Getting Around Downtown May Be Easier Than We Thought
The large banner hanging in the center of campus saying “UWannaGo” on one side and “#GOOUWT” on the other can be attributed to the push for transportation awareness and advocacy through UW Tacoma On The GO (UWTOTG), an extension of Downtown On the Go (DOTG). The mission of DOTG is to reduce the drive alone rate by 11 percent this year and to be a resource for those whose day to day life is based in downtown Tacoma.
Formed in 2009, their website states, DOTG originally “sought to identify and advocate for viable solutions to the parking and transportation challenges facing downtown businesses and commuters.” The idea was to have people stop commuting via SOV (single occupancy vehicles) and to be aware of, and use, the other commute options. Those options are: walking, biking, mass transit, car or van-pooling, and telecommuting. In partnership with Pierce Transit, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, and the City of Tacoma, the now independent non-profit is structured to educate about transportation options other than driving alone, to encourage rideshare and other non-SOV options, and to advocate for as stated on the DOTG website, “transportation choices and land use policies that promote a vibrant and integrated downtown.”
According to DOTG Manager Kristina Walker, another focus of their vision is a “growing, thriving, downtown where you see people on feet, people on bikes, people on transit.” With educating people on resources like the link, which is free downtown, through hosting events they attempt to get people aware of the options for a healthy community. According to the DOTG website, “in urban areas, the motor vehicle contribution to carbon dioxide pollution can exceed 90%.”
In a presentation of UW Tacoma On The Go Monday February 9, ASUWT Senator Seth Lundgaard provided information about how people who commute via bike and or walking are happier than any other commuters. According to Alliance for Biking and Walking, “Physical fitness improves work and people who ride their bike regularly benefit in many different ways: up to 32% use fewer sick days, up to 55% have lower health costs, and up to 52% increase productivity.” The UWTOTG presentation also showed that 59 out of 100 UWT commuters do-so via SOV. Walker made note of “the tie between transportation and parking…if we had a parking space for every single person that worked or went to school downtown we would just be parking lots.”
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