Busy on November 30? Join us for #GivingTuesday!
What is it?
#GivingTuesday has become an internationally recognized day to celebrate generosity and show gratitude and support for the organizations in your community making a difference. And probably not by coincidence, it follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Whatever started the tradition, we love it and encourage you to consider giving a gift to kick off your holiday season.
When is it?
The official date for #GivingTuesday is November 30, but you can make a donation anytime between now and December 1. We are participating through our fiscal sponsor, Seattle Parks Foundation, to raise money to support Lid I-5’s campaign to build the case and constituency for putting a lid over I-5 to repair past infrastructure inequities, reconnect communities, and restore confidence in a brighter, greener future. We know this project is technically and financially feasible, as long as a broad coalition of people continue to ask their legislators to make it to happen.
What do I do?
Make a donation today!
Our goal for this campaign is $1,000 to show continued community interest in this project and maintain momentum through advocacy, community outreach, and expert planning. Any amount is greatly appreciated! For more details on feasibility, our progress, and case studies of how other cities have done this, visit lidi5.org.
We recognize that people give back in many ways, and we thank all of you who have donated time to voice your support for our project and volunteer at events. We will continue to share opportunities to get involved as they become available.
Thanks for all you do to help make Seattle one of the world’s greatest cities!
With heartfelt gratitude,
Team Lid I-5
Federal Grant Program Passes!
We have exiting news on the federal front: the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $1 billion for a Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program! About $250 million of that is specifically for planning/study/outreach grants, with a maximum federal share of $2 million each. The remainder of the program is for construction-ready projects.
This is an amazing and historic achievement that was only possible with the sustained advocacy of citizens across Seattle, Washington, and the country. We partnered with some great organizations to send our support to Congress over the summer (see our letters from July, August, and September). Thank you to the Washington delegation who worked on the legislation and who recognize that past investments in highway infrastructure have done disproportionate harm to urban communities.
We understand the grant applications will be open in late 2022, and we’ll be ready to apply as soon as the program is open. The Lid I-5 team will be working with our community and government partners, alongside our expert Advisory Council, to determine the best use of funding. We’re also actively working with like-minded community efforts along Highway 99 to address the impacts of that corridor.
The Build Back Better Act, the second major funding package being considered by Congress, is proposing a similar $4 billion program.
By funding freeway capping and highways-to-boulevards projects, these grants will directly improve residents’ quality of life and support more environmentally and economically resilient communities. You can contact your federal Representatives and Senators to send your own encouragement. Thank you to every individual and organization who has supported the project so far!
Seattle Voters Ready for Attention on I-5
A scientific poll conducted by the nonprofit Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) brings big news: “Over eight in ten voters described themselves as concerned” about the capability of Interstate 5 to survive a major earthquake in Seattle. Further, “More than three-fourths of respondents indicated support for relocating ramps” in the Downtown area.
For the first time it shows just how hungry the public is for fixing I-5. Six times as many voters are concerned about seismic vulnerability as those who are not. WSDOT and the state legislators have also long known that I-5 in Seattle is approaching or past the end of its service life and needs major upgrades to remain operational after the next Cascadia earthquake. These are the same reasons WSDOT demolished the Alaskan Way Viaduct and is in the middle of rebuilding State Route 520.
If rehabilitation work happens soon, lidding I-5 at the same time may be a logical way to productively utilize resources and reconnect our central, vibrant neighborhoods while reducing air and noise pollution – a win-win for everyone. Lidding I-5 could also be done independently, which the 2020 feasibility study confirms is possible.
The Downtown ramp system doesn’t work well. Some of the ramps don’t meet modern standards for spacing or location (especially at Spring Street and Seneca Street), they hamper Downtown bus transit and pedestrian safety, and they reduce opportunities for lids at First Hill. The NPI poll specifically asked, “please specify whether you would support or oppose relocating some of the Interstate 5 ramps in downtown Seattle if this were determined to be feasible for improving traffic congestion and safety issues”. A resounding 77 percent said they do.
Will our city and state leaders step up to these major challenges and opportunities? We’ll be talking with them this fall to share the polling information and advance the Lid I-5 project. See the next news item below.