Tacoma Urbanist

Nov. 19, 2012 at 8:03am

With Proposition 1's 2nd Failure, Time for Tacoma Streetcar Restoration

While Seattle and other cities, add one new streetcar line after another....

....Tacoma has not added a foot of track any new line since 2003 when the line was first built.

The City of Tacoma certainly has studied the issue at length with one study after another, but has not been able to place in another foot of Streetcar / LINK line for 9 years.  So much time has now transpired, Sound Transit now has even released a study of previous streetcar extension studies.


Tacomans have been taxed since 2008 via Sound Transit to fund the Streetcar extension.  The money, with an unknown balance, must be accumulating somewhere.  With funding coming it, Tacoma should redouble (triple) it's effort to extend Tacoma's Streetcar.

There are a lot of reasons to do so, one of them is that studies have shown that streetcars have a higher ridership rate compared to buses:


Research Study: Riders Prefer Light Rail to "Bus Rapid Transit"

Introduction by Light Rail Progress

Opponents of light rail transit (LRT) – in Austin as well as in other cities – repeatedly claim that, as a supposedly cheaper alternative, "buses will do the job". in a makeover currently in vogue, so-called "Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) (a moniker applied to almost any upgrade from regular, slow, local street-bus service) is promoted by both the Federal Transit Administration and various highway-industry interests and their retinue purportedly as a way to get the service levels and passenger attractiveness of LRT as significantly lower cost.

But, as Light Rail Progress has consistently demonstrated, in almost every case, the substance of these claims dissolves upon closer examination. in particular, for similar types and levels of service, the capital costs of BRT are quite close to (often even greater than) those of LRT. Pittsburgh's new West Busway, for example, is costing in the vicinity of $60 million per mile (for a route predominately on the surface in former railroad right-of-way) – from 1.5 to three times the typical cost of LRT.

Another major rebuttal to the BRT argument is the tremendous cost advantage of LRT: For the same basic character of service, LRT tends to perform at a significantly lower cost per passenger and/or passenger-mile than does the bus. A major factor in LRT's cost advantage – and its appeal to the public, transportation planners, and decisionmakers alike – is light rail's power to attract more passengers than buses. As we've previously noted that, since the 1970s, the steep decline in US transit ridership had been reversed:

A key factor in reversing that trend, of course, has been the expansion and re-installation of rail transit services. Rail transit ridership has climbed at a rate several times that of bus ridership, which has comparatively remained stagnant. Between 1977 and 1997, while motor bus ridership rose 5%, "heavy" rail ridership (mainly on subway/elevated transit) increased 13%, and light rail ridership skyrocketed an astounding 155%.

The main reason: buses, bogged down in increasingly gridlocked street and freeway traffic, have a hard time keeping their passengers. Also, compared to rail, bus transit is less reliable and comfortable. Bus routes are less visible and understandable. Consistently, when [pro-roadway transit operators] have converted rail transit lines into bus routes, the vast majority of the riders have just abandoned the service – the bus line is left with a small fraction of the original ridership. That should tell us something.

Many light rail supporters argue strongly that, for fundamentally equivalent types of transit service, light rail will attract more riders. in other words, the public tends to be drawn by certain specific attributes of LRT service – the permanence of the alignment, vehicle comfort, etc. – in a way and to a degree not exhibited in the case of similar bus operations. The result is substantially higher LRT ridership for a given investment in higher-quality transit (bus or rail).

Some evidence of this is provided in a 1991 research project in Philadelphia, which examined basically similar services of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (formerly Red Arrow) suburban trolley lines and the Ardmore busway – relatively fast bus service on a dedicated bus-only roadway. Curiously, the history of the Ardmore busway itself gives some corroboration to the case for the greater attractiveness of LRT, since, when the route was converted from trolleys to buses (i.e., LRT to BRT) in tr1967, ridership dropped 15% – despite the replacement of older streetcar equipment by modern, airconditioned buses on a newly paved-over private right-of-way.


Planners want people to ride buses, however, ridership level is far higher for streetcars.  Here are some of the reasons:

CPRO: Streetcar is Superior to Bus Rapid Transit

by ARLnow.com | October 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | 2,064 views | 126 Comments

Despite statements to the contrary by each of the three candidates for Arlington County Board (see below), the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization says a modern streetcar system is a better option for Columbia Pike than a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

Last night CPRO issued the following press release, explaining its support for the streetcar.

Recent publications suggest that Bus Rapid System would be superior to a Streetcar serving the transit needs of our area. The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization takes this opportunity to reaffirm support for a modern Streetcar.

In July 2012, the Arlington County Board and Fairfax County Board chose a modern Streetcar as the preferred transit alternative in our corridor.  This decision was correct and well informed.

The rationale in support of a BRT alternative has been exhaustively discussed during the many years of public process preceding the aforementioned decisions.

Among many other benefits, a modern streetcar system:

  • Commits the land use and economic development for decades to come. The sense of permanency and the corresponding growth dynamics that rail based transportation conveys to investors and businesses cannot be matched by a BRT system.
  • Serves important destinations that focuses on corridors, connectors and regional development nodes. By contrast, BRT would serve a constellation of ever changing destinations and routes, leaving the network design, scope and functionality at the whim of political and market changes.
  • Offers superior passenger capacity and superior economies of scale in the network both on Columbia Pike and on top-capacity corridors (like Route 1) where streetcar trains outperform BRT.
  • Provides superior comfort to passengers. Comfort is not an optional luxury. It is a critical parameter that determines the level of ridership.
  • Improves traffic safety in mixed traffic by keeping the largest vehicles on predictable tracks free from random lane-changes, which, combined with the narrower width of streetcars improves overall flow in a congested corridor.
  • Supports our community’s goal to preserve affordable housing by having the proven potential to create enough real estate value to cross-subsidize committed affordable units.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization applauds the Arlington County Board and the Fairfax County Board for upholding their commitment to the community’s long standing vision for Columbia Pike.

The decision has been made.  It is time to move forward.


Finally, no one is going to croone about Tacoma's bus system, but they do about Streetcar:



comments [109]  |  posted under tacoma


by Erik on 11/19/2012 @ 8:06am

Also see:

Why streetcars are better than buses

DC Circulator and Streetcar, to scale. Not the same.

