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Transportation Things We’re Thankful for

It’s not quite time for a year-end wrap up, but we thought the Thanksgiving season was the perfect time to share all of the completed and in-progress projects that we are excited about and grateful to see happening in our area.  Click the purple links in the text for more information about specific projects. 

We are thankful for…

…the elevation of people-powered transportation: 

    • For pedestrian crossing improvements city-wide, the City allocated $2.5 million city-wide ($1 million of that in downtown). Check out the map tool in the link to see if crossing improvements are coming to an intersection near you.
    • Area active transportation stakeholders are coming together to collaborate on promoting and advocating for people-powered transportation and connected bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as part of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative. This program came out of a 10-year and $10 million commitment by the Russell Family Foundation to bring different groups together to create active partnerships to protect the Puyallup River watershed.

… progress on multi-use trails:

    • In August, the City of Tacoma began construction on Phase 2 of the Historic Water Ditch Trail. Ultimately, when all four phases are complete, the Water Ditch Trail will be 6.5 miles long, and it will connect South Tacoma, downtown, the Tacoma Dome area and Thea Foss Waterway.

…more complete streets in the future:

…growing light rail:

    • The Tacoma Link expansion is underway. The likely alignment for the route up through Stadium and along MLK is in the environmental review and conceptual design phase. The Sound Transit Board is expected to select the final project to be built in Spring 2015, completing preliminary design with community outreach in Summer 2015.

…multi-modal passenger rail connections:

    • The Tacoma Amtrak Station will be moving to Freighthouse Square Station. This relocation, with construction probably 2016-2017, will make Amtrak trains more accessible by foot, bike, Link, and bus. This move is part of the larger Point Defiance Bypass project (planned for 2015-2017), which will increase the Amtrak Cascades route’s service and reliability.

…more built-in incentives for ridesharing:

    • Construction of HOV lanes on I-5 in Pierce County will extend the reach of HOV (high occupancy vehicle, or “carpool”) lanes and maximize the people-carrying capacity of the freeway by providing incentives to buses, vanpools, and carpools. Adding HOV lanes will improve the timeliness and efficiency of these high-capacity modes in our area. The first project in this endeavor is the section of I-5 from M Street Portland Ave, and involves closing and rebuilding the Pacific Avenue bridge, and once that is complete, repeating the process with the McKinley Way bridge. Construction should begin in late 2014 and is scheduled to last for 3 years.

That’s a lot to be thankful for! We’re excited for the fruition of all these projects, and look forward to the benefits they and many more to come will bring our area.

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