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TACOMA, WA-As the largest land area available for commercial development within the Tacoma Mall retail area, city officials are asking developers to help ease congestion in Lincoln Heights.

Lincoln Heights is situated within the boundaries of South 35th, South 38th and Pine streets and Interstate 5. The city council will discuss this week a proposed ordinance that would require commercial developers, whose projects would increase traffic above the current level in the Lincoln Heights area, to make road improvements.

City staffers say motorists’ current delays at the intersections of South 38th and Steele streets as well as South 37th and Steele streets are as much as 80 seconds during peak hours. That’s 25 seconds more than the city’s current design standard. Staffers claim the area “simply needs more street connections to divert traffic away from these high-use intersections.”

Specific improvements could include adding a traffic signal, improving or adding a road or making sidewalk improvements. If approved at a future meeting, the measure also would pave the way for the council to consider latecomers’ agreements for the Lincoln Heights area. A latecomer’s agreement would allow developers in the area to recoup costs from future developments that benefit from major improvements.

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