Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Transportation' (54) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 54

June 21, 2011 at 9:44am

5 Things to Do Today: Chris Anderson, drinking games, Sixth Avenue Farmers Market, Go Skate Tacoma!

Chris Anderson

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011 >>>

1. Lookout! Modern day crooner Chris Anderson performs tonight at the Red Wind Casino. You could lose money, and your heart ...

2. Tonight is a huge night for trivia around the South Sound. Drinking and question answering can be had at the Swiss, Farelli's in Tacoma and Sumner, Paddy Coyne's, the Hub ... and the list goes on. Or, the Midland Tavern (Lil' Vic's) in Tacoma offers "Crazy Vegas Barstool Bingo" - which has to be awesome, right?

3. Drop in on the Tacoma Sixth Avenue Farmers Market from 3 - 7 p.m. This is a farmers market better suited for the late-sleepers - something we can totally get behind.

4. Tuesday always means comedy at Jazzbones, hosted by local laugh-man Ralph Porter. After the giggles, keep the party going at Jazzbones with DJ Omar.

5. Hey! Go Skate Tacoma!

LINK: South Sound Live Local Music Listings

LINK: Viva South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

June 17, 2011 at 1:57pm

Go Skate Tacoma

SKATEBOARDING: It sometimes scares old people


Tacoma's street skateboarders know what it means to be shunned. Whether it's getting yelled at by shopkeepers or handed tickets from the police, the message to the city's kickflippers has been clear for years:

Go home. Tacoma doesn't want you or your stinking skateboard.

But ever-so-slowly, Tacoma is rolling back its harsh stance on skateboarding. In 2009, the City of Tacoma authorized the removal of hundreds of metal skateboard stoppers from Thea's Park, essentially legalizing skating within the park's boundaries. Earlier this month, the city took steps to change a decades-old ban on using a skateboard as a transportation device in the downtown area.

And on June 21, hundreds of Tacoma skateboards will crowd Tollefson Plaza in celebration of the world-wide Go Skateboarding Day. The event in Tacoma is appropriately titled Go Skate Tacoma. Skateboarders of all ages can enjoy pop shuvits down the stairs, grinds on the boxes and cruising the smooth ground without fear of retribution from the dreaded Five-O. In fact, Tacoma Police will be on hand to make sure the one-day event, Go Skate Tacoma, runs smoothly.

Go Skate Tacoma coordinator Ben Warner hopes a successful event in Tollefson Plaza on June 21 will go a long way toward changing common misconceptions about skateboarders.

"Along with the skaters, we're also trying to invite community members to come down and see what skateboarding is all about," says Warner. "Hopefully we can eliminate some of the negative connotations about skateboarders."

To read Brett Cihon's full story click here.

[Tollefson Plaza, Go Skate Tacoma with Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Music by Red Hex, Wheelies, Si Si Si, June 21, 2 - 10 p.m., Free, All Ages, Commerce St. and S. 17th St., Tacoma]

February 9, 2011 at 4:49pm

Our Buses: Lost?


Pierce County residents decided to reject Proposition 1, a decision that officials say will result in reduced transit services throughout the county beginning as early as July. Roughly 55 percent of voters chose to reject to measure. Perhaps more disturbing, only 33% percent of Pierce County's registered voters bothered to vote in decision that has big ramifications for our community.

Organizers of the Save Our Buses campaign, which encouraged voters to approve the measure, were disappointed but not shocked by the results.

"It was a tax increase in an anti-tax climate," explains Save Our Buses campaign manager Justin Leighton.

Leighton attributes much of the loss to a self-serving mentality amongst voters who do not use public transit or live in parts of the county that receive limited or no service. "Many voters had a sentiment of ‘if I don't use it, why should I pay for it?" he says.

 "You often see a similar sentiment concerning school bonds," he explains. "Not everyone understands the overall benefit of education, and (they) say because they don't have a kid or relative in the system they don't want to pay for it."

The map linked below released by Gecommons.com and Chris Karnes shows the approve/reject trends throughout the county. Tacoma strongly supported the measure, as did the core are of Puyallup, and much of Lakewood. However, the sprawling suburban and rural areas of Pierce County overwhelming rejected it. 

