The Lid I-5 Mission
To build the case and constituency for lidding Interstate 5 and building a more connected, sustainable, and equitable Seattle.
Our vision is a healthy city that has made freeways disappear in populous and vibrant neighborhoods. Regional traffic keeps moving while parks, affordable housing, civic centers, and other amenities make productive use of the public right-of-way. Neighborhoods have opportunities to gather, grow, and get around in exciting and environmentally sustainable ways.
Dozens of communities across the nation, including in Seattle and King County, have demonstrated that freeways lids are a viable strategy to expand public land, reduce pollution, and enhance community connections. Seattle’s population growth and economic strength, along with WSDOT’s likely reinvestment in the I-5 corridor, have provided the perfect conditions for kickstarting this citywide conversation about transforming I-5 and other freeways from auto-centric challenges into city-building opportunities.
Lid I-5 is using grassroots action and engagement to seize this moment. The process must begin now to build effective intergovernmental partnerships and ensure the public has a voice in infrastructure planning. We are building a diverse and citywide coalition that can advocate for hyperlocal land use and transportation interests – including solutions other than lids, like pedestrian bridges and underpass improvements. A distinguished Advisory Council of technical, business, and social advocacy experts helps guide the campaign.
Lidding I-5 is a long term project that requires energy and perseverance. Success stories like Waterfront Seattle show how a small group of citizens can build a citywide movement that redesigns the urban fabric and fosters healthy people and places. All are invited to join the movement and shape this vision for a stronger Seattle.
We dare to dream big. The vision of a reconnected Seattle requires creativity, audacity, and can-do attitude. Seattle has long been a city of transformative projects and ideas. We will harness this energy to build a stronger city.
Seattle’s urban neighborhoods have been divided by freeways for decades. We need to heal these concrete scars by restoring vital social and economic connections. Freeway lids will expand people-powered walking and bicycling opportunities and create new sites for critical public amenities like parks, affordable housing, and community facilities.
This campaign is grassroots and led by locals. We invite all community members to participate and we actively seek diverse perspectives. Our public events and materials are as accessible as possible within our limited resources. Future freeway lid design and programming will be informed by an equitable and sustained public outreach process that accounts for the needs of both current residents and future generations.
The vision is grounded in a respect for the facts. We promote using the most up-to-date data and technical standards to make the cases for freeway lids and inform our work. The campaign actively seeks the guidance of experts such as engineers, architects, real estate professionals, and public officials to assess and refine the costs, benefits, and parameters for lidding freeways.
While a mix of private, public, and nonprofit supporters will be needed to transform this bold vision into reality, air rights must continue to be held in the public trust to ensure maximum community benefits. The project should be financially sustainable in both construction and maintenance and operations, especially where public funding is involved. The project ideally becomes a net revenue generator for the City.