Pierce County Council Candidates Talk Transportation

We asked the Pierce County Council candidates to talk transportation in Pierce County.

This year, there are four Pierce County Council positions up for grabs. Decisions made at the county level can have a huge impact on what happens in Tacoma, particularly concerning transportation. This election has the potential to really shake up County Council, so it’s more important than ever to know the candidates’ positions.

We asked the candidates to answer 3 questions about transportation in Pierce County. They have been compiled into a series of short videos. Full transcripts of the videos are available via the link under each video.

Thank to you the candidates who participated in this video series!

Downtown On the Go is not endorsing any candidates. We aim to amplify the conversation around transportation in Pierce County by sharing the candidates’ responses. All eight candidates were asked to participate.

Find more information on the candidates on the Pierce County Auditor’s website.

Talk to the candidates for your district! Ask them about the things you care about, ask what they care about. Being an informed voter is important for Tacoma and Pierce County, so thank you for doing your part!

 

Sarah Rumbaugh, District 2

Transcript
www.sarahrumbaugh.com

 

Ryan Mello, District 4

Transcript
www.ryanmello.com

 

Jani Hitchen, District 6

Transcript
www.electjanihitchen.com

 

Jason Whalen, District 6

Transcript
www.whalenforcouncil.com

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New ways to Speak Up at Tacoma City Council

New ways to Speak Up at Tacoma City Council

Not sure how to connect with Tacoma City Council virtually? We’ve got you covered.

Join us for a virtual Speak Up training on Oct. 29. Learn how to give comment to Tacoma City Council even during COVID through three virtual opportunities: public comment, community forum, and virtual forum. We’ll also talk about the City’s budget process through the lens of walking, biking, and transit, and work to connect you with other Tacomans who share your passions. At the end, At-Large Councilmember Kristina Walker will answer questions about connecting with Council. There’s no better time to than now to Speak Up and make your voice heard!

Speak Up!
Oct. 29, 2020
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Join on Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85472162856
Meeting ID: 854 7216 2856

Add this event to your calendar: Outlook calendar, Google calendar

Facebook event page

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Pedal with Politicians video blog series is now available!

Over the last several weeks, some of your Tacoma City Council Members biked around Tacoma to get up close and personal with the existing (and missing) bike and trail networks in Tacoma. Since we can’t gather in person for a bike ride and discussion, their rides and stories are posted here as a video blog series, so you can see the routes and neighborhoods that your elected officials traveled, and get more familiar with infrastructure and opportunities for bike advocacy.

Chris Beale, Tacoma City Council – District 5, South Tacoma

 

John Hines, Tacoma City Council – District 1, North Tacoma

 

Catherine Ushka, Tacoma City Council – District 4, East Tacoma

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Annual Luncheon

Downtown On the Go Annual Luncheon | November 13, 2020 (12 – 1 p.m.) Register now!

Creating Connections for the Future 

Our transportation system depends on us. Downtown On the Go has worked together with our community and leaders to make it easier to walk, bike, and take transit for more than 10 years. And we can’t wait to share it with you at our annual luncheon and fundraiser on November 13, 2020.

This year we are going virtual and are joined by guest speaker Angie Schmitt, author of the new Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America.  Hear from her, as well as other local leaders and individuals as we dig in to health equity, racial justice, and infrastructure accessibility. Click here to purchase your copy of Angie’s book.

Support Downtown On the Go at the event or through our online auction, full of wonderful local items, starting on October 30, two weeks prior to the virtual event.

Title Mobility Sponsor: Korsmo Construction
Mode Sponsors: HDR, Maul Foster Alongi, WSP

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Light Up Your Ride

The air is crisp and the sky is grey –  that means Light Up Your Ride is right around the corner! Downtown On the Go wants to make sure you feel safe riding your bike in these fall and winter months, so we are handing out free bike lights on October 29 at Campfire Coffee from 4 – 6 p.m. Come support this new downtown business and get a free bike light!

The Pierce Transit Outreach team will be in attendance to share information about their bike-accessible Runner service.

Social distancing and face coverings will be required for all attendees.

We are very thankful to GeoEngineers for sponsoring this great event.

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Looking for our next leader

It is with sadness that Downtown On the Go says goodbye to our Executive Director Kristina Walker after nearly 10 years. But it is with excitement that we take the opportunity to look for our next executive director to lead and grow our organization into the NEXT 10 years.

Downtown On the Go, the transportation advocate and resource for downtown Tacoma, has grown from a tiny non-profit to a vital force in transportation advocacy and a known name on the streets for walk, bike, and transit events under Kristina’s leadership.  She will be missed, but we are confident she will do fantastic work in her new role on the Tacoma City Council, representing all of us!

Transportation advocacy and the way we design our cities has never been more important and we know that our next executive director will take on this challenge, with our fantastic staff, to create a Tacoma where all people are safe and welcome in our streets and where transportation options are connected, safe, and accessible.

The job posting is available here and will be open until filled, with the first review of applications on Oct. 19, 2020.

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Walk Tacoma: Stronger & Better Together with Tacoma Urban League

Take a virtual guided tour through Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and learn about locations that have had a significant impact on the people and culture through the years​, led by Lexis Withers, Assistant to the Tacoma Urban League President and CEO. The 1.7 mile walk, sponsored by Community Health Care and Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation COI, is available on the free GeoTourist app. The tour begins at People’s Park at S. 9th Street and Martin Luther King Jr Way.

The Hilltop area has a rich history of businesses, leaders, parks, community spaces and service organizations that have helped create a strong neighborhood to support the people who live there. The voices and advocacy efforts that stem from Hilltop have helped develop and support Black businesses and Black community members for decades. The Tacoma Urban League offers several programs, events and services to uplift the Black community and to showcase many of the businesses that serve Hilltop. Visit their website to learn how you can get involved.

