Grit City Podcast 96: Downtown: On the go!
Episode 96: Downtown: On the Go!
On this episode the guys talk to Kristina Walker from Downtown: On the Go. Downtown: On the Go is the transportation advocate for downtown Tacoma. They work to educate the community about alternative transportation to commuting alone, encouraging the community to use public transit, walking, ridesharing, and biking, and advocate for better transportation, better sidewalks, and better bike lanes.
The show kicks off with Kristina describing what Downtown: On the Go does and how she herself bikes to work from the UPS area to downtown. They then talk about the ease of biking downhill in Tacoma and the options for going uphill on the way back. Also the guys talk about listening to the podcast while catching a ride on the bus.
Talk then turns to the importance of normalizing the concept of biking, riding, and using public transit in the Pacific Northwest. They discuss how local businesses are now are offering bus pass options to their employees because they are realizing how public transit plays a major part in improving their employees overall well-being and also the benefit public transit has on the community overall.
Kristina then dives into how the concept of Downtown On the Go came about in 2009. She explains that the city, Pierce Transit, and the chamber came together with local CEO’s and top management of local companies to talk about growing the downtown area while offering alternative transportation to cut down the congestion on I5 and the need for parking.
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At the halfway mark, they discuss the challenges of a nonprofit company which include: funding, getting businesses involved, and getting the community involved. Kristina discusses the uniqueness of Tacoma’s light rail in the fact that they don’t charge customers to use it and Downtown: On the Go events that includes things like the November 3rd Link N Drink and the bus ride with the CEO of Pierce Transit. She also discusses the Live Downtown program.
As the show winds down, they explore the idea of one day a week shutting down traffic in a section of the city and bringing the community and businesses together. They also discuss Park(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event, where artists, designers, and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. She talks about the success of last year when they brought out food trucks that had some of their best sales for the year.
The episode ends with Kristina talking about how people can get involved with their Walk Tacoma, Bike Tacoma, and Ride Tacoma events. She recommends those interested to go to their website: http://downtownonthego.org, to find out more. Thanks Kristina for joining the guys for a very informative and educational episode!
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Resources from this episode:
- Downtown On the Go Website
- Downtown On the Go on Twitter
- Downtown On the Go on Facebook
- Downtown on the Go on YouTube
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