"We won Tacoma by 55 percent but lost a lot of other areas by over 60 percent," explains Andrew Austin, Field Director for Transportation Choices Coalition and Steering Committee member of Save Our Busses. "The urban ‘yes' vote wasn't enough to offset the suburban ‘no' vote."

It is now inevitable that services will be cut, and Austin says that the voter map should be considered by the County as they prepare to make tough decisions about where and how they make cuts.

"This map shows who is willing to pay for transit services," he observes.  "I hope that using this (map) Pierce Transit will have a serious conversation about shrinking their boundaries to places where they can better service communities and people have indicated that they want it."


Pierce County Auditor's Special Election results

GeoCommons map breaking down the regional voting trends

January 20, 2011 at 4:26pm

Saving our buses is hard


It doesn't feel like the season for political mail, street signs, and phone banks, yet it is. As we highlighted previously, Pierce Transit services as we know them are in jeopardy. The approval of Prop 1 allows a 0.3 percent increase in the sales tax Pierce Transit currently collects. This would create $30 million a year in new revenue and help prevent massive cuts in Pierce Transit routes and services.

When we originally covered Prop 1 there was no opposition campaign. Since then one has been formed, and there are already allegations of foul play. Does it feel like October yet?

The Save Our Buses campaign to approve Proposition 1 filed a complaint Thursday with the Public Disclosure Commission concerning what they call "the opposing campaign's blatant disregard for compliance with election regulations."

 "The Reject Prop 1 campaign has clearly failed to be open and honest with the voters of Pierce County," says Andrew Austin, a Tacoma resident and Prop 1 steering committee volunteer. "With just more than three weeks until the Feb. 8 special election, Reject Prop 1 has failed to release basic information about its operation and has yet to report any contributions or expenditures."

All expenditures and contributions must be reported within 14 days time, but the PDC confirmed it has not yet received any such materials from the Reject Prop 1 campaign - despite evidence that financial investments were made more than 14 days ago.

The Save Our Buses campaign has complied with all PDC regulations regarding disclosures.

 "The opposing campaign is cynically covering up their identities and donors, while spreading deliberate misinformation about Prop 1," says Austin.  "Voters deserve to know what people or special interest groups are behind these deceitful efforts."

We'll let you know what becomes of this complaint. In the meantime, your voter pamphlet should have arrived in the mail last week, and your ballot will be arriving soon.

January 11, 2011 at 9:56pm

Pierce Transit vs. snow

North Tacoma, 10 p.m.


ALL Pierce Transit routes are now operating on snow detours.  For information on snow route detours please visit piercetransit.org or call our 24-hour hotline line at 253-984-8155 with pre-recorded snow detour descriptions.

Tips for riding the bus in snow and ice:
-  Wait for the bus at the top or bottom of the hill closet to the stop.
-  Signal the bus so the operator has plenty of time to stop.
-  Wait until the bus stops and the door opens before approaching the bus.
-  Use the handrails when getting on and off the bus.
-  Wear highly visible and warm clothing.

That is all.

Update from Pierce Transit: RIDER ALERT
5:30 AM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011:
ALL Pierce Transit routes are now operating normally, no longer on snow detours. 

Filed under: Tacoma, Transportation,

November 23, 2010 at 8:08am

Pierce Transit vs. the snow and ice


Eggnog has been done. Cider is sort of a fall thing. What's really good, as a my-car-is-wrapped-around-a-telephone-poll-and-I-must-take-the-bus drink is hot cranberry juice.  Add just a few cloves and a couple sticks of cinnamon and - mmm ... it's good. Put some in a Thermos and take it with you when you ride Pierce Transit today.

Oh, but first Pierce Transit's Media Department has a bit of news:

All Pierce Transit routes remain on snow detours and Pierce Transit local service will be running at reduced frequency levels, hour or longer delays.  Road conditions remain icy, all Pierce Transit buses are operating with chains.   For information on snow route detours please visit www.piercetransit.org, call our 24-hour hotline line at 253-984-8155 with pre-recorded snow detour descriptions, or call customer service at 253-581-8000.  SHUTTLE Paratransit service customers can call 253-581-8100 for more information.  Winter weather conditions continue to cause delays, our transit operators and support staff work to give the best service possible.