Streetcars are big in planning circles right now. DC and Arlington have grand plans for them, as do many cities around the US. Every time the subject comes up, however, someone poses the question what makes streetcars better than buses?
It’s a valid question, and it has a series of valid answers. Here are the most important:
  • Streetcars are more affordable than buses.
    While it’s true that streetcars require a much larger initial capital
    investment than buses, that capital cost is offset by significant
    operational savings year-to year. In the long term, streetcars are more
    affordable as long as they are used on high ridership routes.
  • Streetcars have higher passenger capacity than buses (even bendy ones),
    which means that if there are lots of riders on your route, you can
    move them with fewer vehicles. Fewer vehicles means more efficient use
    of fuel and fewer (unionized, pensioned) drivers to pay.
  • Streetcar vehicles themselves are
    much more sturdy than buses, and last many decades longer. While buses
    must generally be retired and replacements purchased about every 10
    years, streetcars typically last 40 years or more. For example,
    Philadelphia’s SEPTA transit system is still using streetcar vehicles
    built in 1947 (although they have been overhauled once since then).

  • Streetcars are much more comfortable to ride than buses.
    One of the big reasons why many Americans don’t like buses is that they
    are so rumbly. They jerk you up, down, side to side. They’re simply not
    comfortable. Streetcars glide along a rail much more smoothly, offering
    a vastly more comfortable ride. Less motion sickness, easier to hang
    on. This issue isn’t often discussed in transit circles, but it is a
    really big deal. Passengers gravitate towards the most comfortable ride.
  • Streetcar routes are easier to understand.
    In any big city, buses are confusing. There are so many criss-crossing
    and competing routes that it can be intimidating and difficult to
    understand. New users are turned off because they don’t want to
    accidentally get on the wrong bus and end up miles from their real
    destination. Streetcars, on the other hand, are easier to understand
    because the cost of constructing tracks inherently limits the size of
    the system. Instead of an incomprehensible jumble, you get a clean and easy to understand system map.
    Even if streetcar line names may be a little more complicated than “Red
    Line”, they’ll be a whole heckuva lot easier to figure out than “P18″.
  • Streetcars attract more riders than buses.
    Partially because of the above points, streetcars are always used by
    more people than buses when all other things are equal. They attract
    more passengers, which after all is the whole point of public transit.
  • Streetcars are economic development magnets.
    The presence of rail transit nearby is one of the best incentives for
    economic development in the world. Metro stations radically remade large
    swaths of the DC area, and streetcars can do the same (have done the
    same, in places like Portland and Toronto). Nobody ever built a condo
    building or shopping mall because a bus route stops nearby, but
    developers routinely follow rail investments with real estate ones.
    Indeed, the additional taxes generated by rail-oriented development can
    repay the initial capital investment.
  • Streetcars use electricity rather than gas.
    Although it depends how the electricity is generated, this potentially
    makes streetcars much more environmentally friendly than buses. And
    while it’s true that electric buses exist, they are almost never used in the US, and require the same overhead wires as streetcars.
  • Streetcars are much quieter than buses.
    Becuase they run on electricity, streetcars are very quiet vehicles.
    They are much less disruptive to neighborhood life than buses.
  • Streetcars are iconic. Trains
    are graphic symbols for the city in a way that buses simply are not.
    Every tourist knows about the DC Metro, the New York subway, and the San
    Francisco cable cars. Their trains are an indispensable part of those
    city’s brands, and streetcars will be too as soon as they’re running.
    Nobody ever sent a postcard featuring a picture of a bus.
  • beyonddc.com/log/?p=1733

    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 8:16am
    Tacoma needs real investment not toy train gimmicks.  S. Lake Union was already bussling in the 1990's, later the S.L.U.T. was built to accommodate obvious growth. Tacoma has NO obvious growth. It's time to get regional businesses to invest here, then build infrastructure when it's growing. Building a train as a strategy for growth in Tacoma is likely not affective.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/19/2012 @ 8:16am
    Wtf Eric?

    R u writing a book?

    FYI, u can't get transit supporters on your side by opposing transit. 

    by Erik on 11/19/2012 @ 8:17am
    Because of the delay in extending Tacoma's Streetcar, a citizen effort started a few years ago to place a Streetcar Initiative on the ballot to start the process to extend track:

    Full size:


    Also see:

    "Build the Tacoma Streetcar NOW" FB page:


    by tacoma_1 on 11/19/2012 @ 8:22am
    No shit.  We don't even have the money for buses thanks to assholes like you. How the f are we gonna pay for a street car network? 

    by Erik on 11/19/2012 @ 8:26am
    More on the old Streetcar Initiative:Legal roadblock for streetcar initiative
    By John Larson
    Wednesday, 3 March 2010

