Transportation Innovator Awards 2019!

Nominate a transportation hero today! Downtown On the Go presents the Transportation Innovator Awards annually to acknowledge and celebrate work being done that helps meet the Downtown On the Go goal of reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles in downtown Tacoma. Nominees are selected for one of four awards, based on the four categories:

Big Step/Bold Program
Awarded to the business or individual who made a bold change in policy to create opportunities for transportation options. We strive to recognize those who have made a difference through parking policy, promotion, pricing or education. Honoring businesses who have utilized creative partnerships or use of spaces.

Advocacy Award
Awarded to the business or individual who has made a difference for downtown Tacoma through transportation advocacy at the local, state or federal level.

Biking Strong
Awarded to the business or individual who is a leader year-round in promoting, education and encouraging bicycling as a commute mode; and creating opportunities for bicycling through the provision of bike parking for employees and customers, bike infrastructure, or showers. Honoring those who work to make downtown Tacoma more bike-friendly through their business or their work.

Unsung Hero Award
Awarded to the business or individual who is a leader in promoting, educating, and/or encouraging multi-modal transportation but has not been recognized to their full potential.

Each year, nominees are reviewed by a committee and Downtown On the Go recognizes the Transportation Innovator Award Winners at our Annual Luncheon. The deadline for 2019 nominees is October 18.



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Short Course on Local Planning this Fall

Downtown On the Go has partnered with ForeverGreen Trails to co host a Short Course on Local Planning on Oct. 15, 2019 from 6:15 – 9:15 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. This course is led by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Get an overview of Growth Management Act requirements for local planning. Tips and tools for implementing and updating the comprehensive plan. Roles and responsibilities in the planning process. Legislative vs quasi-judicial decisions, tips for encouraging public involvement, best practices for effective meetings.

Please register for the Short Course by October 10, 2019, by sending an email with your name, organization and title (if applicable) and the location of the short course you wish to attend to or by leaving the same information at 360 725-3064. Registration is not required, but helps for planning purposes; all will be welcome at the event. There is no cost to attend the Short Course.

Check out more about the course here!

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Vote No on 1-976!

The Downtown On the Go Board has voted to endorse the No on I-976 Campaign. This means that we are partnering with great organizations across the state to defend funding for all parts of our transportation system – pedestrian safety, bike infrastructure, transit service, pothole repairs, and other necessary road maintenance and improvements.

Vote no to save 62 cities from losing an average of $60 million per year for local transportation projects over the next 10 years. For Tacoma, that would mean a lost of $3 Million a year  for Tacoma’s Transportation Benefit District.

Learn more about the No Campaign here and get specific information about the impacts to Pierce County. 

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PARK(ing) Day in Tacoma

An international day of turning passive urban parking stalls into active mini-parks filled with people, plants, music, art, and games comes to downtown Tacoma on Friday, Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local businesses, organizations, and residents will showcase their creativity by transforming more than 30 park(ing) spaces into interactive parks along Pacific Ave. between S. 7th St. & S. 13th St. This international event, in its tenth year in Tacoma, calls attention to the need for more urban open space and challenges people to rethink the way they use their streets. Tacoma’s PARK(ing) Day, organized by Downtown On the Go, is sponsored by BLRB Architects and Metro Parks Tacoma.

2019 Highlights

  • PARK(ing) Day Passport: Maps and passports will be available at all of the parklets. By visiting five or more parklets and turning in the completed passport, visitors will be entered into a drawing for downtown gift certificates and prize baskets.
  • Food Trucks: Event food trucks will be located on Pacific Ave. between S. 11th St. & S. 12th St.
  • People’s Choice Award: Anyone can vote for their favorite park at the event or online on the DOTG Facebook page. The winner of the “People’s Choice” Award will receive a $100 gift certificate to the downtown business of their choice.


2019 PARK(ing) Day map & participants


For more information contact Meagan Kula, DOTG Events Manager at or (253) 257-8158.

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Pedal with Politicians

On Sept. 12, 2019, your Tacoma City Council Members and other local politicians are biking around Tacoma to get up close and personal with the existing (and missing) bike and trail network in downtown Tacoma. At our annual Pedal with the Politicians bike ride you can ride alongside your elected officials and City Council candidates as we look ahead to local elections and an update of the Transportation Master Plan.

Key points on this year’s ride will be:

  • Lack of safe connection between existing infrastructure
  • Bike and pedestrian connections to growing transit hubs
  • Fawcett Ave improvements and Brewery Blocks Development
  • Maintenance and perceived safety on shared-use paths like the Water Flume Line Trail and Scott Pierson

You can ride alongside Councilmembers Mello, Ibsen, Beale, McCarthy, Thoms, Ushka, and Mayor Woodards. We will also be joined by Metro Parks Tacoma Commissioner Hanberg, Fife’s Mayor Roscoe, and Puyallup’s Mayor Palmer.

The best way to advocate for bicycling in Tacoma is to get out and ride. And the best way to encourage our local government to better our roads for people on bikes is to ride alongside them on Sept 12!

Unsure of the best routes in downtown Tacoma? Contact us about our Bike Buddies Program and we can match people up with a cooperative comrade.

Other questions? Email

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Sign up for Downtown In Motion!

Do you live in Downtown Tacoma? Interested in learning more about walking, biking, taking the bus, and ridesharing in your neighborhood? Sign up for Downtown In Motion and create a personalized packet with a free transportation tool and resources to help you explore your options.

1. Go to to request your transportation packet and fill out a short survey.*

2. Select your FREE travel tool: a $20 ORCA card or rechargeable bike light.

3. Receive your transportation packet at your door!

Look for Downtown In Motion staff at community events throughout the summer, like the Broadway Farmers Market on the last Thursday of each month. We’ll be out and about to answer your questions about walking, biking, taking the bus, and sharing a ride.

