Tacoma Urbanist

Nov. 13, 2009 at 12:32am

Tacoma's "Complete Streets" Program In Peril. Opposed By National Automobile Lobbyists

The Problem

It doesn't take much effort to kill off development projects in Tacoma.  In fact, there is a single crane in all of downtown building anything.

As Tacomans know, outside groups recently managed to pressure the city council to thwart the hotel development on the Foss Waterway due to perceived competition to the Murano Hotel and "labor issues." The building site sits vacant and blighted and the waterfront has been left virtually lifeless.

Will Tacoma Be Allowed to Implement Complete Streets?

From the City:

The Guidelines are a comprehensive Complete Streets approach tailored to Tacoma. The objectives are to design, build and maintain streets that safely, comfortably and appropriately accommodate all users and transportation modes; foster a sense of place in the public realm; and, reduce environmental impacts when feasible.

Automobile Lobbyist Response In Opposition:

Although Tacoma has recently worked to complete its complete streets program, the proposal now appears to be in peril due to pressure from the Washington DC based Automobile Users Trade Organization (AUTO) lobbyist Veronica Moss, who has a very narrow car centric interest.

In nearly an identical issue, here she is in NYC attempting to thwart the city's efforts to revamp Times Square to make it more pedestrian friendly. 

On pedestrians, Moss states:

"Pedestrians are the cystic acne of the teenage forehead of the city."


Will the Tacoma City Council relent on this issue as well under the lobbying efforts of A.U.T.O.?


See also her opposition to Tacoma's traffic calming measures:


comments [9]  |  posted under Tacoma


by Erik on 11/13/2009 @ 1:16am
Here is the trailer:


by Adam the Alien on 11/13/2009 @ 3:57am
*snerk* Effing hilarious videos. Where are the roads? *sob*

by fredo on 11/13/2009 @ 7:15am
What are the chances that a city which can't even keep it's potholes filled will find the strategy to accomplish a "complete" streets program?

by Erik on 11/13/2009 @ 7:52am
Yeah. She is a pretty effective.

@Fredo. Good comment. Does a complete street require that the potholes in it be filled?

by dltooley on 11/14/2009 @ 11:35am
Street improvements **can** be linked to building permits, but I don't think that is the way to go.

FWIW, it's probably a better idea to put City money into streets around private development as opposed to continuing to subsidize it. Though with legal issues, dedicating new property taxes to proximity street projects might be a better idea than just abating the taxes.

by Erik on 11/14/2009 @ 2:49pm
Street improvements **can** be linked to building permits, but I don't think that is the way to go.

If that would impose another tax for development which would probably not be good as there is hardly anything being built now.

The city could save some money by stop trying to connect ever more remote subdivisions.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/14/2009 @ 3:18pm
I believe that potholes can be categorized as "traffic calming" by the city.

by tacoma1 on 11/14/2009 @ 8:39pm
@Crenshaw Sepulveda
I do believe that I agree with you on this one. Pot holes definitely are mother nature's speed bump.

by Erik on 11/16/2009 @ 9:22pm
Here is the new edited version:

Veronica Moss Visits Times Square
by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. on November 16, 2009 | 70 Plays

She's back! The woman you love to hate (and hate not to love) Veronica Moss, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist for the Automobile User Trade Organization (A.U.T.O.) In this "chapter", she's getting her first gander ever at the new pedestrian-friendly Times Square and she invited Streetfilms along to record her virgin journey.

Naturally since she advocates for cars for a living with her every breath, her viewpoints are bound to rankle some of those in the livable streets camp.

Here are a few splendiforous musings as she reminisced about the "old" Times Square - where visitors "had to fight" for every last inch of space:

* "Pedestrians are cystic acne on the teenage forehead of this city."

* "I used to feel this wonderful sense of being totally overwhelmed and being displaced when I walked through Times Square. And that's how it should feel."

Of course, that's nothing new for Ms. Moss, who first appeared on Streetfilms a few months ago in an "exclusive" interview to let us know how she feels about cyclists and pedestrians.