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by MultiCare, is a five-event walking series. The fun, themed walks, now in their eleventh year, encourage people to enjoy downtown on foot by introducing new walking routes and sharing information about the community and its history through the guided tours. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 walks will be available virtually through the GeoTourist app.

For more information on the full Walk Tacoma Series visit www.downtownonthego.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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PARK(ing) Day Videos Are Now Available Online!

Online panels discussed the long-term benefits and ongoing work to bring equity to our streets on Sept. 18, 2020 to mark the annual, international PARK(ing) Day. Downtown On the Go was joined by community members and experts to talk about how we use our streets and open space and ultimately, how we can do better in including the community and creating people-centered spaces that allow all people to be safe. The goal of PARK(ing) Day is to “call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate discussion and debate around how public space is utilized, and to improve the quality of urban habitat.” Listen at the links below!

What is PARK(ing) Day and why does it matter? PARK(ing) Day is now nearly 15 years old – what is it and why do we keep doing it? How can we make changes in the right of way through the year and what policy changes are needed to make that happen?

Panelists:

  • Ari Lewkowitz, BLRB Architects
  • Commissioner Erik Hanberg, Metro Parks Tacoma
  • Josh Jorgensen, Tacoma Housing Authority

 

 

Open Streets for Transportation Closing streets to vehicle traffic and opening them to people-powered transportation has been popular around the country during COVID-19, and many cities have done regular Open Streets events throughout previous summers. What are the benefits to these one-time events and how can prohibiting vehicles support long-term change? How do we make these events and changes in an equitable way that makes them inviting and safe for all people.

Panelists:

  • Commissioner Patricia Flores, Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
  • Liz Kaster, City of Tacoma
  • Ben Han, City of Seattle
  • Nick Ray, Our Streets Minneapolis / Open Streets Minneapolis

 

Open Streets for Restaurants and Commerce The City of Tacoma released a pilot program this year to make it easier for businesses and restaurants to operate in the city right of way – on the sidewalk or the street. How has this program been going? How has it supported people and businesses? And how can we do more of this in the future?

Panelists:

  • Dr. Ruben Casas, Professor, UW Tacoma
  • David Schroedel, Downtown Tacoma Partnership
  • Jennifer Kammerzell, City of Tacoma

 

Whose streets? 2020 has highlighted the importance of streets for all. While we build opportunities for open streets and new accessible design, what are we doing to address racism, ableism, and agism in our streets? How can we address underlying systems of inequity with street design? Can we?

Panelists:

  • Emily Calhoun, Commission on Immigrant & Refugee Affairs
  • Troy Christensen, Executive Director, Rainbow Center
  • Blake Geyen, Transportation & Accessibility Advocate
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Walk Tacoma: Puyallup Tribe Walk in Downtown Tacoma

Take a virtual guided tour through downtown Tacoma and hear how the Puyallup Tribe has interacted with the land and the city throughout the generations​, led by Charlotte Basch, the Historic Education Coordinator for the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The two-mile walk, sponsored by KPG and Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation COI, is available on the free GeoTourist app. The tour begins and ends in Tollefson Plaza at S. 17th Street and Pacific Avenue.

Tacoma has been home to the Native peoples since time immemorial. Prior to the European settlement, the Puyallup Tribe lived in villages from the foothills of Mount Rainier along the rivers, creeks and prairies to the shores and islands of the Puget Sound. The area along the Tacoma waterfront was once the site of one of the Puyallup Tribe’s major villages. Oral history and recent archaeological evidence tells us that the City of Tacoma was built on the remains of the Puyallup Tribe ancestors’ villages. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe’s history, and specifically how their peoples are connected to downtown Tacoma. To save time on the tour after downloading the GeoTourist app, create an account, and save the tour to the app.  The tour will be available to you whenever you’re ready!

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by MultiCare, is a five-event walking series. The fun, themed walks, now in their eleventh year, encourage people to enjoy downtown on foot by introducing new walking routes and sharing information about the community and its history through the guided tours. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 walks will be available virtually through the GeoTourist app.

For more information on the full Walk Tacoma Series visit www.downtownonthego.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Park(ing) Day 2020

Due to COVID-19, our typical Park(ing) Day event is not possible but we have the same goal:

To call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate discussion and debate around how public space is utilized, and to improve the quality of urban habitat.

This year, we’ll be coming to you live for an online conversation about public space in a time of COVID-19.

Videos for all panel discussions will be available soon right here on our website. Stay tuned!

10 a.m. What is Park(ing) Day and why does it matter? Park(ing) Day is now nearly 15 years old – what is it and why do we keep doing it? How can we make changes in the right of way through the year and what policy changes are needed to make that happen?

(The 11 a.m. panel has been rescheduled. New details coming soon!)
11 a.m. Whose streets? 2020 has highlighted the importance of streets for all. While we build opportunities for open streets and new design, what are we doing to address racism and ageism in our streets? How can we address underlying systems of inequity with street design?

Noon Open Streets for Transportation Closing streets to vehicle traffic and opening them to people-powered transportation has been popular around the country during COVID-19, and many cities have done regular Open Streets events throughout previous summers. What are the benefits to these one-time events and how can prohibiting vehicles support long-term change.

1 p.m. Open Streets for Restaurants and Commerce The City of Tacoma released a pilot program this year to make it easier for businesses and restaurants to operate in the city right of way – on the sidewalk or the street. How has this program been going? How has it supported people and businesses? And how can we do more of this in the future.

Park(ing) Day is sponsored by Metro Parks Tacoma, BLRB and BCRA.

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