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What downtown Tacoma workers, businesses need to know about Vice President Biden’s visit

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Oct. 7, 2010 at 10:48 am with 20 Comments »
October 7, 2010 4:18 pm

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.: The University of Washington Tacoma has posted a detailed map and list of what will be happening tomorrow. Find it here.

Original post: I just got off the phone with Whitney Rhodes, president of the Downtown Merchants Group.

She said Tacoma Police Lt. Rob Jepson, who supervises operations in downtown, briefed the group this morning on what to expect during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the University of Washington Tacoma tomorrow. He’s in town for a campaign rally in support of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is running for re-election against Republican Dino Rossi.

Here’s what Rhodes knows:

• Tacoma Link service will be shut down from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

• All streets around the UWT campus will be closed, no through traffic or parking, from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.:- Pacific Avenue between South 21st and South 17th streets

- South 21st between Pacific Avenue and Market Street, closed intermittently
– South 17th Street between Pacific and Market Street
– Jefferson Street between Pacific and Market
– Likely Market Street between South 17th and South 21st streets


From 6 a.m. until 2 p.m., Pacific Avenue and Market Street between South 21st and South 17th streets will be closed to traffic and parking. South 21st and South 17th streets will be closed only to parking. Traffic and parking availability may be interrupted during the day, and is subject to change.

• Buses in the area will be rerouted.

• Pedestrian traffic is allowed, but the event, while free, requires an RSVP. Law enforcement encourages people who aren’t RSVP-ed to the event to stay away.

• More than 100 law enforcement officers will be in the area, from Secret Service, Tacoma Police, the Pierce County Sheriff’s office and other outside agencies.

Everything is subject to change if the Secret Service decides change is needed, Rhodes said.

The heavy security is understandable and out of downtown’s control, Rhodes said, so she simply wants the information out so workers and business owners can plan.

Downtown employees will be heavily affected, she said. Many DaVita employees park at the Tacoma Dome station and take the Link to work. Access to the parking garages around the convention center, where many commuters also park, might be off limits because of the street closures. And restaurants that usually have deliveries on Friday morning, preparing for the weekend, are scrambling to make other arrangements.

Rhodes said she has heard that the Secret Service went door-to-door in the downtown area to discuss some of the impacts on business.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. kenpokarate says:

    he’s visiting downtown tacoma? for what?

  2. Kathleen Cooper says:

    Kenpokarate, the vice president is in town to hold a campaign rally for Sen. Patty Murray.

  3. Yeah, the info available is minimal, and you have to really dig for it. Its some kind of rally for Patty Murray. I’m not happy at all that they are disrupting alot of daily business for this. 2400 people park at the Tacoma Dome Station and ride the Link into work/school – with no Link service, there are going to be several hundred unhappy people. I’m one of them…

  4. Kathleen Cooper says:

    Thanks for asking the question… I should have included the “why he’s in town” in the original post! The News Tribune is working to get as much detail as possible to help people navigate downtown tomorrow. I just updated this post with a link to the UWT’s own page on what’s happening on campus. It’s very detailed.

  5. tacomajoe says:

    Joe and Patty showing how much they value John Q. Public by making life as difficult as they can for him. FAIL!

  6. kenpokarate says:

    Is Joe’s driver aware of Tacoma’s new parking system???

  7. Everything is subject to change if the Secret Service decides change is needed,

  8. Patty Murray will screw up the commute and people trying to get to work, but this should not be surprise, she and Obama, Biden, Reid and Pelosi have screw-up the US economy. Why should Tacoma be any different?

    Thanks for nothing again, Patty.

  9. delsol40 says:

    Been in business in UWT area for 10 years, Nobody.. not UWT, no secret service, tribune has been the most info all day. Tried to call UWT today, still no call back. So i would say your commentary is wrong! They have defiantly not communicated anything to the businesses. They should contacted us at least a week ago with the closures… not the day before.

  10. DubyaFTW says:

    Work in downtown Tacoma? Sounds like an oxymoron.
    Joe “Bite-me” Biden? Sounds like just a moron.

    Tomorrows headline: Walking gaffe machine skewers Murray campaign. Dino leads in polls.

  11. Dave98373 says:

    Security protocols are out of the control of such heads of states like the VP. To blame them for logistic concerns really isn’t fair. And I am not a fan of Biden (in fact, I think he may be the most incompetent VP in US history), but Tacoma should welcome him as a matter of decent city stewartship and good manners. Besides, there will be people visiting and covering the event and will in all likelihood patronage city businesses.

  12. kenpokarate says:

    Is there any “No-Fly-Zone” I should be aware of???

  13. jkd4mma says:

    DubyaFTW said, “Work in downtown Tacoma? Sounds like an oxymoron.” Well, are you forgetting drug dealers, gangstas, thugs, bank robbers, and prostitutes???

  14. volvo1999 says:

    who cares, nobody will be there, he is a goof ball

  15. Seriously? The MOST incompetent? Dan Quayle anyone? George H.W. Bush? Spiro Agnew?

  16. Whatever1214 says:

    Maybe they could film a episode of Jeopardy while they have both Vice President Biden and Senator Murray together at the same time and place.

  17. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I hope our students have learned to display their disgust with the socialists currently running D.C. & Washington State!

  18. The passions imparted by a few on this board remind me of Iranians. Always with their “death to this” or “death to that” rhetoric.

    For those who really want to fight, please join the service or get online with Rainbow 6 or some other role playing shoot ‘em up thing. Yawn….

  19. How long will this really last? Between the two of them, it might take a while to figure out how to get back to the airport.

  20. Terrible, just terrible.

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