Support Lidding I-5 at City Council!


More than two years after our first presentation to City Council we’re going back on Wednesday. This time we need your help to move the Lid I-5 vision forward.

The Sustainability & Transportation Committee wants to hear from you about public benefits of the Convention Center expansion. The key component we’ve secured is $1.5 million for the City to lead an I-5 lid feasibility study. We reached an agreement with the Convention Center in 2017 after sustained effort with our allies in the Community Package Coalition, but the study still needs to be voted out of committee and approved by the full Council this spring.

The public hearing is Wednesday, April 18, 5:00 PM at Seattle City Hall. Mark your calendar, share on Facebook, and please plan to testify in support of Lid I-5 and our parks, housing, and transportation partners. We recommend arriving 10-20 minutes early to get your name on the speaker list.

Below are some key messages you can share in spoken testimony or in an email to the committee (contact information below). This is your chance to make sure City Council knows lidding I-5 is a public priority and will be a long-term win for mitigating environmental impacts and creating new public land.

After years of effort – including groups before ours – we are nearing a critical milestone in the vision for a stronger city. We hope you can partake in this historical effort to reconnect Seattle.

(optionally BCC so we can track your outreach)

Subject: Support for the I-5 lid feasibility study public benefit

Members of the City Council Sustainability & Transportation Committee,

It’s time to heal Seattle’s central freeway gash with places for people. In the years to come lidding Interstate 5 will create new public land for parks, affordable housing, civic facilities, complete streets, and other uses within our most populous neighborhoods. At the same time we can reduce noise and pollution where thousands of people live, work, and travel every day, including a number of public housing buildings adjacent to I-5.As part of their expansion and street/alley vacation request the Convention Center is offering $1.5 million to the City of Seattle to fund a rigorous and technical feasibility study of the lid opportunities. I fully support this public benefit funding and encourage the committee and the full council to approve it as soon as possible.

Considering similar studies in cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta, the proposed funding is adequate for performing a detailed engineering study, an economic and finance analysis, and creating a framework of urban design and social principles. This will ensure the study will provide vital and actionable information for the future steps of lid design, funding, and construction in the Center City.

The study will pair well with the proposed investments in Freeway Park, Seattle’s original freeway lid and still First Hill’s largest open space, and will intersect with proposed improvements for pedestrian and bicycle mobility across I-5 at Pike, Pine, and Olive. I support the other affordable housing, transportation, and open space improvements championed by the Community Package Coalition for our growing city.

Seattle will welcome 28,000 more households and 55,000 new jobs in the Center City – and thousands more citywide – by 2035. Consistent with Comprehensive Plan policies Transportation 3.12 and Parks 1.17, Seattle must support this growth with critical public amenities by making more efficient use of limited land. At the same time, we can buffer and filter the pollution of freeway traffic to create a healthier environment. Great parks, land for homes, and clean air are not luxuries – they are necessities for moving Seattle towards greater connectivity, sustainability, and opportunity for all.