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Seattle council member throws support behind I-5 lid

screen-shot-2015-12-15-at-4-44-19-pm-1The Lid I-5 group started 2017 with a financial boost in its push for a $1 million study of bridging the gap over the interstate between Capitol Hill and downtown. It also is getting some valuable political support. Seattle City Council member Sally Baghsaw’s District 7 covers downtown. In January, she added her voice off support in a call for studying the possible lid:

We can create a “public land make, not a land take” that could be available for affordable housing, more parks and green space, and private office space to help pay for it.  As other big cities have shown, this is one way we can create new real estate for public/private partnerships and make our Downtown greener and more Age-Friendly.

“I fully support Lid I-5 in District 7, and recognize this is a project that will be envisioned and completed in phases over the next decade(s),” Bagshaw writes.

The Lid I-5 group has proposed a $1 million lidding study as part of the public benefits package the City Council must decide on that will accompany the the massive $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center. Other important neighborhood projects are also lined up to be part of the package meant to offset the loss of public right of way from street/alley vacations involved in the expansion.

The Lid I-5 group says there is also growing momentum in City Hall behind its idea for a “short term” “proof-of-concept” lid project at Pine and Boren that would cost around $10 million to complete.

If you think lidding I-5 sounds too far fetched, Bagshaw, in her typical colloquial style, says, not so fast, buster.

“Visionary? You bet. Pie in the sky? No way,” she writes. “It’s what we need to increase green over gray and another way to make our city truly Age Friendly.”

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13 thoughts on “Seattle council member throws support behind I-5 lid

  1. I’d love a lid if the city were not crumbling down around us. Yes, i get different funding but its misguided funding.

  2. The idea of building a mix of city-owned commercial space and affordable housing is great. If it’s just to build a park, we’ll have a space even more full of addicts and homeless than CalmAnderson, and another huge space that’s unsafe after dark.

  3. The idea that a greenspace throughout the downtown corridor would simply become another needle haven is narrow minded and cynical. Have you ever been to a world class park? Think Central Park, Prospect Park, Austin’s Metropolitan park or one of the many great parks in Chicago. Sure there is a limited homelessness presence, but the parks are overwhelmingly enjoyed by the residents and tourists of the city. Seattle is a city surrounded by natural beauty that does very little to cultivate it. This would be a step in the right direction.

  4. Investing in beautiful, innovative infrastructure to build a wonderful, forward looking city is worth it. Invest in what lasts! Lid I-5 and create green space, cultural space…. This city is in a gorgeous natural setting and culturally vibrant. Invest in the place!

  5. This is one of those things that is a “nice to have.” It would look lovely, but the big issue is that it would be extremely expensive and would really only benefit those who live and work near it and tourists. We have so many pressing issues that we need to address as a city, and we are not gaining ground even though we are passing levy after levy.

    If it does move forward, there should be no property tax to pay for it. Maybe there could be a creative source of funding such as a combination of hotel/tourism taxes and developer fees for those who build on or adjacent to it. It would also be nice for some of the large SLU employers to chip in since their employees would disproportionately benefit from it. Maybe an SLU business district tax.