Excited about the possibilities for Tukwila International Boulevard | CHUCK PARRISH

  • Monday, March 13, 2017 5:00pm
  • Opinion

Chuck Parrish

Recently, I came away from a community meeting about as juiced as I have been in a while. The subject was the future of Tukwila International Boulevard (TIB). I did not realize the practical, creative possibilities that exist for us. Long blocks can be broken down into shorter blocks creating better access. We can narrow TIB and slow down traffic speeds by re-striping to allow for on-street parking and bike lanes. Existing buildings can be repurposed and, along with new buildings, alleys and lanes can be created to provide off-street shopping and dining possibilities.

Placemakers, the consultant, told us that the city is in a promising position due to many factors. Residents have shown a keen interest in revitalizing and activating TIB. The efforts of Tukwila International Boulevard Action Committee (TIBAC) and Action Tukwila, as well as others, reflect this interest. Their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

The mayor, the City Council and city departments are involved and excited about the potential for TIB. Construction is going on right now (Tukwila Village and new library) with more in the works. Our planning staff is ahead of the curve in their understanding of how things need to happen and the market dynamics involved. Tukwila residents have approved monies to build public facilities. If it makes sense to build a justice center on TIB, the money is available. These factors show momentum and attract the interest of organizations like the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) and Placemakers. They know that plans are likely to be implemented; not collect dust on an archival shelf.

Tukwila is a city with a heart. Always prominent in discussions is this question. Can we experience the benefits of gentrification (walkable neighborhoods, increased property values, increased safety, etc.) while not making it too expensive to live here or to operate a small business? Can we create incentives for developers to build market rate and affordable housing? To achieve this, we would have to allow higher buildings; five residential floors over retail on the first floor is common in other communities.

Improving Tukwila International Boulevard is not a fast track project. However, smart policy and zoning that makes use of what we have and that encourages development sooner rather than later will accelerate the process.

Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at chuckparrish2009@gmail.com.

Community members discuss what they would like Tukwila International Boulevard to look like during a recent workshop. HEIDI SANDERS/Tukwila Reporter

More in Opinion

School may be out but June is still busy

June is exceptionally busy for the Tukwila School District because of the… Continue reading

Spoilers ahead: Season two did not disappoint

Diving into the new episodes of the Netflix hit.

Summer’s A-Comin’ at the pool!

We’ve had a few runs of sunny days this spring to give… Continue reading

Detached housing units could help struggling families

Here is a fundamental truth. Everyone needs to be some place. We… Continue reading

Thank you to those who support the school district

As the school district makes its transition to summer learning and vacation… Continue reading

Tips for staying safe at the pool

Let’s talk water safety. May is national Water Safety Month, and the… Continue reading

Innovative library program in the works

The King County Library System has long been committed to offering a… Continue reading

The past months have been busy but important

March and April are busy months for school districts that bring complexity,… Continue reading

What families should do after they’ve chosen a school district

Last month, my column discussion centered on strategies for determining district of… Continue reading

Young adults need to plan for an uncertain future

Teenagers and young adults, we love you, but we are letting you… Continue reading

Exciting news at the Tukwila Pool

The Tukwila Pool has some exciting things going on this spring you… Continue reading

Branching out into Tukwila

You may have noticed some new names in the paper last month… Continue reading