Aug. 4, 2009 at 11:19am

Sign the Sound Transit Petition!

(Among other things...)

There is an online petition going around designed to encourage Sound Transit to rethink its design for the future Sounder route through downtown. I'm sure most of us are quite familiar with this issue, and I imagine those that have are not particularly happy about it. If you love Tacoma as much as I do, I encourage you to go sign it: 

just sign it.

I want to continue the discussion because I think this issue goes beyond just scarring our downtown. To me it touches on a deeper issue with Tacoma's relationship to the region. Despite being the second most populous city in this state, it seems to me that Tacoma is often treated as just another suburb orbiting Seattle.

This has been especially true with the way in which Sound Transit and other public agencies have planned and built regional infrastructure. I'm not talking about the amount public dollars spent, but rather how those public dollars are spent. The The amount of public funds spent in the Tacoma area are arguably proportionate for its size. Sound Transit's "Subarea Equity" is an excellent example of this.

Yet with all these funds, everything that is built seems to face northward. The planned berm slicing through downtown Tacoma is an example of our local funds being spent for a project that helps Seattle's economy more than ours (or for the region at large). Don't get me wrong, I love Seattle and think it's a fantastic city. The problem is, I don't live there. I live here. Why cant my tax dollars be spent in a way that supports Tacoma's economy? Why is it that such a large city receives no more consideration or attention than a flyspeck of a town skirting the Seattle proper?

Enough of my rant - what are my fellow FeedTacomans' perspectives? Tell me I'm wrong, tell me I'm right, or tell me I'm nuts (just be sure you explain why!).

comments [10]  |  posted under petition, rants, sound transit, tacoma


by NineInchNachos on 8/4/2009 @ 11:27am
We need 1000 signatures... What would Tim Eyman do?

Maybe Do It Right Tacoma should sponsor a chalk off?

by The Jinxmedic on 8/4/2009 @ 11:38am
I'm not against the rail link- I believe that line is ultimately vital to the future of the region. HOWEVER that being said, why do they want to build the equivalent of the Berlin wall through the dome district? It makes no sense, especially when the whole Tacoma master plan is designed to link the major districts together with the streetcar system, and that the Dome district is very walkable at present. That will come to a screeching halt with THE BERM.
An elevated (or partially elevated at least) line through the dome district would pretty well solve all those problems. Wait- I'll bet it's the dirt lobby....

by ixia on 8/4/2009 @ 11:45am
Slag disposal....

by NineInchNachos on 8/4/2009 @ 11:58am
I like trains, just not berms

by NineInchNachos on 8/4/2009 @ 12:06pm
Also I would like to point out that The Jinxmedic is one of the smartest people I know. His opinion has weight!

by jenyum on 8/4/2009 @ 1:24pm
I'm trying to visualize this. The Sound Transit project map is one of those street-less transit maps that is of no help whatsoever in actually understanding where you are in a city.

Does this look accurate? Where should I move the lines?


How will it actually cross Pacific?

by boearc on 8/4/2009 @ 2:02pm
Jenyum - what is missing in the berm or beam discussion is exactly what is happening at Pacific Avenue (in fact the last walk-about with Pat McCarthy last week didn't even go over to Pacific!). Because Sound Transit has to design a rail line that needs to get under I-705 and then utlimately meet-up with the track elevation at 'M' Street up in Nalley Valley, the new track line will actually cross Pacific Avenue about 8 feet above the existing pavement. So - once Southbound traffic crosses the bLINK lines at S. 25th Street, they have to immediately drop at a significant slope (like N. 30th in Old Town steep) to get under this rail crossing and the associated structure - to a total depth below existing grade of 16 feet and taking the South Tacoma Way intersection down with it. And then the roadway has to start screaming up to meet the bridge elevation over I-5. All because the City Council a number of years ago directed Sound Transit to have a separated crossing at Pacific. Now I would understand that concern if Pacific was going to the only at-grade crossing - but they are all going to be at grade through Tacoma - East D (where the kiddies are going to the Monster Truck show), East C, Pine, S. 56th, S. 74, etc.... and with trains that are going really fast - not slowing down or speeding up to leave a station. The construction costs are high and going higher - so why not revisit the at-grade? - makes the berm/beam less, saves money on relocating infrastructure, lot easier and faster to construct (so less disruption to the Dome District) and at the end of the day keeps the integrity (sic) of Pacific Avenue and the Dome District reasonably intact. I guess it might take some imagining.

by NineInchNachos on 8/4/2009 @ 2:27pm
Go Boe!

by NineInchNachos on 8/4/2009 @ 4:42pm
David Boe, please put a link to the petition on whatever Imagine Tacoma post you come up with at exit133. DIRT needs all the help it can get.

by boearc on 8/4/2009 @ 6:08pm
I was thinking of developing it in chalk...


I'm just a computer geek that has fallen in love with Tacoma.

So, what's almost as fun as sitting in front of a computer all day? Talking about the growth and development of a new Tacoma, duh!

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