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Rail Crossing Improvement

About the Project

The City of Tacoma is studying several rail crossings in the Dome District, in Old Town, and in the West End. Issues to be discussed/reviewed include safety, traffic operations, non-motorized mobility, noise, and economic or other quality of life issues.  In the Dome District, the implementation of a Quiet Zone will be reviewed.

 

The map below shows the general location of the crossings to be analyzed. Incorporating community feedback, the project will develop a framework and ranking methodology through which potential crossing improvements can be evaluated at each of these locations.

Map

 

Opportunities to Provide Feedback

The first series of community meetings were held in January 2018. The meetings were in the West End (January 23), Dome District (January 24), and Old Town (January 25). The goal of these meetings were to solicit comments from the public on their concerns regarding the subject crossings. A second round of meetings will be held in the Spring of 2018 to present a summary of the public feedback, along with potential alternatives for change at each crossing.

 

An online survey was available through February 4, 2018. To provide additional feedback on the project, please contact the Project Manager.

 

Project Schedule

Community project kick-off meetings took place January 2018 to define community needs, concerns, and goals. The project team will incorporate community input into the development of improvement alternatives and evaluation methodology. Preferred options developed using this methodology will be presented to the Community for discussion in Spring 2018. The final report will be prepared and published by Summer 2018.

  

schedule

Old Town: McCarver Street and Ruston Way

Old Town Community Kick-Off Meeting

Thursday, January 25, 4-6 PM

Old Town Music Society Hall, 2101 N. 30th St.

 

Old TownThe project team invites area residents, business owners, and other citizens interested in the Old Town rail grade crossing to attend the community kick-off meeting on January 25, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on existing conditions of the crossing and to solicit community input on concerns and project goals.

 

About the Crossing

The McCarver Street rail crossing is owned and maintained by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). Railways that currently operate over this crossing include Amtrak (ATK), and the Union Pacific Rail Road Company (UP). This railroad crossing is an at grade public crossing which primarily services intercity passenger trains, freight deliveries, and has two main tracks.

 N. McCarver Peds Waiting

 

About the Community

This rail crossing is located centrally within the Old Town Business District. Land use in this area is commercial with residential single family and multifamily nearby. Within a five (5) minute radius the 2016 population was 20,758, with total business of 1,300, and total daytime employees of 17,658.

 

The City of Tacoma has recently completed safety improvements at this crossing including signage, pavement markings, and safety fencing. Additionally, the City is continuing to work with the BNSF Railway to implement additional pedestrian safety improvements.

 

Beginning December 18, 2017 Amtrak Cascades passenger trains will cease to use the BNSF mainline through this area and will begin using the Point Defiance Bypass to the new station at Freighthouse square.

 

Dome District: East C & D Streets between E. 25th and E. 26th Streets

Dome District Community Kick-Off Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 4-6 PM

LeMay Car Museum, 2702 E. D Street

 

Dome

As defined in the South Downtown Subarea Plan, part of the City's One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, the implementation of a Quiet Zone centered around E. D Street and E. 25th Street has been identified as a strategy to support the area's long-term goal of reducing train noise in the core of the Dome District. The strategy was established through collaboration with South Downtown stakeholders, a Citizen Advisory Committee, and City staff during the development of the Subarea Plan. You can find the U.S. Department of Transportation guide to establishing a Quiet Zone here

 

The project team invites area residents, business owners, and other citizens interested in the Dome District rail crossings to attend the community kick-off meeting on January 24, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on existing conditions at the crossings, discuss what is involved in a Quiet Zone, and to solicit community input on other concerns at or around the rail crossings at E. D and E. C Streets.

 

About the Crossings

The East C and East D Street rail line is owned by Sound Transit which also operates and maintains the rail crossings. Current railways operating over these crossing include Tacoma Rail and Sound Transit. On December 18, 2017 Amtrak Cascades began running passenger trains through these crossings. This is an at-grade public crossing which primarily services freight, commuter, and tourist uses. This area has two main tracks. 

 

FreightE C StEast D St

 

About the Community

The Dome District, is a diverse mix of commercial, residential, entertainment, and tourism area. Transportation options central to this area are: non-motorized, commuter rail, Link light rail, train, and bus. Within a five-minute radius of this rail crossing there is a 2016 population of 20,323, total businesses of 2,102, and 34,380 daytime employees. There is recently completed construction on the rail line at this location. Amtrak has added a south platform for future passenger service at this location (moving from the previous north location).

 

Approximately 400 feet from East D Street rail crossing is the Tacoma Dome Station. The north building is at 610 Puyallup Ave., the South Building is at 424 E. 25th Street., and the Tacoma Link station is also located at 424 E. 25th Street.   The Tacoma Dome Station has 2,283 parking spaces and the facility is served by Sounder Lakewood-Seattle, Tacoma Link light rail, Sound Transit bus services routes 586, 590, 594 and routes for Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit.

 

The Dome District crossings experience a high level of pedestrians due to the proximity to regional bus transit, commuter rail, adjacent business, and event traffic from the Tacoma Dome.

West End: 6th Avenue and Titlow Beach / S. 19th St. and Narrows Marina

West End Community Kick-Off Meeting

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 4-6 PM

Titlow Lodge, 8425 6th Ave., Tacoma

 

West EndThe project team invites area residents, business owners, and other citizens interested in the West End rail crossings to attend the community kick-off meeting on January 23, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on existing conditions of the crossing and to solicit community input on concerns and project goals.

 

About the Crossings

The 6th Ave and S. 19th Street rail crossings are owned and maintained by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). Railways that currently operate over these crossings include Amtrak (ATK) and the Union Pacific Rail Road Company (UP). These are at-grade public crossing which primarily service intercity passenger trains, freight deliveries, and has two main tracks.

 

Land uses associated with the area are a mix of commercial, residential, and recreational.

  

W at 6th E at 6th S 19

 

About the Community

The 6th Avenue rail crossing experiences high pedestrian volumes due to being adjacent to the Titlow Beach Marine Preserve, Titlow Park, and popular destination restaurants. There is a recreational, non-motorized trail (N. Wilton Rd.) that begins at the scenic wharf area northwest of the rail crossing. The beach and small waterfront wharf is a scenic and recreation designation only accessible by pedestrians. This crossing has sidewalks on both sides of the roadway.

 

The S. 19th St. rail crossing experiences a higher vehicle crossing volume and lower pedestrian volume due to the marina uses and availability of parking on the water side of the tracks. Land use associated with the area is primarily commercial, but there are single and multi-family residential and recreational uses in the area. The south ½ side of S. 19th Street is in the City of University Place. There are no sidewalks at this crossing.

 

Background 

These study locations have been identified as locations of concern by local residents, business associations, and property owners. Tracks in these locations are managed by BNSF or Sound Transit for Commuter Rail and Tacoma Rail Mountain Division. The BNSF tracks are used for freight and passenger rail (AMTRAK and Sounder Commuter Rail).

 

Funding

The project is funded by the City of Tacoma.

 

Contact Information

If you have questions or comments you can contact City of Tacoma Project Manager, Mark D'Andrea, at (253) 591-5518 or by email.