that have been submitted to the public:

The problem is that such a view does not show the blight and effective barrier on the street level which will effectively sever the Dome District.  Few of us will be flying over the overpass at 200 feet.

Planning Commissioner David Boe has sent around a photograph indicating what a realistic overpass would look like so someone on the ground.

This view illustrates how foreboding such an overpass is.  Few would want to walk under it unless they had car trouble and were forced to.  Here's another submission by Sound Transit, yet even this view is far above street level.

Tacoma may want to look at the example of  the city of San Francisco who removed their Embarcadero Freeway.  Here's how it looked before:

After the removal, much of the crime and drug activity disappeared and the area fluorished for people and businesses.

Here is a clip on the compelling reasons why San Francisco removed Embarcadero Freeway elevated highway.  Watching the video makes it hard to believe Tacoma would willingly allow a "dead zone" to be created in the Dome District after it has been a high priority of many cities to remove such blight inducing structures. 

The clip also discusses an elevated structure in NY that was recently removed.  Of course, the City of Seattle is working hard (against the state) to remove the elevated viaduct.

comments [11]  |  posted under sound transit, tacoma, washington


by NineInchNachos on 11/26/2007 @ 12:23pm
great video. seems like a better analogy for Seattle's Alaska way viaduct... tear that bastard down!

Anyhow, that's to much blacktop in the artistic renderings for my tastes. Looks like University Place for god sakes.

by urbanX on 11/28/2007 @ 1:35am
If they can drop the street and put the train up in the air, why in the world can't they drop the train and put the street up above it? I think a train down in a tunnel beats a street in the tunnel.
What I hear is this whole plan is outdated and should be replaced with a light rail plan. Beat the drum and contact your city council and mayor...before it's too late!

by Jesse on 3/31/2011 @ 8:06am
Awesome video! I know I'm late to the party here but wouldn't it be great if the RR tracks down by Dock Street could be channeled differently, the freeway taken out north of 21st, a new A Street, and roads connecting this all in a wonderful concept like the Embarcadero?

One can dream!

I'm always saying how cities should be made for people and suburbs for cars. This video sorta encapsulates what I'm getting at.

by tacoma1 on 3/31/2011 @ 11:22am
I don't see too much correlation between the Embarcadero and an overpass over one street. I do see the Embarcadero and the Alaskan Way Viaduct as similar projects.

As I remember it, there is a landscaped pedestrian, bicycle pathway being built for the TDome project. Seems like I would be using the pathways when on foot or bike as it is seperated from the car traffic.

by cisserosmiley on 3/31/2011 @ 11:40am
yes, tacoma is a commuter town...without priority on moving people in and out here we have very little. let's all embrace the priority of moving folks and not get caught up in a san francisco pipe dream.

by Erik on 3/31/2011 @ 11:44am
Too late now but Tacoma is finding out what berms do to cities.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/31/2011 @ 1:23pm
No matter what we do the area in question will never be the Embarcadero.

by tacoma1 on 3/31/2011 @ 1:38pm
If we truly cared about transportation infrastructure bisecting Tacoma, we would put a lid over I-5 (like Mercer Island did with I-90). A 10 lane freeway going through the middle of a city/neighborhood is alot more damaging than one rail line.

by NineInchNachos on 3/31/2011 @ 1:45pm
Tacomic endorses putting lids on things.

by Jesse on 3/31/2011 @ 2:48pm
Well, my comment is about i-705, not the berm. I think a parkway north of 21st INSTEAD of 705 would be a good thing. Minus railroad of course. Make the whole area there into something similar to the embarcadero. You have to watch the video cause my comment was about it and not the berm.

by tacoma1 on 3/31/2011 @ 3:11pm
That actually is a good idea about I-705. It's overbuilt bigtime for the amount of traffic that we have. Plus without I-705 going thru downtown, we could easily put Schuster Speedway on a diet, and add bike lanes and a pedestrian path all the way to Pt Defiance from downtown, Maybe even connect the bike lane to the Water Ditch trail by Tollefson Square.