KFnet in T-Town

Jan. 11, 2012 at 7:18am

Tacoma Tip #4 - Down in the Docks

Take Dock Street for a waterfront bypass of Pacific Ave downtown.

Many of us are huge fans of urban density and promoting getting out around our bustling business districts. But with a more lively downtown comes a cacophony that it's sometimes nice to seek refuge from -- even when just passing through. Next time you want a break try avoiding the blink-and-you'll-miss-it speed of 705 and instead go Dock Street. It's an easy alt route from Old Town and from I-5 heading to the North End (just take the 26th Street off-ramp from 705). Only one traffic light awaits you so, though a 25 MPH route, you'll rarely be stopped up for any reason.

Lovely views and landmarks await you down on Dock Street. The 21st St. bridge, Museum of Glass hotshop cone, the Murray Morgan Bridge, the historic old warehouses, trains, oh, and the often calm waters of the Thea Foss Waterway. It gets even better if you're on foot or bike with the windy promenade walkway weaving past the new park under the 21st St. bridge, outdoor Museum of Glass installations, and boats, boats and more boats!

Tacoma Tip is a weekly series for sharing the little tidbits that make living life here, for old timer's and newcomers alike, a little smoother. Have any tips you want shared? Email me!

comments [16]  |  posted under bypass, dock street, getting there, tacoma, tacoma tip, waterfront


by Jesse on 1/11/2012 @ 7:27am
Why 705? Why didn't they make dock street the through street instead? Then people would have to go through downtown and the water would be connected... I always thought that was weird.

by cisserosmiley on 1/11/2012 @ 7:39am
I love to take dock street, especially now that there is the railroad overpass at D and Puyallup ave.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 8:21am
At the time, there was still a pretty big rail yard by Union Station.

by KevinFreitas on 1/11/2012 @ 8:24am
Maybe we'll be able to rid ourselves of 705 someday. Still, over time hopefully we can be creative with how we better connect downtown to our waterfront. The Bridge of Glass helped (though the WSHM fence seemingly blocking it still doesn't) and hopefully the Prairie Line trail will do the same. Agreed though that the D Street overpass is a huge win (and has one of the best views of downtown, imho).

by Nick on 1/11/2012 @ 9:03am
Man, I love that park that sits under the bridge there (the pup does too). Definitely has a zen thing going for it...

by tacoma1 on 1/11/2012 @ 11:00am
Dock street is my secret route. Don't tell anyone 'bout it.

The 13 bus route is on dock street now too.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 11:14am
I like 705. It gets people off I-5 and into Tacoma easily and quickly. I well remember what life was like before it was built- trust me, 705 is a good thing for the city.

by tacoma1 on 1/11/2012 @ 12:32pm
It may be a good thing for folks that want to bypass downtown, but it is a shitty thing for the folks that live in North Tacoma/Old Town neighborhoods.

Because WSDOT can't seem to fix I-5/16, a lot of Gig Harbor residents use 705/schuster/30th/16 to bypass freeway congestion. Making Schuster unsafe and North Tacoma/Old Town too congested during rush hours.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 1:01pm
Actually, 705 a good way to get folks INTO downtown. Traffic studies have shown that what people generally want is easier ways to get closer to places, which is what 705 allows with its multiple exits right into the downtown corridor. This is a near ideal arrangement for commuters working or living downtown, and will easily support a much higher population density than downtown currently has

This accessibility was also one of the chief advantages of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle- it moves the traffic off of the surface streets to direct motorists closer to where they want to be. The problem is that the moment you exchange this limited-access accessibility for a bypass, you put the commute traffic back into the local traffic stream on the surface streets. When Seattle replaces the viaduct with the planned tunnel option, you will begin to see that very nightmare unfold. That tunnel will prove to be a huge mistake, and shows a distinct lack of vision regarding urban traffic planning.

Regarding Schuster Parkway - the parkway has always had that problem, as it is the access of least resistance. Problems occur where congestion is likely to occur, such as the pedestrian crossings at Old Town and the waterfront restaurants. Not much we can do about that, other than get 16 up and running.

(I studied this issue quite a bit in the late 80's and early 90's when I still thought I was going to go into local politics.)

by ixia on 1/11/2012 @ 1:11pm
Love to walk/bike that area. Once the open space water park by ABerg's will be done, this area will shine even more. The whole Dome District deserves a lot more love than it gets. A dream is to have a few green 'lids' over I-5, a bit like I-90 is covered in some areas. That could really connect McKinley with downtown.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 2:01pm
Yes, it would.

by KevinFreitas on 1/11/2012 @ 2:24pm
Wow, a lid over I-5 there would be incredible. Any local FeedTacoma artist types want to "Imagine" that up?

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 2:42pm
A lid there would certainly restore the old boundaries of McKinley Park, that's for sure. It would also provide a greenbelt from the LeMay corridor up through McKinley Park.

Where would the money come from? I know- from some of that 1.2 Trillion for "stimulus" infrastructure rennovation...

by KevinFreitas on 1/11/2012 @ 2:50pm
We could grow the lid from a weave of vines that, over time, would be the platform for other plant life, trees, animals, playground equipment, and visitors. ;) #terriformI5

by Maria on 1/11/2012 @ 3:22pm
Thanks for the tip. I always go back up to Pacific after visiting the Glass Museum...was wondering the last time if there was a way to bypass downtown traffic.

I need to just drive around there and familiarize myself with that area because it's a little confusing.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/11/2012 @ 3:38pm
That new bridge makes a world of difference.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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