Support Lid I-5 at the February 16 Design Commission Meeting

February 16th will be a major milestone for this important community campaign. The Washington State Convention (WSCC) will present, for the first time, an official street/alley vacation public benefits proposal for its major expansion project. Meeting details are below.

Seattle Design Commission Meeting
Thursday, February 16th
9:00 AM – 10:30
Seattle City Hall, Room L2-80 (600 4th Avenue)
We will be there to respond to the presentation, and hope you can join us in supporting the Seattle Design Commission’s intent for a robust public benefit package. The Lid I-5 Steering Committee continues to seek two specific benefits:

1) In-lieu funding for a City-led lid feasibility study. Based on community participation, the project will analyze where freeway lids for parks, housing, new connections, and other civic uses will be most needed as Seattle grows over the next 20 years. We estimate this study will cost $1-1.5 million and take up to two years to complete.

2) We endorse the Seattle Department of Transportation’s proposal to build a 14,000 square foot lid park at the east corner of the Pine Street and Boren Avenue intersection. This will expand Plymouth Pillars Park and add critical new open space to Capitol Hill just across the street from the WSCC project. It will also become a “proof of concept” for lidding the rest of the city center freeway for new public land. Based on other projects we estimate this will cost $8-10 million.

The Community Package

Based on the scale of the project, in return for street and alley vacations the WSCC may offer public benefits worth $63-75 million.

We are working in solidarity with our local partners organizations to build a “Community Package” of public benefits. Together, we believe a number of investments in parks and open space, active transportation, and affordable housing are essential to enhancing Seattle’s livability. You can learn at our guest article on The Urbanist.
How You Can Help

It’s important the decision makers hear from community members like you. Please send a personalized message of support to the Design Commission by February 10th: michael.jenkins@seattle.gov

Please also join us the morning of February 16th to make a spoken public comment to the Design Commission. Whether e-mailed or verbal, we suggest including these key talking points:

  • The WSCC can grow its legacy as a steward for central Seattle by balancing the need for growth and the impacts of that growth by contributing to a more attractive, safe, livable, and affordable city center.
  • A key part of that stewardship will be funding the citywide Interstate 5 lid feasibility study. The funding will be managed by the City of Seattle and help pay for an expert consultant team.
  • Discovering what is possible with I-5 lids will not only benefit the general public, but also directly benefit the WSCC and its future visitors due to its facilities’ close proximity to I-5.
  • The Pine-Boren lid park will similarly address open space needs directly generated by the WSCC, address a shortage of park land in Capitol Hill, and be a good first step to understanding what larger lids can do for Seattle in the future.
  • Both public benefit requests are consistent with Seattle Comprehensive Plan policies T 3.12 and P 1.17.
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