August 2016 Update

As the sunny weather rolls back in to Seattle we’ve been enjoying the outdoors but are also busy shaping the campaign plan. The plan will prioritize our efforts over the next year, including what our next events and advocacy actions will be.

We’ve learned that the process for approving the Convention Center Addition’s street vacations has been pushed back to later this fall, so our publication of the May charrette results has also been slowed. You’ll be the first to know when it is available for viewing.

In the meantime, we’ve rounded up some exciting news from around Seattle and the country related to this important campaign:

  • Melrose Promenade has been recommended for a $3 million Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) grant to enhance Melrose Avenue, along the east side of I-5 in Capitol Hill, with pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Resident volunteers have been working for at least four years to design and build the project.
  • PSRC also recommended $14 million grant to add a northbound lane to I-5 between Seneca Street and Pike Street, demonstrating that the state can relieve bottlenecks and increase capacity without widening the freeway.
  • KIRO 7 interviewed two of our volunteers about the campaign and an open $10,000 matching grant. The grant is still available for a match.
  • KING 5 visited Freeway Park for the park’s 40 year anniversary. Click here for some great photos of the event!
  • In First Hill twin 32-story residential towers are proposed on Seneca Street adjacent to I-5. The site is currently a parking lot. Lidding the freeway and improving Freeway Park in this area would make the area more attractive for current and future residents.
  • On Capitol Hill at the corner of Melrose and Pine a 7-story residential building with a rooftop restaurant is being planned for what is currently a parking lot adjacent to I-5. Developer Brian Heather supports our campaign: “Foot traffic is almost certain to increase after the opening of the Washington State Convention Center Addition just across I-5. Not surprisingly, Heather said he is a big fan of a campaign to build a lid over that part of the interstate.”
  • Pittsburgh has been awarded $19 million federal TIGER grant to build a lid over I-579. It will reconnect Downtown and the Hill District through a former arena site, and initial plans call for a park with retail.
  • The USDOT has selected four winners for its Every Place Counts Design Challenge. With transportation exports at two-day workshops, the awarded cities will investigate how to heal the divisions caused by freeways. Philadelphia will have an emphasis on lidding the Vine Street Expressway. The other workshops will address the I-90 corridor in Spokane, I-90’s dissection of the Rondo neighborhood in the Twin Cities, MN, and I-40 in Nashville. Seattle applied for addressing I-5 in the International District.
  • The Capitol Crossing project in Washington, D.C. – a privately financed lid over I-395 – completed one phase of the lid project last month. The rest is expected to be completed this fall. Click here for more project history, a map, and a video.
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