    An effort by two Tacoma residents to put a streetcar system up to
    a public vote could be doomed before it builds very much steam.Last
    month, Committee to Build the Streetcar submitted a citizen petition to
    the city of Tacoma. Written by long-time streetcar advocates Chris
    Karnes and Morgan Alexander, the petition calls for funding to come from
    something called a transportation benefit district. For every $10 spent
    in this district, .2 cents of sales tax would go to constructing and
    operating the system.Currently Tacoma does not have such a
    district, which is a substantial stumbling block, according to City
    Attorney Elizabeth Pauli. She briefed Tacoma City Council members on the
    issue during their Committee of the Whole meeting on March 2.Pauli
    has determined the petition goes beyond the scope of private citizens.
    It assumes such a district exists, when in fact the state will only
    allow a governing body, in this case the council, to create one. She
    said she met with the petitioners to approve their form and assign the
    measure a ballot title. Once that process is official, Committee to
    Build the Streetcar would have 180 days to gather the required number of
    signatures to qualify it for the ballot.Because the initiative
    assumes an authority the petitioners do not possess, she said she will
    soon ask the council to give her authority to request a declaratory
    judgment from a court to make it invalid.Councilmember Spiro
    Manthou said he wants to be fair to Alexander and Karnes and not have
    them putting effort into something the city will have declared invalid.Pauli responded that both are well aware of her legal opinion. “This is not a shock to them,” she said. “They know my concern.”She
    said there is a possibility that parts of the initiative could be
    declared valid and parts invalid, but typically courts do not parse a
    measure in such a manner.Councilmember David Boe noted that one
    of the petitioners had given a presentation on the initiative that
    morning to Cross-District Association and did not mention this legal
    twist.Councilmember Lauren Walker lamented the pair did not have their initiative reviewed by an attorney before filing. “I wish we could have had a conversation with them.”Karnes,
    who was not at the committee meeting, acknowledged the council would
    need to establish the district. If the measure passed at the ballot and
    the council did not do so, other components of the measure would move
    forward, such as engineering studies.He feels Pauli asking for a
    declaratory judgment would be unprecedented, as legal flaws in
    initiatives typically are not challenged until after approved by voters.
    “What is being threatened is an unnecessary overreaction by the city.”Mayor
    Marilyn Strickland noted efforts by the city and Sound Transit to study
    streetcars and expand the existing light rail system, and how federal
    government officials may view those in light of the citizen group’s
    legal quandary. “There could be a whole slew of unintended consequences,” she remarked.“I think there is a political solution to this,” Councilmember Ryan Mello commented.Walker
    mentioned Seattle, where monorail expansion had initial strong public
    support but was later killed by voters, and the new mayor strongly
    opposes the waterfront tunnel that the last mayor championed. Walker
    does not want the same situation for Tacoma in regards to
    transportation. “I want us to come across as a unified front.”Signature
    gathering was set to begin on March 5, according to Karnes. He and
    Alexander attempted multiple times to have an attorney review their
    initiative but were unsuccessful, he noted. They were aware of the
    requirement of the council creating the district, “but we did not expect
    this type of hostile response.”His appearance at Cross-District
    Association was not a planned presentation. Karnes said he received an
    invitation the night before to speak informally to the business group
    the next morning. A streetcar feasibility study was done in 2007.
    Karnes said “the initiative is both a method of gathering support and
    actually implementing legislation.” They would not have acted if the
    city had moved forward by now, he noted.“The only reason it came
    to initiative process is that the city has not taken the lead on this,”
    Karnes said. “From the community’s perspective, nothing is happening.”www.tacomaweekly.com/news/view/legal_roa... with the Tacoma City Council starting a TBD, a Streetcar initiative could be successful.

    by Erik on 11/19/2012 @ 8:28am
    @tacoma_1: Here is one significant source: Tacomans voted to pass a Sound Transit in 2008 which continuously places money into a fund for LINK extension.


    The 1.6 mile Tacoma Link light rail line currently serves six stations from the Theater District to the Tacoma Dome Station. Trains run every 12 minutes during the day and served nearly a million riders in 2011. Voters in 2008 approved an expansion of Tacoma Link as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. Sound Transit's Tacoma Link Expansion Alternatives Analysis project will identify and study alternative travel corridors for expansion of the Tacoma Link light rail system.

    Over the next 12 months, Sound Transit in cooperation with the City of Tacoma and Pierce Transit will engage the wider community to help identify a range of alternatives, study these alternatives, and determine a preferred corridor alternative for the expansion. The study will also produce a project financing plan that will identify committed and potential funding sources.


    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 8:37am
    "We don't even have the money for buses thanks to assholes like you. How the f are we gonna pay for a street car network? " tacoma1

    A majority of the voters in the transportation district said NO to the proposed sales tax increase TWICE and you conclude that they are all assholes?

    More likely they concluded that PT wasn't being operated prudently.
    Insult people who disagree with you, a sure way to build a concensus for your goofy ideas.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/19/2012 @ 8:43am
    I didn't realize that it was possible to insult an atty. 

    Calling an atty an asshole is actually a compliment where I come from.

    by JesseHillFan on 11/19/2012 @ 8:59am
    I wonder what the mass ratio of the weight of a streetcar is per passenger (if full).For instance when one is traveling single occupancy in a 30 mpg 3,400 pound passenger car  a enormous amount of energy is wasted just moving the desired mass (human and cargo) to its desired destination.Passenger cars are extremely energy inefficient and most of it is due to the unnecessary extra mass Generally to be energy sustainable one has to have a wasted mass of vehicle weight somewhere around 300 to 450 pounds or less per human and cargo to possibly reach a possible 300 mpg or so if electrified.So my question is what is the weight of a street car and how many passengers can it carry or does it usually carry on average? Making a streetcar too heavy (energy wasteful) defeats the objective of sustainablity

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 9:04am
    "Calling an atty an asshole is actually a compliment where I come from." tacoma1

    Where do you come from?

    by The Jinxmedic on 11/19/2012 @ 9:04am
    To previous posts- Such vileness. FeedTacoma keeps getting worse, not better- and I have news for you- it's not Fredo bringing it down, either.

    I am very close to being done here, as "lawful neutral" seems to mean exactly nothing.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 9:48am
    NPR said that since PT voters struck down prop 1  the state is less likely to give money to our transit projects because we have that sales tax tool and we're not using it for transit. 

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 9:49am
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tacoma's Urbanist for spearheading the campaign to keep our sales tax rates affordable.Without his passionate advocacy for common sense we would be saddled with a huge new tax obligation on January 1.

    The other good news is this. People will still get around pretty much as before.

    We all learned after the election that, in fact, revenues from sales taxes are OUTPACING Pierce Transit assumptions. This means the doom and gloom scenerio painted by the pencil pushers at the transit hall was just a manufactured crisis.
    Hat's off to you my friend, Tacoma's Urbanist! 

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 9:52am
    NPR, is that the radio network which is sponsored in part by WalMart?

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 9:54am
    Also, republicans are racists but that doesn't mean we should no treat them with civility. 

    that said. 


    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 9:55am
    Yes most evil corporations underwrite NPR.   They have more money than they know what to do with!  USA! USA!

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:01am
    This shit is so funny. Before Henry Ford, NYC used to have nothing but street cars. Kids played in the streets. Neighborhoods were like Co-ops. It was a great thing. And then Moses raped the city.

    Its not hard to tell that light rail worked for cities in the past. And I like the looks of it. But yeah, how does Tacoma get its head out of its ass and make Tacoma a place Portland and Seattle people want to live?

    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 10:10am
    You're backwards...when a population exists here to need streetcars, gov will be charged with meeting the people's need. Until then, building streetcars for invisible population is less efficient.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:11am
    Public owned street cars are an overall better solution for travel needs than privately owned automobiles? Yeah, if you believe that humans should be government controlled like herds of ranch livestock. Isn't that why Portland and Seattle exist?

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:15am
    Mofo, oil is a non renewble you do realize that right?

    Ciss, I keep wondering about that. 'If you build it they will come' may not work to get the types of people you want to your city that make a city great, but that's no excuse for not making a city great for the people already here. 

