Tacoma Urbanist

Apr. 15, 2008 at 12:33am

Is this the Best Tacoma Can Offer Tacomans?

I just saw this video posted on the Mall at 19th and Union. Utilitarian shopping? Yes. A public realm? Civic Space?  Hardly.  Its nearly 100 percent dependent on pollution emitting modes of transportation.  All to offer anonymous shopping.

What if all of Tacoma looked like this?  If it did, would it mean anything then to be from Tacoma?

Is this a place worth caring about?

Watch the whole episode if you are able.  Don't forget to get your James Kunstler Tickets for the event on 4/23.

 

comments [10]  |  posted under tacoma

Comments

by izenmania on 4/15/2008 @ 7:30am
Do I like the mall? No. But calling it 100% auto-dependent is quite a bit off, as it contains one of the more thorough transit centers in the city. Sure, if you want to buy something big you'll need a car, but that would be true even if I were walking half a mile down the hill into downtown.

Yes, most people use cars rather than the public transit options, but again... that's true everywhere. The only people who decide not to drive if downtown fills with retail are the ones that live very close, and even then I suspect that most people even in my apartment building would hesitate to walk downtown to shop.

Yeah it's a crappy, soulless space. But it's really no more auto-dependent than any other retail area anywhere in the city. It just seems that way because there are more stores compressed in one space, and therefore more cars compressed into one lot.

by two9seven on 4/15/2008 @ 7:55am
Good point but the mall would not exist at its location if not for the automobile. The whole purpose for it is to drive to it. There is no way you could fit all those shops downtown in its current configuration.

by thriceallamerican on 4/15/2008 @ 8:05am
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, this isn't actually "The Mall" with a capital "M", this is the shopping center at 23rd and Union, with Target, Top Foods, PetSmart, etc.

by izenmania on 4/15/2008 @ 8:28am
That's what I get for not paying enough attention.

It's still pretty accessible by bus from a number of angles (the 57, the 2, the 51), and close to residential areas, and so I still take issue with "100% auto-dependent". It simply isn't the case. Talking in inaccurate extremes like that weakens the point.

by thriceallamerican on 4/15/2008 @ 8:40am
There's even a bike trail that runs right next to that shopping center...

Granted, usually the only reason we go to that shopping center is to buy large quantities of cat litter, so we pretty much always take the car.

by izenmania on 4/15/2008 @ 8:47am
I used to go there because I lived in walking distance, so it was either there or Fred Meyer for groceries. Nowadays I go less often, but Top does still have one of THE best beer selections that can be found at a Tacoma grocery store. Especially a 24 hour grocery store.

by intacoma on 4/15/2008 @ 10:02am
I go to target its true

by Erik on 4/15/2008 @ 10:39am
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, this isn't actually "The Mall" with a capital "M", this is the shopping center at 23rd and Union, with Target, Top Foods,

Very true. I called it that because of the name given to the video.

It's still pretty accessible by bus from a number of angles (the 57, the 2, the 51), and close to residential areas, and so I still take issue with "100% auto-dependent".

Nothing is 100 percent izenmania. I rounded a bit. Nevertheless, I added the term "nearly" and made the label for pollution emitting modes of transportation more general. My point was that an extremely small percent of people walk or bike there.

I go to target its true

Me too. There is little options for many other items.

by FunkomaVintage on 4/15/2008 @ 4:28pm
clears throat. I just bought new panties at Target. I love driving/riding down STW and turning the corner up the hill to get there.Yes, Tacoma has done better. Haven't you seen old photos of Tacoma? charming. mostly. but not always. I was in Tahoe um, years and years ago. Many parking lots were gravel and trees everywhere. Low wood permanent signs at the roadsides, artistically arranged. Parking slots and driving lanes,etc, were delineated by wood structures, since it would be silly to paint gravel.
Before I moved up here I dreamed the NW cities looked like Tahoe........wrong.

by oldbrickhousefarm on 4/15/2008 @ 8:54pm
Yay! More parking lagoons for our fair city.......