In this newsletter:
- Join our next walking tour on June 27.
- Freeway Park is up a landmark designation on July 6.
- Share your voice for Lid I-5 on two citywide planning efforts.
- A new Freeway Fighting Network website has launched
Join Our Next Walking Tour June 27
Lid I-5 is back in the field to walk you through the Downtown study area. Register online here, as space is limited.
You’ll learn more about the results of the official feasibility study, hear what we’ve been up to, and visit historic Freeway Park as it undergoes the process to become a designated landmark. We will be joined by Senator Marko Liias, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, who was instrumental in securing funding for long-range Interstate 5 planning money.
Monday, July 27, 5:30 PM – 7:00
Meet at Marion and 7th
Freeway Park Up for Landmark Designation
Freeway Park opened on July 4, 1976, to great fanfare and admiration. It was one of the first parks built over an interstate freeway, promising to reconnect neighborhoods divided by concrete and fast-moving cars. It is also one of the most beautiful lid projects ever built, using a rare style of “landscape brutalism” that celebrates concrete forms and mixes in lush greenery.
Recognizing the historic achievement and importance of Freeway Park, last month the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted to nominate the park as a local landmark. This means the park would achieve special protected status under City of Seattle regulations, and could open up opportunities for funding to preserve and maintain the park long into the future. See the nomination here (PDF).
At Lid I-5, we are excited about this nomination, which was led by the Seattle Parks & Recreation Department. However, we want to make sure that any “controls” placed over the landmarked park remain flexible to allow modifications and expansion over time. The community has demonstrated a strong interest in filling in the gap over University Street and in the box garden area south of Seneca Street. Maintaining the ability to expand the park is a major equity issue since this area of Seattle has the poorest access to green space of any neighborhood, compared to the amount of people living and working nearby.
There will be an opportunity for public comment at an online meeting Wednesday, July 6, 3:30 PM. Mark your calendar and we’ll share the meeting link and how to participate later this month. We’ll also talk about this process at our June 27 walking tour (see above).
Share Your Voice on Two Citywide Plans
Seattle is working on two major planning efforts relevant to Lid I-5. Each has a new online “engagement hub” where you can take surveys, send in your ideas, and find upcoming events.
We encourage you to send in support for lidding I-5 citywide – not just in central Seattle – because of the important opportunities for reconnecting our streets, advancing social justice, and improving our environment. Lids can also provide much-needed space in a growing city for new parks, housing, and other needs. Key opportunity sites are in the Downtown/Capitol Hill/First Hill area, University District, Roosevelt/Green Lake, and Georgetown.
Members of the Lid I-5 team have already left a few comments on the maps and other input tools, including this comment on the comprehensive plan – feel free to find them and take our lead.
Of course, this is also a great time to send in your other priorities about our growth strategy and housing, transportation, parks, the economy, and other elements of city planning.
Thanks for your help!
New Freeway Fighters Network Website
From Houston to Minneapolis, Syracuse to Seattle, and in dozens of cities and towns in between, local advocacy groups are seeking ways to mitigate historical inequalities and damage caused by highways. Through an emerging coalition called Freeway Fighters, they are speaking out against infrastructure investments that prioritize a commuting culture at the expense of the most vulnerable communities. The coalition has launched a new Freeway Fighters Network website with information on local campaigns and how to get involved.
As many highways across the nation reach the end of their designed lifespan, people are asking for a more sustainable paradigm for American transportation. Lid I-5 has been a coalition partner since being recognized by a nationwide Congress for the New Urbanism report in 2021.