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:20am
    Private transportation, cars, aren't the major opposition to streetcars. Freedom to move is.

    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 10:24am
    Exactly, there just isn't ENOUGH people currently here for streetcar investment. Maybe start with a project everyone would benefit from and then people would stop moving away from Tacoma. Eventually a streetcar might be needed.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 10:24am
    "Yeah, if you believe that humans should be government controlled like herds of ranch livestock."

    buy a bicycle!

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:25am
    Well Mofo, freedom to move is going to get a wake up call sooner or later.


    Far be it from the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth that ever existed or ever will, to be behind the power curve of that indisputable fact of reality that one day


    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:30am
    Ciss, I think people move away from Tacoma bc its just doesn't have that it factor overall. It has it in pockets here and there, but it's grittiness doesn't exactly scream sex in the city, which is where the money is at.

    I've always wondered why on earth there isn't a ferry that runs from Tacoma to Seattle.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:30am
    Ha Ha. Every time the streetcar advocates wave their flag, packs of exasperated bicyclists speed away from Tacoma.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:35am
    low bar, I recently read that the United States is planning to become a major oil producer. Anyway, automobiles don't necessarily need gasoline. Ever watch the "Flintstones?" Their community worked just fine without streetcars.

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:43am
    Mofo. Its easier just to get to know your fellow American a little better, and maybe read a few books on American history and the history of New York, and change your attitude then drill and frack into this beautiful land.

    America is the most beautiful land on earth and we need to keep it that way. Not drill and mine it into oblivion bc a few agoraphobics are off their meds.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 10:44am
    no matter what sarah palin and creationists say  humans and dinosaurs did not exist in the same space/time.   Flintstones is a work of fiction mofo.

    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 10:44am
    Tacoma to Seattle ferry would great. The sounder train is a success, the 5XXbus routes are full. Now we need a ferry, maybe foot traffic only, to get workers from here to there. Far more efficient investment than local streetcars.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:53am
    First of all, Fred Flintstone worked at a quarry. How is the planet any worse because of that fact? Furthermore if NIN states that the Flintstones are a work of fiction, what he says proves nothing. Streetcars were once nothing more than fiction. Nowadays we've got streetcar evangelists preaching the good word of public transportation. If someone finds value in that, so what?

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:54am
    Exactly. Seattle Tacoma ferry would be great. Could totally just be foot traffic for workers. Doesn't Sydney AUS have a fast ass Hulk Hogan ferry?

    I seriously don't know why Puget Sound isn't like the NYC of the NW. We've got more shit then they do. Boeing. Ports that don't get hurricaned. Navy and Army bases.

    They only reason NYC ever took off was bc it was a British naval port. Fuck all these ships bringing in Hyundais. We need the Navy in the port of Tacoma.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 12:02pm
    mofo advocates for a return to the white man being master of a slave labor force, namely dinosaurs and the early mammal kingdom.  

    on behalf of the animal liberation front:  NEVER AGAIN.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/19/2012 @ 12:03pm
    This post just wreaks of social Darwinism.  How can you oppose a proposition that funds transit service to help the working poor, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities and then think that the City is going to turn around and use the same capacity to throw tens of millions of dollars per route mile to streetcar construction?
    ====2010 was a different time==== When Morgan and I proposed the initiative, there was nothing happening at the City or Sound Transit in regards to Tacoma Link because Bellevue was taking up all of the oxygen in regional transit discussions.  Now - two years later - we are in the middle of alternatives analysis that will have a route selected in ---April 2013--- and begin environmental review and engineering starting next year.  Keep up with what's happening - perhaps by reading my blog (www.tacomatomorrow.com/2012/03/tacoma-li... * www.tacomatomorrow.com/2012/08/tacoma-li... *www.tacomatomorrow.com/2012/09/early-sco...).
    Tacoma has an $800m road infrastructure debt that it is passing along to the next generation, a bus system that is poised to head back to service levels not seen since 1979 and yet Erik wants to mount a $100m+ investment in streetcars?  Where is the logic in this?  Where are your riders going to come from if they've deserted your city because they can't be mobile with transit before the streetcar network is completed?  They'll already be in Seattle or Portland.
    Even if there were to be a large effort mounted to support expansion of streetcars at this point in time, it would be years before you could get into final design.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 12:06pm
    Tacoma Urbanist has been seduced by the darkside of the force.

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 12:07pm
    Majority of the voters side with the Urbanist. 'nough said.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 12:09pm
    Puyallup and Lakewood side with the Urbanist.   Tacomanians stand with Pierce Transit

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 1:10pm
    If the people who operate the military-industrial complex are okay with travelling by public transportation like rail or ferry boats or streetcars then why not shift money to that, and away from highway construction and maintenance? Which came first? Armed forces and traders, or joyriders in wooden wagons and Sport Utes? There's a cause and effect relationship for roadbuilding that supercedes conforming to the needs of Darwin's rejects. By the way, survival of the fittest relates mainly to adapting to perpetual changes in the environment. Even though circumstances may change, sound principles for thinking and acting do not. However, in a rational universe, if one doesn't believe in absolutes, then what I just said may be interpreted as a mere opinion.

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 1:12pm
    And yet the World Bank the other day issued a statement on global warming. Did you care to catch that Mofo? Kind of an important thing. 

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 1:24pm
    bring back the dirigible !

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 1:25pm
    The gods of banking are interested in enrolling you and me in a monthly plan that will have us giving them money for years. If I want to know the weather I can check that myself. Really people, personal responsibility is a value to embrace.

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 1:35pm
    Mofo, you live on a planet with other people. There's always going to be a system to create order and problems with the system.

    You can either try to be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution, but until you can find a place in the middle of bumfucked Montana where you can grow your hair long, rename yourself Tristan and brood over the fact your brother actually did something to get you your freedom by fighting the Germans, then whats the use in trying to make a boogyman out of the system?

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 1:40pm

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 1:45pm
    tragic kingdom www.derekmyoung.com/?p=991

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 1:47pm
    Ha Ha. My father actually fought the German's in WW2 (Army Field Artillery), and he always drove American cars. So given that experience and knowledge, he always pointed out the value of education to free one's mind from error. Some systems of thought are better than others.

