Letters to the Editor

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TRANSIT: Master plan, broad input needed

Letter by James R. Merritt, Tacoma on Oct. 14, 2010 at 11:19 am with No Comments »
October 14, 2010 1:24 pm

The City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit have established a “select” committee called the “Tacoma Streetcar Stakeholders Group.” This committee has an impressive membership list.

With something as permanent, significant and costly as the extension of the Link/light rail, how can we set the line locations for our city without a vision and master plan to define what we will be as a city? How can this be done by a small, select group without having open forums including neighborhood groups and interested citizens?

This is not accomplished by just “inviting” the public to the “select” group’s meetings. A good foundation for such a significant decision does not happen in just eight two-hour meetings.

This group, like so many others in our city, is working very hard to come up with positive results. Unfortunately, the fragmented way these decisions are made in isolated groups does not move us in a coordinated way. Frustrations will result from a lack of planning and clear criteria to make solid decisions as a community.

We had a community discussion Sept. 23 at the University of Washington called “Re: Tacoma – Do we need a vision” attended by nearly 100 citizens. The clear message was that a master plan and vision take time and must include the entire community. Now is a time for us to start making decisions based on a needed master plan.

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