Imagine a big, blank lid extending over I-5, connecting Capitol Hill to downtown. How would you fill it in? Trees and green space? Affordable housing? More streets with busses connecting the neighborhoods? A public meeting on Saturday to gather ideas could produce the design groundwork for the real thing.
Over the past several months, members of the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council have been working to convince policy makers and the public that now is the time to plan for such a project. The reason is that developers for the Washington State Convention Center Addition, planned for the base of Capitol Hill, could kickstart a nearby lid project as part of a required community benefits process. Whether or not that happens may depend on how much the public wants it.
“We’re almost guaranteed to have lids over I-5 given the past precedents,” said PPUNC chair John Feit. “This isn’t just some academic exercise.”
The Lid I-5 campaign’s design charrette will take place at 12th Ave Arts this Saturday, May 7th, from 8 AM to 1 PM (coffee and High 5 Pie provided). Attendees will be armed with markers and tracing paper over a blown up image of the I-5 corridor to draw up their best ideas for a lid. Organizers have also complied packets of materials reviewing existing lids in Seattle and around the U.S., and will have nifty Lid I-5 buttons for anyone who attends.
Pine Street Group developers will next go before the Seattle Design Commission on June 7th, where public benefits for the WSCC addition will be discussed. Commissioners are not expected to take any action. However, the commission will consider materials submitted by the community ahead of the meeting, creating an ideal opportunity to present the results of Saturday’s charrette.
“We have a chance to influence their decision and say the community is organized and here are some ideas on what we think,” Feit said. Continue reading