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 2:37pm
    Back to your issue with the freedom to move. Yeah I agree. Reagan should have never been allowed by congress to gut and deregulate the airlines industry. "Now you're free to move about the country" Remember that ad? Yep Ronny and the GOP put an end to that freedom. 

    by JesseHillFan on 11/19/2012 @ 3:00pm
    If you drive a car you are in error.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 3:10pm
    Government regulations aren't an all or nothing proposition. A system of checks and balances on power systems is something like a natural law of nature which keeps the world spinning. As for the early 1980's union busting (I'm guessing that you're referring to the airline traffic controllers wildcat strike), I was a unionized employee at that time and the U.S. was in an economic recession. All power systems act to preserve their own interests. The U.S. government was attempting to preserve order by clearing out the dissidents in airport control towers.

    If today a municipal streetcar system was developed in Tacoma then one point of conflict for me would arise if the employees were required to join a union. I still don't agree with the concept of union representation of certain types of workers employed by municipal agencies--keeping in mind that some corrupt people find work as managers in government agencies.

    by JesseHillFan on 11/19/2012 @ 4:04pm
    The Flintstones is brought to you by Winston Cigarettes.www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAExoSozc2c

    by Jesse on 11/19/2012 @ 4:36pm
    It seems like everyone here is completely forgetting that streetcars are an economic development tool just as much as they're a transit tool.  When you hear about a streetcar being discussed in Portland, the conversation is about where they want density next, and that's where the new streetcar line ends up going. Buses are about transit alone and therefore, Pierce Transit and it's innitiative was about transit (and rediculous tax rates) - not economic development.

    The conversations about where to put streetcar perplex me because everyone wants it where transit is now.  Again, streetcar causes density and economic development in every street/area of a city where it's been introduced.

    You have to be sure sure sure that wherever it goes, you want that area to change into a densely populated area.

    So, you CAN be against Prop 1 and FOR streetcars.  Can you grasp why? 

    @Chris and Tacoma 1:  If you'd like to lay out a map of Portland at the Amocat and discuss why, where, how, when, and what ramifications streetcar caused in Portland, I'd be abliged to talk history with you.  Although that's just the city I know.  I do know Tucson, San Diego, and other cities experienced the same "if you build it, they will come" success stories.

    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 4:50pm
    @jesse all the places you cite already have population. Tacoma needs more people for population density to grow. If we rely on simple movement some Tacoma areas will lose population. And...I have lived in Tucson twice over the past 12 years...there is no rail, train, pt of note except a trolley that runs around the bar district next to the university???

    by tacoma_1 on 11/19/2012 @ 4:57pm
    Jesse. Portland received a lot of federal funding for their streetcars, and have a powerful senator that helped them get it. They didn't fund it all by themselves. 

    And last time I was in Portland, they had lots of buses and streetcars. Seattle has lots of buses, and is just now building out streetcars.

    Tacoma hasn't even fully funded its bus system yet.  We aren't gonna get the Feds feeling like handing out cash for a new streetcar system until we pay for the basics first. 

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 5:11pm
    Even if it were available, federal cash isn't going to turn Tacoma into Portland.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/19/2012 @ 5:24pm
    So it appears that we have a nearly unanimous consensus on feedtacoma today.

    >Most of the transit supporters think that a TBD for a streetcar network won't work, and the transit opponents aren't suddenly on board to raise sales taxes, and lic tab fees, and property taxes. Which is what it would take.

    Who knew that we could actually agree on something. 

    by Jesse on 11/19/2012 @ 7:13pm
    This prop 1 opponent said nothing about being opposed to property tax increases.  Jeez, I get that you supporters are pissed about it not passing but get over it.  It's over.  So youre willing to give up on all transit including streetcar because you're mad?  Insane.  I'm personally FOR other tax adjustments for transit - just not a 10% sales tax.

    How about tolls or parking stall taxes at big box store parking lots?  Hell, we need a bus to get from one gigantic parking lot at a store to another in Tacoma as there's almost nowhere else to shop now, ironically, since streetcar doesn't exist.

    And, cissero - Portland has density downtown because of streetcar.  There was nothing nothing nothing in the pearl district before streetcar was there.  The city actually had faith and followed city planning rules to pull that off.  Pearl exists practically exclusively because of streetcar.  As well, so does south downtown where the skycar goes.  It was a lumber holding yard.  Now there's skyscrapers with condos in them.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 7:22pm
    people who want magic streetcars and are unwilling to pay for basic bus service, remember to ask Santa for street cars too.

    Miracles can happen, just like virgins having babies.

    by Jesse on 11/19/2012 @ 7:31pm
    If youre talking to me RR, maybe you should retread my posts.  You aren't comprehending anything.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 7:34pm
    Santa is the only one we should be worrying about comprehending things.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 7:40pm
    maybe we can all buy a copy of "THE SECRET"  you know that book with the philosophy where you wish for something hard and long enough it comes true. 

    of course my father in law would say 'you can wish in one hand  and poop in the other and seee which hand fills faster' 

    anyway... like npr was saying  street cars are a nice dream but they come to communities who support transit.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 7:41pm
    how about a 1,000,000,000 dollar car tab fee? 

    to build a time machine back to the 1930's  and trick tacomanians into not pulling up their street car rolling stock.

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 8:11pm
    "street cars are a nice dream but they come to communities who support transit."
    maybe you aren't aware, but Tacoma supports transit already. we pay .6% to support Pierce Transit and another .9% (i believe) to support Sound Transit. This totals 1.5% sales tax. That's pretty generous IMO. That generates about $100,000,000 per year. Liberals like you just can't stop looking a gift horse in the mouth. Sad really, I hope you can get over that some day.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 8:15pm
    good point, besides people in puyallup are content with their sky pod people mover.

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 8:41pm
    People in Puyallup may like a .6% transit system just fine with no added sales tax. Can't blame them. In a down economy such tax increases are especially hard on lower income folks. I wouldn't want to make like harder on the poorest people, would you?
    Meanwhile back at Pierce Transit:

    "Damn voters, can't they see that I have payments to make on my second home and my jet skiis?

    "So true, and just yesterday I noticed the ashtray was getting dirty in my BMW, time to trade it in. That tax increase would have been nice"

    "My friends, it really hits my family hard. We were planning on a two month trip to monaco this winter and now it looks like we are going to trim it back to just 7 1/2 weeks."

