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  1. #1
    2k miles from the midwest Dylansbob's Avatar
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    What's the scoop on Tacoma?

    My wife just found out she got a job in Tacoma. We've been trying for about a year to get out of midwest and out to Northwest. Can anyone give some idea of a good place to live, near enough to downtown that we won't need a car? Thanks,

    brent

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    hello, i live close to tacoma, bonney lake, about 20 mi. to the east. tacome is built on several hills. it is pretty much an industrial city of about 200,000 population, with several smaller towns adjoining it. i worked their for about 30 years or so. the way it is laid out getting around without a car would be a challenge. there are busses, pierce cty. transit. i have always driven. to the north is ruston, town, with point defiance park. beautiful place, with a zoo and an aquarium, lots of woods, all on a point over looking puget sound, comencment bay, and the narrows. they are building a new bridge across the narrows, great growth on that side. the north end is beautiful old town area. down town is business area and you don't want to be around the hill top area. lots of trouble up there. the south end and east side are mostly residental, with some manufacturing. the tide flats are pretty much mfg. and shipping port. south tacoma way, to the south is called little asia, with many asian stores, resturants, etc. there. there are lots of good places to live, and some really bad places, that i would not want to live in. hopes this helps some, if you want more info feel free to reply with questions. john

  3. #3
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Downtown is built on quite the hill. I've visited on business and pleasure but have never lived there. Sounds like the north end / old town area is the place to live.

  4. #4
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waunderin
    hello, i live close to tacoma, bonney lake, about 20 mi. to the east. tacome is built on several hills. it is pretty much an industrial city of about 200,000 population, with several smaller towns adjoining it. i worked their for about 30 years or so. the way it is laid out getting around without a car would be a challenge. there are busses, pierce cty. transit. i have always driven. to the north is ruston, town, with point defiance park. beautiful place, with a zoo and an aquarium, lots of woods, all on a point over looking puget sound, comencment bay, and the narrows. they are building a new bridge across the narrows, great growth on that side. the north end is beautiful old town area. down town is business area and you don't want to be around the hill top area. lots of trouble up there. the south end and east side are mostly residental, with some manufacturing. the tide flats are pretty much mfg. and shipping port. south tacoma way, to the south is called little asia, with many asian stores, resturants, etc. there. there are lots of good places to live, and some really bad places, that i would not want to live in. hopes this helps some, if you want more info feel free to reply with questions. john

    +1. Tacoma is very much a mixed bag. There are some very nice areas of restored homes, etc...but you are always about 10-12 minutes away from being on an episode of COPS. North End is nice. Parkland, Spanway, and South Tacoma...much more spotty. The downtown area has improved greatly over the past 10 years.
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  5. #5
    JosephCyclepriest
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    Love Tacoma

    After 16 years on or near Bainbridge Island, moved to Tacoma Dec 2004. We love it. We are within walking distance, and with good transit, of five museums, a splendid neighborhood park (Wright), a classic movie theater, and the sizzle of a renaissant city. I bike to and from Point Defiance most days (5 miles each way), either through relatively good-for-biking city streets or along Ruston Way waterfront park and beaches. At the Park, the loop around it is 5 miles each time, and I generally do from 2 to 5 times, then home again. The average elevation gain for my average trip (to the Park, around the 5-mile drive 2x and back) is about 1770 ft--yes, there are hills. Makes for more efficient workouts!

    We live in a pre-Titanic home. To get to town, there are both buses and light rail. A commuter train links us with the Seattle area. Amtrak comes through with its famous Talgo Spanish passenger carriages. The airport is just 25 minutes away. The areas with a reputation for crime are improving--crime dropped here in the FBI report that came out this week, compared with rises in most major cities. The Stadium neighborhood and the North-end, Proctor nighborhoods are hidden treasures. Costs are lower than Seattle, and condominiazation is rampant.

    The Universities--U/Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran, and U/Puget Sound are all very fine. New restaurants survive and many thrive. Tall ships visit in great numbers for civic festivals. Downtown has major festivals that draw all age groups. Two great revitalized legit theaters bring music and drama to town, and smaller venues offer variety. The "City of Destiny"--the name it had when it was hoping to be the railhead of the Great Northern--is coming to life as a liveable city it doesn't take an hour to drive through. You'll be just in time to witness the opening of the New Tacoma Narrows Bridge, paralleling the older one that replaced the one that blew away in 1941.

    I have lived in many places. I'm happy to be in a city that can be said to have a There there. The entire region is accessible from here, buits nice to be home.

  6. #6
    BF Risk Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain
    +1. Tacoma is very much a mixed bag. There are some very nice areas of restored homes, etc...but you are always about 10-12 minutes away from being on an episode of COPS.
    I hate to say it, but as a native of this area, that is probably one of the funniest and perhaps accurate statements I have seen about Tacoma for a while. But the North End up around UPS is a nice area.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  7. #7
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    I lived right accross I-5 from the Tacoma mall for a while, it's alright but the freway is like a friggin whitewater river. I was within a 10 minute bike ride of downtown, the mall, REI, the vietnamese, district(AKA 38th street Lincoln district) and about 20 minute ride from the korean district(southern South Tacoma way/Lakewood) and the Ruston Way waterfront parks near old town.

