Tacoma has become one of the most interesting cities in the Northwest for urban redevelopment and creative initiatives. It's not that all of them work, and it's not that the results so far are necessarily impeccable. (Touring around central Tacoma is an exercise in mixed realities, jowl by cheek.) But the efforts the city is making are noteworthy all over the place.
Like the streetcar effort.
Other cities have streetcars - Portland, for one, with a small network operational and possibly headed for expansion. Seattle, Yakima and even Astoria have systems of generally small size - they're interesting and maybe fun for visitors, but not major cogs in the system.
Tacoma seems to be looking toward something a bit grander. Like some of the other systems, it would be intended to link up with existing mass transit. Unlike them, it would apparently become an extensive and intensive network of routes, one that would serve the city in ways other than as a transportation curio or a museum piece.
One public meeting, billed as a grassroots effort (not explicitly linked to a city initiative), was hels early in June at the city library. More may be coming. (more…)