    "Guess we're going to have to cut some services so we can free up some spending money....whoa...where's the time going...I have to be at my tee time at Chambers Bay in just 15 minutes...see ya."

    by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 9:02pm
    must use a high quality fertilizer for so fertile an imagination so divorced from reality.

    do you drip liquid tagro in your ears at night?

    by low bar on 11/19/2012 @ 10:13pm
    "In a down economy such tax increases are especially hard on lower income folks."

    No killing their only transportation is a much better idea. Or as Mofo would say, their freedom to move.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/19/2012 @ 10:28pm
    Most people will never get motivated to work for the chance to ride public transportation. However, they will work for the chance to lie to a car salesman about their ability to buy a more expensive car than they can afford.

    by JesseHillFan on 11/19/2012 @ 10:30pm
    Look at the pictures of those cars in today's rain.Lot's of flooded and destroyed Earth harming motor vehicles Even some Tacoma pictures too Yeah!.www.komonews.com/news/local/Photos-Storm...

    by fredo on 11/19/2012 @ 11:24pm
    "No killing their only transportation is a much better idea. Or as Mofo would say, their freedom to move."

    I never saw any study that all the poor people are dependent on Pierce Transit. I've been pretty poor at times in my life and I always made sure I had a working car. Cars are much better for workers than transit in most cases. When you depend on yourself to get to work on time you get there on time. With public transportation you just don't have any control and are frequently late. That's just the way it is.

    by Xenobion on 11/20/2012 @ 12:17am
    As a Transportation Planner in Tacoma the failure of Prop 1 is terrible.  Grant funding for transit isn't going to be able to be matched for things like light rail if we aren't taxing our full authority behind now a double prop failure.  At best Tacoma will get a Salishan line on the LINK because of how attractive it is for affordable housing.  But don't expect to get your 6th Ave or even Medical Mile line to compete in the economy of grants these days.Second, I must comment on how misguided an idea that funding light rail as a supplement for the county's needs as described in this article.  Tacoma really can't go it alone and a streetcar does nothing for Puyallup or Gig Harbor or what remains of taxable districts under Pierce Transit.  A street car expansion will only exist as long as there is a healthy bus system.  Look to BART, METRO, MTA... You're not getting light rail unless you have transit to supplement it properly.  I sit on the PSRC Sound Transit South Sound board and its not coming from Federal Way until at least 2024. So stop waiting around for it to solve your problems now.  We don't need more ridership as a solution, who cares if more people ride the street car, it is only a 1/5 of the revenue generated under Pierce Transit.  We need either a new taxing authority or a supplement to carry us through the bad economy.

    by Erik on 11/20/2012 @ 1:18am
    So, you CAN be against Prop 1 and FOR streetcars.  Can you grasp why?

    Using Tacoma's limited tax money to revitalize Tacoma's mixed use centers through the restoration of streetcars connecting different parts of Tacoma makes more sense than adopting the highest tax rate in the state merely to subsidize remote suburban transit routes.

    Working to restore Tacoma's Street cars also makes sense as Sound Transit has been collecting Tacoma ta funds for 4 years now.

    There is only so much public funds available for transit and I don't see how it makes sense for Tacomans to subsidize people who wants to live in the remote areas of Pierce County. Hence, Tacoma has been eviscerated population wise and Pierce County is an out of control sprawl.

    Here is a good first step for Sound Transit: connect the current LINK with Stadium District, a mere one half mile of track required to connect one of the most high density areas of the City of Tacoma with downtown. Then at least some progress can be made.

    The residents there have already signaled their support as have many other neighborhoods.


    The next route can be determined by looking at the number of people who would be connected in relation to the length of track required.

    by low bar on 11/20/2012 @ 1:58am
    "We need either a new taxing authority or a supplement to carry us through the bad economy."

    The economy is bad because people aren't getting paid. People aren't getting paid bc all the wealth is being concentrated. If all the wealth is being concentrated, people can't afford things. If people can't afford things, business doesn't make sales. Cars don't sell. Homes don't sell, nothing sells.

    The solution is not going to come from the private sector. Their logic simply isn't mathematically competent. If people can't ride transport to get to work, then they won't be making any money to buy stuff. They won't be contributing to the treasury. If people could afford cars, and that which goes along with cars which is expensive maintenance cost, sky high astronomical fuel costs, outlandish insurance policies based on their records, and what ever else you can think of, then they would drive cars. But reality is different. And those who don't want to see reality, will speak in unreal terms. I point to minds such as Mofo and Fredo.

    No offense but you guys are going to face the music one day, in this world or the next. Your irresponsible language only highlights your equally faulty constitutions as the very citizens you accuses as having such.

    America isn't defined by what isn't possible, but what is, and those that have stood historically on the wrong side of the people's needs have surrendered to those needs of the people time and time again.

    Tacoma, you want to know why your city stumbles? Just look at the monkey wrenches that visit this board. Monkeys. Not men. Men don't make a mess of their homes. Monkeys do.

    by low bar on 11/20/2012 @ 2:21am
    This is the economic reality of our times.

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 5:19am
    "Grant funding for transit isn't going to be able to be matched for things like light rail if we aren't taxing our full authority behind now a double prop failure."

    What grants won't we get?

    Where does it say we won't get them?

    I thought the federal government was under orders to cut expenses. Isn't the renowned cost-cutter Patty Murray in charge of cutting federal spending? Isn't she widely regarded as one of the finest minds and most capable members of the Senate? Didn't President Obama just give millions to Mayor Strickland to prop up our flailing city budget?

    Regarding the taxing authority limit of .9% being referred to. That limit is more of a suggested limit, it's not a constitutional limit. The underlying RCW describes how this "limit" can be increased.

    The voters have spoken, they don't want to be taxed at the .9% "limit."

    Grow up and take it like a man.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/20/2012 @ 7:39am
    a famous astronaut once said: you blew it up. god damn you. god damn you to hell!

