I hear many people talk about the need to build out our transportation network in our city – everything from buses to bike lanes, sidewalks to Sound Transit. While I agree we need to build our city in a way that accommodates multiple ways to get around, I know that unless we connect people from where they live to where they work, that investment will not work out.
Transportation and economic development are critical in Tacoma, and we must work on both at the same time. As we look at new developments like BRT (bus rapid transit) on Pacific Avenue, the Link extension in Hilltop, and the new light rail to the airport, we have to find ways to ensure that the people who live along those lines, can work along those lines.
Also, we have to recognize that transportation is not just buses and cars. As I talk to residents, I hear frequently about broken sidewalks, missing curb cut outs and crosswalks, and potholes. Neighbors who want to walk to the park with their kids or ride their bike to the grocery store, tell me they do not feel safe enough to do so. While connecting work and home is important, connecting people so they can safely get around their neighborhood is critical.
As a city council member, I want to look at how we encourage businesses and housing growth around new transit, so they we build systems that are used. If we are going to make such large investments, we want to make sure they are going to pay off. I also want to make sure while we are investing in big projects, we are getting the basics right so you feel safe on foot or on a bike anywhere in our city.