Tips for riding the bus in snow and ice:

-  Wait for the bus at the top or bottom of the hill closet to the stop.

-  Signal the bus so the operator has plenty of time to stop.

-  Wait until the bus stops and the door opens before approaching the bus.

-  Use the handrails when getting on and off the bus.

-  Wear highly visible and warm clothing.

OK, so remember you like winter. Yeah winter!! Let's ride the bus to celebrate. It's classic and environmentally friendly. You can bring your hot "cranberry" juice!

Filed under: Tacoma, Transportation,

July 20, 2010 at 10:09am

Tacoma raceway closed July 21-22


Tomorrow and Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., portions of Schuster Parkway will be closed for street repair.

According to City of Tacoma officials, "A chip seal repair will be completed on two separate days, requiring closure of northbound lanes on one day and southbound lanes the next day.
 On Wednesday, the northbound lane between South 7th and McCarver streets will be closed, and on Thursday the southbound lane between South 7th and McCarver streets will be closed."

So all you who race down Schuster at excessive speeds, which includes almost all who drive it, you'll have to take an alternative route, like Tacoma Avenue North. Warning: The Pacific Northwest Tennis Championships are being held at the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club through Sunday. Keep your eyes on the road and not on the skimpy white clothing.

Filed under: Tacoma, Sports, Transportation,

July 12, 2010 at 6:30pm

Pierce Transit Board votes for Preservation Plan


This just in from Pierce Transit:

Lakewood, WA - The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners on Monday evening selected a plan to preserve service levels with the goal of providing financially sustainable public transportation that area residents value and use.  The Board directed staff to put forward a ballot proposition for the February 8, 2011 election to exercise the final 0.3% sales tax authority available to Pierce Transit to provide funding to meet current service demands.

Over the last year, Pierce Transit has carefully developed and refined service plans centered on three rounds of extensive public input.  The final alternatives were based on two funding levels; one that reduces service while utilizing the current sales tax level of 0.6% (6 cents on a $10 purchase), and one that preserves service by exercising the remaining sales tax authority of 0.3% (an additional 3 cents on a $10 purchase).

Since the beginning of the recession, Pierce Transit has been actively addressing the impacts of sharp declines in sales tax revenue.  The agency was one of the first entities to experience a layoff of personnel -a five percent reduction.  Pierce Transit delayed or eliminated capital projects, reduced service by nearly six percent, and increased regular adult fares by 25 cents.   Those actions combined with employee identified operational efficiencies have saved over $72 million. 

The Pierce Transit Board also directed staff to continue to look for ways to cut more costs without impacting service until the voters have their say in February of 2011.

Updated maps and information for the adopted plan will be posted on www.pttomorrow.org on Friday, July 16.

LINK: Tacoma Tomorrow has been following the action

Filed under: Lakewood, Tacoma, Transportation,

May 16, 2010 at 11:47am

Bike to work tomorrow


May is "Bike Month," in case you hadn't heard. This means the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit and Pierce County are pushing two-wheeled, pedal-powered transportation throughout May. Specifically, Monday, May 17 through Friday, May 21 is Bike to Work Week, wherein teams and individuals throughout Pierce County will be competing to see who logs the most miles. Prizes include $250 and $100 gift certificates to kick-ass local bike shops - plus the added bonus of sexy glutes. Register your bike commute trips here.

PREDICTION: Bike to Work Week will be shrouded in controversy after proclaimed winner, Bonny Alexander of North Tacoma, is accused of blood doping to improve her travel times between home and her place of employment, the Fred Meyer's on South 19th Street. 

LINK: Bicycle Weather Forecast: Rain

LINK: Local Bike Month events

Filed under: Community, Tacoma, Transportation,

April 8, 2010 at 9:57am

MORNING SPEW: I-5 examination, poll gone bad, oldest bungee jumper ...


Check out Tacoma Tomorrow blog's new Tacoma to Olympia Corridor series that will include commentary and ideas about the role of efficient and frequent public transit in Tacoma's future.

The Lakewood-centric blog The Suburban Times conducted a poll with curious results. "What's the saying? A few bad apples spoil the bunch."

U.S. and Russia sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty.

The world's oldest bungee jumper.

Chris Rock mercilessly mocks Dave Letterman about his messy personal life.

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