Exit133 is about Tacoma
Coming to an Intersection Near You: Crosswalks!
Last year residents frustrated with Tacoma's pedestrian infrastructure (or maybe with the lack-thereof) expressed themselves in a way that City Manager TC Broadnax and others found unacceptable. The guerrilla crosswalks provoked threats of legal action, and brought out City street grinders, which (mostly) wiped away the unsanctioned street markings.
The conversation sparked by the illicit street markings and other citizen complaints seems to have had a more productive outcome. The City has allocated $2.5 million from its General Fund for a new Pedestrian Crossings Improvement Project to identify, evaluate, and construct pedestrian crosswalks and associated facilities across Tacoma. More specifically, about $300,000 will go to each of Tacoma's five council districts, and another $1 million will go to improvements in downtown Tacoma, to improve connectivity there.
The main focus of the project will be the installation of marked crosswalks, but associated improvements will be considered as well, including curb ramp and sidewalk construction, curbing and drainage improvements, limited paving, pedestrian activated crossing beacons, and accessibility upgrades at existing traffic signals.
How will Public Works decide which intersections will get the improvements? The decisions will be based in part on community priorities, as identified by both stakeholder groups including City commissions and citizen advisory groups, and through a series of public meetings. The City has already begun meeting with stakeholder groups, and is working on scheduling one meeting for each Council district to gather input on crossing improvement needs.
At last week's Council meeting, Councilmember Thoms shared that the meeting for his district was coming up on March 24, but so far we haven't seen a full schedule of meetings for the rest of Tacoma.
So, $300,000 for your neighborhood, plus $1 million for downtown connections - where would you like to see it spent?
UPDATED: Here's the list of upcoming "Talk the Walk" public meetings - your chance to tell the City where pedestrian crossing improvements are needed in Tacoma (read the full press release here):
Monday, March 24 - District 2 - Center at Norpoint Cascade Room - 4818 Nassau Ave. N.E.
Wednesday, March 26 - District 4 - Blix Elementary Library - 1302 E. 38th St.
Monday, March 31 - District 5 - Birney Elementary Library - 1202 S. 76th St.
Wednesday, April 2 - District 3 - Tacoma Public Utilities Building Auditorium - 3628 S. 35th St.
Wednesday, April 9 - Downtown - Main Library Branch - 1102 Tacoma Ave. S.
Thursday, April 10 - District 1 - Wilson High School Library - 1202 North Orchard St.
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