Friday, November 24, 2006

Despite Levy Loss, Pavement Rolls in Tacoma

Submitted by Paul Ellis

Budgets in recent years have contained only money for pothole patching, but Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson’s proposed 2007-2008 budget sets aside $2.3 million each year for residential road repair and resurfacing. If approved by the Tacoma City Council, this money could put smooth surfaces on up to 143 blocks a year out of the city’s 6,600 blocks in need of significant repair.

Anderson's proposal seems to address the widespread public belief that city government should fix the streets with the money it already has--like the $4 million in gas tax money Tacoma gets each year from Washington State--while allowing needed repairs to move forward, albeit nowhere near as quickly as the levy would have allowed. Tacoma leaders have wisely decided to table another levy vote for the near future so as not to compete with regional transportation measures already headed for the ballot next fall.

Paul Ellis is lead staff for RAMP; an employee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Ellis led the Pierce County Transportation Advisory Committee (PCTAC), the community’s largest transportation planning effort.

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