Welcoming

Improvements
Photo credit: Jason Ganwich

Banners

The BIA manages Downtown Tacoma's banner program. The purpose of the program is to enhance the appearance of downtown's streetscape, brand downtown and call attention to community-based activities and events that capitalize on public and private investment in our vibrant urban center.

Banners installed by the BIA are permitted for year-round use and will be replaced approximately every 12-15 months. This program applies only to banners attached to public light poles within the boundaries of the BIA. It does not extend to banners suspended across downtown streets, nor does it extend to flags or other appurtenances attached to private buildings or poles. Banners will not promote for-profit enterprises.

Non-profits, artists and event organizers are encouraged to participate in the banner program. Upon application, the BIA will work with interested parties on design and installation of the banners. Groups interested in this element of the program should contact the BIA after reviewing the Banner Program Guidelines. All designs must be approved by the Tacoma Arts Commission and the BIA Board of Directors.

  • Banner Program Guidelines
  • For more information on the Banner Program, please contact BIA Manager David Schroedel, (253) 682-1723 or davids@tacomachamber.org. 

Flower Baskets

Downtown's hanging flower baskets are a harbinger of spring. The BIA provides the over 65 flower baskets that decorate downtown between April and October. The City of Tacoma keeps the baskets looking fresh and well watered throughout the summer months.

Retail Strategy

In 2018, the City of Tacoma worked with a consultant to develop a Retail Strategy for downtown Tacoma. This strategy is the foundation of our effort to improve the Downtown Tacoma retail environment. Read more about the findings and approach here: [PDF]

Downtown Tacoma LINK

In 2014, Sound Transit was planning to begin charging riders $1 per ride on the LINK, Downtown Tacoma’s local connecter train. The BIA offered to pay the expected net revenue to Sound Transit in exchange for keeping the LINK fare free. In 2016, Sound Transit was again considering implementing charging riders, this time $1.50 per ride. Ridership was expected to drop 25% while Atlanta saw its ridership drop by 48%.

Can you imagine how much downtown Tacoma would change if somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 trips were by car instead? Or what if those trips never happened at all? Would you still head down the street for lunch? Would someone attending a concert at the Tacoma Dome still decide to stay at a hotel in the downtown core? Both history and projections say that hundreds of thousands of people would say "no."

In the end, the Sound Transit Board agreed to continue accepting the BIA’s payment in exchange for keeping the Downtown Tacoma LINK fare free until the planned extension to Hilltop is complete, approximately 2022.