Paths for hikers, bikers in high gear

Volunteers took to the streets of Tacoma on Oct. 5-7 at peak commute hours to tally the number of bicyclists and pedestrians crossing through heavily trafficked intersections and trails. Many students from Puget Sound were recruited to volunteer in an effort to obtain more data about non-motorists. “These counts are particularly important to the City of Tacoma as we begin to implement our Mobility Master Plan. This is the 3rd year that the City of Tacoma has participated,” said the Cascade Bicycle Club and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The City of Tacoma’s Mobility Master Plan intends to create a “comprehensive network of bikeways and pedestrian walkways citywide to enhance the comfort and safety of all users, improve access to transit and to increase the non-motorized mode split within the city,” says the City’s website.

Every year in May, the city puts on Bike Month in an effort to get citizens on their bikes more, like the Bike Swap on campus, Bike to Work Week and a bike art exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum. provides maps and route guides to help plan commutes by foot or bike.

Peter Hodum, a Biology professor, regularly bikes to work along with other professors such as Nancy Bristow and Doug Sackman. Peter received a reward for biking to work so much last year through Pierce County’s Relax Rewards campaign as he regularly commutes from his home near Point Defiance Park.

Puget Sound has joined forces with Tacoma and received a grant to coordinate more commutes between faculty and staff members at the University. Students will also have the opportunity to rent bicycles for an entire semester from the Expy beginning this upcoming spring term.

The coordinated efforts of Puget Sound, Pierce County Transit and the City of Tacoma are making it easier for students and faculty to get around Tacoma sans motor.