*While supplies last. Limit one per person. Sign up by September 22, 2019.

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Scavenger Hunt

If you love healthy competition, the chance to win cool prizes, and exploring downtown Tacoma, the Walk Tacoma Scavenger Hunt is for you! Taking place on August 7, the free hunt will send you on a journey through downtown to decode clues, do activities, and visit locations on foot, by bus and Link, or on a bike.

The event, sponsored by Pierce Transit, Xfinity, and Downtown Tacoma Partnership will start at Tollefson Plaza (S 17th & Pacific) and end with prizes, live music, a beer garden and food truck.  Participants can begin their hunt between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. after checking in at Tollefson Plaza, and must return by 7:00 p.m.  On the hunt, participants complete as many activities and questions as possible during the time frame.

Build a group of colleagues from work, grab a pal or two, work individually, or bring the family to learn more about active transportation, explore great Tacoma locations, and get out into the community. All ages are welcome and the Children’s Museum of Tacoma will be providing activities for the kids. Scavenger hunters can work individually or create a team to win prizes ranging from large to small. No one walks away empty handed!

Grand prizes will be awarded to the top three teams and individuals. Also, new this year, awards for top corporate and family teams (at least one member 10 years and under).

Don’t forget to bring your camera phone or digital camera, and save time by registering online or at the event.

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by the Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation Community of Interest, is a six-event walking series held on the first Wednesday of the month, from April through August.  This year celebrates Walk Tacoma’s 10-year anniversary by bringing back the favorite walks from the past 10 years.  All walks in the series include activities for children provided by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

For more information on the full Walk Tacoma Series visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Barley & Berries Bash 2019

Experience an evening out on the water at the Foss Waterway Seaport and join Downtown On the Go for our annual Barley & Berries Bash fundraising event on Thursday, August 22, 2019! While you’re here, enjoy tastings from wineries and breweries along with delicious food, a silent auction, dessert dash, live music from Kim Archer, and an opportunity to make a donation.

The VIP Party will set sail on the Lady Washington through the beautiful Commencement Bay! (Thank you, Grays Harbor Historical Society!) VIP BOAT TICKETS SOLD OUT!

General Admission Bash Time: 5:30 to 8 p.m.
VIP Bash Time: 4:15 to 6 p.m.
Location: Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402

Purchase your tickets here. General tickets available until 9 p.m. Aug. 21, 2019.

See photos from 2018!

Thank you sponsors: Downtown Tacoma Partnership, South Sound Magazine, Unico Properties,  and BCRA!

Thank you vendors: Abbe Winery, 3 Bridges Winery, 7 Seas, New Belgium

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Walk Tacoma’s Nihonmachi (Japantown)

Take a guided tour of Tacoma’s historic Nihonmachi (Japantown) with writer Tamiko Nimura, and historian Michael Sullivan on the Walk Tacoma, Tacoma’s Japantown Walk. The free walk, sponsored by BCRA, will be held on Wednesday, July 10 from noon to 1pm. It will start at the top of the UWT stairs at S. 19 and Jefferson Ave.

Between the 1880’s and the 1940’s, immigrants created a vibrant Japantown in downtown Tacoma. The neighborhood extended from S.17 (Union Station) to S. 11, between Pacific Ave. and Market St.  It included hotel, shops, restaurants, places of worship, and a Japanese Language School.  Walk the historic neighborhood and learn about the significance of these historic downtown locations.  Leaders Tamiko Nimura and Michael Sullivan have done a large amount of research on this historic neighborhood, and together they have created a free phone app of the walking tour for iPhones and for Android

Register for the walks online or sign-in at the event.  The events are free, all ages are welcome, and American Sign Language interpretation will be available.

Earn a Walk Tacoma 10-year anniversary t-shirt by walking, biking or taking transit to the event.  Find your nearest bus route on the Pierce Transit website, take the Tacoma Link which runs every 12 minutes, bike, or walk to the event.  T-shirts will be given out at the walk.

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by the Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation Community of Interest, is a six-event walking series held on the first Wednesday of the month, from April through August.  This year celebrates Walk Tacoma’s 10-year anniversary by bringing back the favorite walks from the past 10 years.  All walks in the series include activities for children provided by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

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Meet the Staff: Meadbh

Name: Meadbh Koenigsberg
Occupation: Events Intern
Employer: Downtown: On the Go!
Gets around by: Biking, Public Transit

Where do you live and where do you work?
I live in the North End and work in Downtown Tacoma.

How do you get there?
Bus or bike, depending on the weather! The 1 picks me up on 6th and takes me right to work on Pacific Ave. If I bike, I head down 11th then hop over to 6th to get most of the way downtown.

How does it all add up? How much money or time do you save?
Last summer I would drive and park which cost me $4 for parking per day plus gas. Now, I don’t have to spend time looking for parking! With an Orca card from work, the bus is really affordable. Biking is free and I can park my bike in a bike cage at work.

What’s in it for you?
I like the time in the morning to read a book on the bus or listen to a podcast on my bike. Moving my muscles in the morning can be better than coffee in terms of waking me up and I can enjoy the good weather on my bike!

Do you have any tips for people who may be trying these modes for the first time?

Putting your trip into Google Maps is really helpful for me, especially the “Arrive By” function, which helps me when I’m planning a bus trip to Seattle or with multiple stops so I know what to expect and how long I’ll be waiting. Always be early for the bus and factor in the time it takes you to get to the bus stop. I’ve had to run down the street to catch a bus way too often!

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