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/20/2012 @ 7:59am
    "The solution is not going to come from the private sector."--low bar on 11/20/12@1:58am

    Well friend, if the capitalists are not funding reality then who is?

    by Xenobion on 11/20/2012 @ 9:21am
    Erik: The third phase of TIGER grants is complete.  There is little new money coming outside of the stimulus.  MAP-21 really provides little other than regulatory oversight by the FTA on light rail.  Nothing really new there.
    Don't get me wrong.  Tacoma should continue to expand in whatever capacity it can the light rail system but again it is no panacea to current transportation needs in the short term.
    The LINK and Prop 1 shouldn't even be compared as viable alternatives.  The reason we subsidize the exurbs is because Tacoma has the jobs and if Tacoma or any other major city wants to grow they will continue to do this.
    I can't help but think of Lyle Lanley peddling the monorail to this current comparison that all our transportation woes are going to be solved with a .5 mile stretch of the LINK to stadium.  It isn't. 
    Fredo:  You typically need a 10-20% match to get those funds and they are also typically biased toward high speed rail rather than street cars.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/20/2012 @ 9:27am
    I love people who know what the fuck they're talking about.

    down in flames  fredo & urbanist.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/20/2012 @ 9:29am
    good luck Pierce Transit! 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 9:31am
    I know what I'm talking about.
    Voters said NO to Prop 1.

    by Erik on 11/20/2012 @ 9:48am
    Thanks for weighing in Xenbion. 

    I can't help but think of Lyle Lanley peddling the monorail to this current comparison that all our transportation woes are going to be solved with a .5 mile stretch of the LINK to stadium.

    Of course not. No one is suggesting that the .5 LINK extension is going to solve the transit issues in Tacoma.

    However, while Seattle is adding one Streetcar extension after another, Tacoma has not added a foot of track in 8 years. Tacoma has to start somewhere and there is always the first set of track that needs to be laid down first.

    I like the LINK extension to Stadium as an example though because it offers an opportunity to connect a great many people for a relatively low cost.

    The LINK and Prop 1 shouldn't even be compared as viable alternatives.

    I agree that a streetcar system cannot completely replace Pierce Transit. However, a streetcar system could be part of a good transit system and could be more Tacoma focused.

    They could take up significant capacity and as noted above, streetcars have higher ridership rates, leading to a more successful transit system:

    Opponents of light rail transit (LRT) – in Austin as well as in other cities – repeatedly claim that, as a supposedly cheaper alternative, "buses will do the job". in a makeover currently in vogue, so-called "Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) (a moniker applied to almost any upgrade from regular, slow, local street-bus service) is promoted by both the Federal Transit Administration and various highway-industry interests and their retinue purportedly as a way to get the service levels and passenger attractiveness of LRT as significantly lower cost.

    But, as Light Rail Progress has consistently demonstrated, in almost every case, the substance of these claims dissolves upon closer examination. in particular, for similar types and levels of service, the capital costs of BRT are quite close to (often even greater than) those of LRT. Pittsburgh's new West Busway, for example, is costing in the vicinity of $60 million per mile (for a route predominately on the surface in former railroad right-of-way) – from 1.5 to three times the typical cost of LRT.

    Another major rebuttal to the BRT argument is the tremendous cost advantage of LRT: For the same basic character of service, LRT tends to perform at a significantly lower cost per passenger and/or passenger-mile than does the bus. A major factor in LRT's cost advantage – and its appeal to the public, transportation planners, and decisionmakers alike – is light rail's power to attract more passengers than buses. As we've previously noted that, since the 1970s, the steep decline in US transit ridership had been reversed:


    by JesseHillFan on 11/20/2012 @ 10:01am
    Fredo you earlier stated that sales tax brought Pierce Transit around $100,000,000 yearly.That is not so according to their revenues.If it were there would be no need to raise the sales tax rate.www.piercetransit.org/prop1/

    by Erik on 11/20/2012 @ 10:08am
     We don't need more ridership as a solution, who cares if more people ride the street car, it is only a 1/5 of the revenue generated under Pierce Transit.

    Tacoma citizens should care because ridership level is a measure of success for transit.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/20/2012 @ 10:09am
    fredo shoots from the hip when facts are in play.  the urbanist is a victim of the scratched CD feedback loop & copy/paste keyboard function.  

    I trust the transit wonks who actually use transit.

    even so,


    by cisserosmiley on 11/20/2012 @ 10:13am
    If rail was installed here it would have to be a "hell on wheels" scenario where we started at 6th X Mildred building east, while starting at stadium building west. The two 6th ave tracks would meet at union and we could have a promontory point style spike driving right at the site of the original street car run. 

    by Xenobion on 11/20/2012 @ 10:47am
    Erik:  the title of your article is the misnomer.  We should be able to focus on both light rail and bus transit.  I think most here like light rail but we should not confuse the debate of prop 1 to be a mandate to go it alone and create light rail infrastructure as an FU to the rest of the county.  
    Second, my comment on ridership was in reference to funding transit.  You'll obviously want ridership but when it comes to Pierce Transit's funding structure it is limited to facilitating expanding the transportation network when it accounts for 20% of funding.
    In my humble opinion Snohomish, Pierce, and King bus transit should be combined under PSRC's and Sound Transit's taxing authority and efficiency.  Similar steps are being made in the Bay Area with Caltrans and other transportation authorities. A regional system is cheaper and more efficient to operate.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/20/2012 @ 11:10am
    Erik, per passenger costs of light rail are less, but it really helps if there is a viable feeder network - which is why I've been in support of creating a grid system in Tacoma.  The operational savings that you find in light rail or any rapid transit mode are found in the capacity of the vehicles and priority speed elements you add to right of way.  But without either nearby high levels of residential density or feeder networks, you don't get the ridership and the lower passenger costs to materialize as easily.

    I think that it is worth noting that the article that you're quoting is comparing the benefits of implementing bus rapid transit versus streetcar/light rail --- on top of an existing transit network.  The issue of whether there should be a local bus system is not discussed... it's assumed that a feeder network will exist for either new mode.

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 12:23pm
    "Fredo you earlier stated that sales tax brought Pierce Transit around $100,000,000 yearly." JHF

    No, I didn't.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/20/2012 @ 4:58pm
    It sure appears as u did.  Not that it really matters though 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 5:13pm

    copy and paste it so I can see

    by tacoma_1 on 11/20/2012 @ 5:26pm
    U added ST and PT together as if local transit and regional transit is one entity.  Even though they serve two completely separate purposes and are two completely separate agencies. 

    Plus u provide no citation for your numbers so the number you come up with is meaningless.

    It's a misrepresentation of the facts. Your specialty, which is why I said that it appears that u said it. 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 5:41pm
    You misrepresent stuff all the time. In another thread you claimed that the CITY IGA store wouldn't open unless the city put in a transit stop. I asked you to prove that and you never did. 

