Visionary Ideas at the Freeway Park Charrette

Lizz Giordano/Capitol Hill Times

Through the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG campaign, we can report we raised just over $10,000 this week, including matches! We are highly appreciative of your support for this important volunteer effort, and your gifts will help us continue building a citywide coalition, engaging elected leaders, and developing a community vision.

For an example of what your contributions help us do, we’re excited to report another successful Lid I-5 charrette! Visionary ideas big and small are moving the campaign forward.

The event last Saturday morning was organized for the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) annual conference, a national gathering of great minds in architecture, engineering, real estate, and urban activism. We also teamed with Freeway Park Association and were joined by a few local residents, including Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. With several dozen CNU participants, we toured the areas in and around Freeway Park and then engaged in a rapid study session to envision physical improvements that would benefit the community.

The enthusiasm and deliberateness of the participants was clear, and all five design teams developed great ideas. There are too many to mention here (stay tuned for our formal report), but the highlights included:

  • Between Pike and Pine, build an amphitheater from Plymouth Pillars Park down to the Paramount, and activate both Pike and Pine with retail.
  • In Freeway Park, address the narrow passageway between the current convention center and Hubble Street with modern colored lighting to help make it more safe and attractive.
  • South of Freeway Park, build a ‘critter bridge’ for humans over the Seneca offramp so people are encouraged to walk through the concrete forms that serve as a built-environment greenbelt.

Read more about the experience at Capitol Hill Times.

This public enthusiasm and expert insight is building momentum towards a historic moment: conducting a lid feasibility study for the Interstate 5 corridor. The study will focus not only in Downtown, but also citywide where key neighborhoods can be reconnected with parks, community facilities, affordable housing, and new streets.

The Convention Center has proposed funding this study as part of their major expansion project – we’ll have an update on Monday regarding how you can help ensure the study has enough funding to be technically robust and reflect community priorities.

Best regards,
The Lid I-5 Steering Committee