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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tacoma Growing?

I took a long walk with my wife this past Sunday. It was really odd, there were people downtown. The Convention Center and the Tacoma Dome both had scheduled events and the downtown streets actually had some traffic. I don’t know if you go downtown on any Sunday afternoon, but it’s typically dead as a doornail. I mean eerie quiet. There’s been times where I think I was one of five people in all of downtown going for a walk. But this past Sunday was a different story, there were people everywhere. It was nice, there was a whole new energy there. With that many people downtown, it was evident that there could have been more for people to do; there really isn’t much to speak of in regards to small shops, bookstores, cafes, etc. But if more is built, will it lead to this? I hope so, we’ve heard so much made of Tacoma’s potential; I’m ready to see some more potential turn into a growing reality.


Anonymous said...

I don't live or work in Tacoma, so most of my walks through downtown are on Sunday evenings as well. It still felt quiet (I had spent the weekend walking around Seattle) but at least there were a couple of us out and about.

Despite the big turnaround heralded by our economic gurus, Tacoma still has a really, really long way to go. I can name off at least a dozen American cities about Tacoma's size that have undergone much larger transformations in a shorter length of time.

I think a lot of what happens in Tacoma in the future depends on the city's political leadership. The current City Council is still living in the 70s. They have failed on numerous occasions to adopt any inventive or innovative attitudes that could help the city grow. Every other place in Washington is making huge strides--except Tacoma.

Tacoma has particularly onerous development regulations that restrict dense, urban development in favor of suburban sprawl. One the most common themes in the Tacoma blogosphere is the minimum parking regulations that make downtown development not feasible for developers.

Peter said...

Points well taken. I do agree with some of those observations, although growth here may be a little more prevalent than you may think. I do live here and have for a few years now and the changes have been pretty big. That's not to say that we can't use more innovative and insightful leaders to take us further; I would be in agreement on that. And I also agree that there could be some more changes made to further promote more growth, but it's certainly not (in my opinion) as gloomy as your outcast has stated. Simply put, I guess I'm a bit more optimistic.