    But since you are in a foul mood I never said that ST and PT weren't separate agencies. I said that the taxpayer support of these agencies proved that local taxpayers in tacoma are a "community which supports transit." I estimate that Tacomans are paying a minimum of $100,000,000 per year on these two transit providers. Enough is enough.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/20/2012 @ 5:56pm
    Your estimates are meaningless without supporting data. The ST budget covers 3 counties, not just Tacoma and PTs budget covers most of Pierce County, not just Tacoma. 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 6:16pm
    This isn't a peer reviewed academic discussion but just a local opinion blog, Nobody needs to provide "supporting data." 

    .. but since you've got your panties in a bunch I'll get the data and provide it to you. In the meantime maybe you could dig up that proof that tacoma put in a transit stop in order to satisfy a requirement by CITY IGA. 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 6:34pm
    Here's your supporting data, tacoma1:

    2010 Pierce Transit sales tax revenue= $65,338,852
    2010 Sound Transit sales tax revenue (Pierce County subarea only)=$100,227,000

    total 2010 transit contribution via sales tax (tacoma area)= $165,565,852.00 

    I guess my estimate was a little low. Apparently Tacoma supports transit a lot more than I thought.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/20/2012 @ 6:54pm
    Still no citation fredo. And u r using Pierce Counties numbers for Pierce Transit. Not Tacoma's.

    by low bar on 11/20/2012 @ 7:27pm
    "Well friend, if the capitalists are not funding reality then who is?" -- Mofo

    The "purchasing power" of the middle class funds reality. Anyone with a college level understanding of economics knows this, Mofo. 

    Read some Nick Hanauer and get with the program. 

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 7:30pm
    All figures are from the respective websites 2010 budget spreadsheets. 

    How much of the $165M is Tacoma and how much is outside Tacoma? There's no way to tell,

    That's why I estimated Tacoma at $100M.

    The figures tend to show that the Tacoma area supports transit, wouldn't you agree?

    by fredo on 11/20/2012 @ 7:32pm

    Still no evidence of that transit stop that you claimed the city put in for the CITY IGA.  

    How much longer do we need to wait?

    by JesseHillFan on 11/21/2012 @ 3:36pm
    It seems that streetcars are not energy efficient enough in terms of true sustainability with our current Earth population.This was my inquiry. "So today, electric rail transit is only perhaps about 25% more energy efficient than the auto-SUV in urban use"



    Main article


    Maybe a electrical motorized Velomobile (or heavier but safer Pod) that can act as a handcar (use both streets,roads,highways and rail too)


    It's not acceptable unless it gets at least 300 MPGe


    by Jesse on 11/21/2012 @ 3:59pm
    "Still no evidence of that transit stop that you claimed the city put in for the CITY IGA." -- fredo

    Everyone knows that transit stop was put there for the IGA... even you.

    by fredo on 11/21/2012 @ 4:31pm
      Everyone knows that transit stop was put there for the IGA... even you." jesse

    It sounds preposterous.

    But tacoma_1 said he could prove it. I'm still waiting for the "proof." But since you sound convinced, why don't you provide the proof that tacoma_1 is reluctant to provide.

    I don't care who provides the proof.

    by Jesse on 11/21/2012 @ 4:53pm

    "Putnam thanked the city for its role in setting the stage for the grocery deal, namely allowing a controversial lease to go forward in 2009 for office space on the ground floor; pushing to install a new Link light rail stop on Commerce Street..." -- TNT

    by fredo on 11/21/2012 @ 6:05pm

    It does suggest some connection, but it doesn't say the CITY IGA required a transit stop. It sounds like something the city wanted so that Pacific Plaza in GENERAL would be more attractive to retailers. I didn't see any evidence that the IGA required it.

    by fredo on 11/21/2012 @ 6:20pm

    Jesse, thanks for your research and have a nice thanksgiving!

    by JesseHillFan on 11/21/2012 @ 7:24pm
    The answer is not streetcars (trams) or other public transportation unless it meets say a 300 MPGe goals per rider but a mandatory forced fuel rationing of a maximum of 1 gallon of fossil type fuels per week per driver/owner and a $10 carbon tax added.Also there should be a forced rationing of kilowatt hours plus a carbon tax added based upon source.Businesses that use heavy material resources should also be forcibly much more limited and highly taxed too.
    Yes economies should be vastly downsized forcibly for the protection of the Earth and it's species as you can't have any economy or life on a dead planet.
    Most people would disagree though as it would drastically lower their greedy selfish lifestyle.That's what at bayonet point means.
    They can be made to forcibly comply and be re-educated in camps.

    by Maria on 11/21/2012 @ 7:43pm
    Even though there are some digressions, this is a good discussion.

    I wish the transit vote had passed, but since it didn't, the county/city perhaps can find other ways to maintain some transit funding.

    Perhaps (wishful thinking) Pierce Transit would consider executive wage cuts and re-negotiation of union contracts to save money that way (salaries are the bulk of their budget). Seeing the situation at Hostess (where executives were asking for bonuses even while filing for bankruptcy, and the baker's union was reluctant to budge, even to save the company)--I find that unlikely.

    Streetcars would be wonderful, but that'll be years and years off in the future. In the meantime, people need to get to school and work. Somehow we need to maintain bus funding as much as possible and start working on the 10 & 20 year transit plans, incl. streetcars and such.

    Lastly, what we need, more than streetcars or condos or art funding, is jobs and businesses--which provides the cash flow for these things. I guess the hard thing is, great housing and culture and a good public transit system are what helps attract employers. It's sort of a catch-22. But more people living and working downtown will help increase revenues and the taxation base of Pierce Transit. So maybe it's a matter of slow and steady progress in a broad direction...some setbacks esp. during economic downturns...but continuing to improve streets, education, fiscal responsibility, livability/walkability, retail, etc.

    by fredo on 11/21/2012 @ 8:26pm
    I offered to help organize a volunteer built streetcar line. You people who are waiting for Obama to send us a billion or waiting for the taxpayers in the area to lose their minds and vote for a huge tax increase to fund these streetcar build outs are never going to live long enough to see any of it. Your only hope is to sign on to fredos volunteer built line.

    Cissero was the only person who offered to help me.

    I estimate that 2000 volunteers could build a line. There would be 10 crews of 200 volunteers working a four hour shift once per week UNPAID. The taxpayers would pay the foreman and the engineers and provide materials. We would ask local companies to furnish heavy equipment as needed.

    by Mofo from the Hood on 11/21/2012 @ 8:56pm
    Heavy rail is what the people want. I say run the Sounder up 6th Avenue.