Tahoma is one of the three principal cities of the Whatcom Region. Boasting a population of 75,000 within the city proper and over 100,000 more in its outlying suburbs, the city has shed its exurban status with the advent of better connectivity to Whatcom, via high-speed rail service and a new, six-lane freeway.
From its very founding, Tahoma has been planned on a series of grids, one for each of its somewhat distinct neighborhoods. Downtown, bounded on the west by Tahoma Bay and on the east by the steep Market Hillclimb, is home to most of the city's highrise buildings. The city has invested heavily into renovating its waterfront, building a new pier and Ferris wheel adjacent to its former skid row.
Downtown Tahoma is served by two ferry docks, with regular service from its suburbs in Westpoint as well as the Port of Tahoma, to alleviate traffic on the few north-south streets during rush hour. Two new sports venues, BT Arena (left) and Tahoma Stadium (right), were built in the central boulevard of the city for its popular teams, part of the superclub Tahoma North Star (abbreviated as Tahoma NS), which fields teams in over 30 sports.
(AN: Ignore the intersection error. It was not seen until the images were uploaded to Majhost.)
Tahoma Central Station is served by trains coming approximately every 6 minutes at peak hours, arriving from destinations as far away as Newport/Baker and even Westgate Island. High-speed rail service to Whatcom, which runs through South Tahoma and Elliot Bay, operates on 15-minute frequencies during normal service, but is increased during special events and holidays.
At the north end of Tahoma's downtown sits her tourist areas, home to the sprawling Downtown Mall and Tahoma Performing Arts Center on Plaza Street and the small Tahoma City Beach, often crowded with sunbathing tourists and locals, only differentiated by their choice in more generic towels.
At Downtown's other end lies the new Tahoma City Pier, home to a museum dedicated to the local shipping industry as well as the popular combination arcade/aquarium. New hotels have sprung up in the two blocks adjacent to the pier's only entrance, filling the streets with tourists on any remotely nice day.
Above the train station sits the Tahoma Public Market and the rest of Market Hill, including a 3-block park that reaches the Tahoma Viaduct.
Market Hill is one of the densest neighborhoods in the region, with older brownstone apartments and modern condos sitting side-by-side, well served by frequent bus service to Downtown and other neighborhoods.
The Tahoma Viaduct carries six lanes of freeway through the eastern neighborhoods of Tahoma. Various plans to replace the aging structure, which is at risk of collapse during the next megathrust earthquake, have ranged from deep-bore and cut-and-cover tunnels to replacing the freeway entirely with a boulevard. As of writing, no official plans have been announced by the Tahoma municipal government.
Most of Tahoma's big box stores are only allowed on designated corridors that can handle increased traffic, such as arterial streets that connect Downtown to the Tahoma Viaduct.
South of Tahoma's Downtown lies the Industrial District, home to the Port of Tahoma and plenty of heavy industry.
The Port of Tahoma is the third largest in the Whatcom region, behind the ports of Whatcom and Baker. The ease of access between the port and various connections to other cities in the region give it a major advantage over its larger competitors.
The Industrial District and the upscale southern neighborhoods of Tahoma are served by a newly-constructed rail station with frequent service to Downtown during peak hours in addition to regional rail service.
The first diverging diamond interchange in the region was built in Tahoma to better serve port traffic without interfering with commuters from Tahoma's eastern suburbs.
One final parting shot of Downtown Tahoma. Stay tuned for the next update, to come in a few more months!