    The crime is hardly what it used to be, even on the hilltop(just above downtown). I have family in the northeast/Brown's point area which is, and always has been, very low crime but it's on the far side of the bay from downtown.

    Check out "The Mecca Theater" on Broadway in downtown, if you visit. It's one of the last holdouts from old school Downtown.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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  8. #8
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    If you want a nice area in Tacoma close by...

    University Place.

    My co-worker lives there, and recommends it for being a safe and well kept area to live.
    President, OCP
    --"Will you have some tea... at the theatre with me?"--

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    OK, I am getting home sick.

    I spent my Junior and Senior high years in NE Tacoma. Attended Meeker Jr. High before it moved, and Stadium High, which is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year.

    I haven't cycled there in over 30 years, but I loved riding from NE Tacoma to visit friends in North Tacoma about 8-9 miles away. We would several times then ride out to Point Defiance and horse around.

    There were some wonderful roads to ride in NE Tacoma, Browns Point and Federal Way, but it has built up a lot, so I am not sure about traffic issues.

    For mountain biking (and I used to do it before there was anything called a mountain bike) there were some nice trails along the powerlines just across the border into Federal Way from NE Tacoma. Particularly between 320th and 356th, and the section just south of there. Probably illegal, but fun!

    I did ride to school and back a couple of times (NE Tacoma to Stadium), it was 8 miles when 11th street went through, now it is longer with looping around the industrial area, but the additional length is pretty flat. The only killer on that ride was the final climb from the tide flats to NE Tacoma. It used to be called Highline Road, but now is Norpoint Parkway (or something like that). After a day of riding, I don't think I was ever able to ride my three speed all the way up that hill.

    I would think there are several places you could live safely and be car free, it is just you will have to rely on buses and/or walking to supplement cycling due to the hills.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member wubrew's Avatar
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    Dylan
    Tacoma can be roughly divided as Old Town, North end, Proctor, South end and the rest. the first three tend to be the more desirable areas due to its quaintness, proximity to the sound, well established neighborhood and ammenities i.e school, shopping,restaurant etc. Needless to say the houses there demand premium $$. Avg $200-250/sqf will get you a premium house. Probably high if you are moving from mid west. Still pretty cheap compare to Seattle. If you have kids and wish to be close to every thing those are the area I will recommend. I have 2 kids and have to chauffer them aroud the clock for their activities. N E is the perfect place for the price and life style. As for the comments about 10-12 away from---cops I will not dignify the comment by responding.
    Welcome to the North West.

  11. #11
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    For a scenic ride the foothills trail that starts right off east pioneer in Puyallup and Shaw road just east of Van Lierops bulb farm and you can ride to South Praire not really sure how long of a ride it is but I'm thinking its about 40 miles RT. great views of Mt. Rainier when its clear and along the Puyallup river. In June there is the Tour de Pierce its a sponsored ride by Group health and the Pierce county parks and rec dept. Three different distances of 13mi 30 mi and 50 mi. another good ride that takes you through northern pierce and a little of King county in Auburn. There are lots of great places to ride in the area.

  12. #12
    Tacoma aroma
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    I am going to refresh this thread and hopefully find out some local bikers who are into commuting through and around this great city. Personally, I couldn't think of another place to live. Sure, it has it's rough spots, but what city doesn't. Seattle or Portland aren't much better on crime. I know it's two years later but lets see what Tacomans want to show some Tacoma love and tell everyone not living here why they should live here. That's all I have to say, for now.

  13. #13
    Member Jman007's Avatar
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    I ride around in T town, it is a good time, I have lived here for around 8 years but just got into biking. The one thing I have noticed from biking in Tacoma is no matter where you go you are going to find hills in this town. In my car I never noticed them but man I sure take note now.

    If you ever want to take a ride around Tacoma let me know Grand-view Dr looks like a great loop, I have been wanting to try it.

  14. #14
    Tacoma aroma
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    Grandview Drive does seem like a good loop. I have never done it myself but its not too far from where I live. My favorite loop is to head down Pearl St., down through the five mile drive at Point Defiance and head back along Ruston way and then up 30th st. hill, or should I say hell

  15. #15
    Member Jman007's Avatar
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    ohh that hill looks so scary I have not had the gumption to try that hell yet. If you want to put on some fast miles the Foot hills trail is great I did it for the first time with my father in law. Before we knew it we put on 30 miles. Such a beautiful ride, it was really nice because you don't have to worry about cars.
    When you feet hurt, your knees ache, and your butt is sore that is your body's way of telling you more more more...

  16. #16
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    Bring your rain gear, buy skis/snowboard and enjoy the area!
    We cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them. A.E.

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  17. #17
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    oh, and I forgot, bring your patience....traffic can be challenging at times
    We cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them. A.E.

    1990 Diamond Back MTB
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