We are excited to share that the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has included the Lid I-5 feasibility study in its initial public benefits proposal!
The lid study was ranked as the number one choice out of 14 proposals at the December open house for the WSCC’s major expansion project. This is a major milestone that affirms the credibility of our work. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support and passion of community members like you.
The image above is from the February 16 Design Commission meeting, showing the order of public priorities. View the WSCC’s initial public benefits presentation online (large PDF file).
No value has yet been assigned to the study, but we will continue to seek at least $1.5 million. This will fund City staff and expert consultants for a 1-2 year analysis of the economics and technical constraints of lidding Interstate 5 for new public land. In response to Design Commission feedback, the Lid I-5 Steering Committee is now developing a complete description of the study’s scope, management, and outcomes. Over the long term, lids will reconnect our most populous neighborhoods with new parks, more affordable housing, and possibly a Downtown school.
Our second proposal for building a small lid at the corner of Pine Street and Boren Avenue was not included in the WSCC’s initial proposal, although it was ranked second by the public. The rationale is that the study is required first. While we agree with that reasoning, we will be retooling our approach to ensure the Pine-Boren lid park is funded through this process.
The City agrees that the initial public benefit proposal is not nearly large enough. Lid I-5 will continue collaborating with fellow neighborhood groups to maximize investment in our communities. Learn more about this effort, dubbed the Community Package, at our guest post on The Urbanist.
The next Design Commission meeting on the WSCC’s public benefits is Thursday April, 20 (details to be determined).