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North 21st Street Project

Project Description

The North 21st Street project consists of streetscape improvements on North 21st Street between North Adams and North Pearl streets in conjunction with Tacoma Power’s replacement of the transmission towers along this corridor. The City is working with Tacoma Power to site the new transmission towers to allow future reconfiguration of the North 21st Street corridor. Tacoma Power and the City are also meeting with neighborhood councils, business districts, and the public to present the Tacoma Power project and gather public input on the future configuration of North 21st Street.


Overview and Background

In 2018, Tacoma Power (TPU) will be replacing the 16 lattice towers and the transmission lines supported by the towers that are located in the median of North 21st Street between North Adams and North Highland Streets. The towers are over 90 years old and in poor shape. The towers will be replaced by taller, narrower poles which will free up some of the median currently occupied by the transmission towers. This will allow the City to reconfigure North 21st Street to meet current and future projected use of the corridor. For more details about the Tacoma Power project, visit the Tacoma Power project website.

There are several past planning studies, traffic studies, as well as the 2015 Transportation Master Plan that are guiding the City in developing alternatives for the future street configuration. After meeting with the public to gather input on the streetscape alternatives, the City met with the Transportation Commission to present the results of traffic studies and public input. City staff presented streetscape alternatives to the Council Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee in September and October of 2016. The alternative configurations were presented to the entire Council at the December 6, 2016 Study Session.  After considering feedback from Council, Public Works selected Option 1 as the preferred alternative (see memo and presentation under Project Related Documents below). For the 20-year design life of the roadway project, Option 1 better meets the intent of the Transportation Master Plan, the Complete Streets Policy, and the goals of the community to improve safety and mobility for all roadway users.


While no roadway work is funded at this time, TPU will use the preferred roadway alternative to guide the installation of new poles in 2018. Public Works will then continue pursuing funding opportunities to complete the design of the roadway features and, ultimately, to construct the roadway improvements. When design funding for the roadway work is available, Public Works will work with the community to identify traffic calming treatments to reduce the possibility of cut-through traffic from the corridor.


Outreach and Public Involvement

The following meetings/activities have been planned to inform the public about the project and receive input on the future street configuration:


North End Neighborhood Council Meeting July 11, 2016
Proctor Business District Meeting September 1, 2016
Public Meeting (Wheelock Rotunda, UPS) September 14, 2016
Proctor Farmer’s Market September 17, 2016
West End Neighborhood Council Meeting September 21, 2106

Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability (IPS)


September 28, 2016
IPS Committee Meeting October 20, 2016
Council Study Session December 6, 2016
Council Study Session April 4, 2017


Additional public meetings will be held during the streetscape design.


Project Related Documents

North 21st Memo



The City currently has funding to perform conceptual design including developing streetscape alternatives and surveying the route to develop base maps for the final design. Final design and construction currently are not funded.


Additional Information

For additional information, contact the City’s Project Manager, Sue O'Neill, at (253) 591-5789 or by email.