A collective of arts and urban living groups are working on making Tacoma more beautiful one stitch at a time.
Tacoma Urban Landscaping, Downtown On the Go, Coalition for Active Transportation, 35 Ways to safer streets, Grand Cinema, and the New Tacoma Neighborhood Council have created a walk survey and urban art installation to increase awareness and walkability potentials of the five blocks around 6th Ave. and St. Helens, which is the focal port with an art installation.
This 108-foot-long chain-link fence turned art location now displays the second installation of Tacoma Urban Landscaping to reclaim and beautify previously developed land in downtown Tacoma that has been neglected over the years.
What started out as Love Tacoma Lane with random notes about why people love the City of Destiny has now given way to a crochet and knit display of flowers to warm and soften the cold harsh metal of the “temporary” chain link fence, draw attention to the need for traffic calming in the area as well as celebrate the coming beauty of spring.
“I want people to come out and really see what wonderful things we have here,” organizer Seong Shin said. “We have a walker’s paradise, and I want people to see that.”
Downtown Tacoma, after all, has a walkability rating of 94 on a national 100-point scale. Portland has 100, while Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood has an 82.
While the art is the focal point, it only represents the work behind the scenes. Downtown walkers are encouraged to stroll through the neighborhood and answer a questionnaire about what short and long-term work could be done to make the neighborhood safer and more vibrant. Questionnaires are available through Tacoma Urban Landscaping’s Facebook page as well as at The Grand Cinema and some 40 other businesses in the neighborhood.
The YMCA is hosting downtown walks at 9 a.m. every Saturday through May 21 to aid the effort.