Lid I-5 Charrette Set For May 7th


The Lid I-5 campaign is kicking into high gear with its first major public event scheduled for May 7 at Capitol Hill Housing. The event is open to the public, and people are encouraged to reach out to friends and neighbors to form design teams beforehand. Teams will arrive at 8am for an introduction to the vision of lidding Interstate 5, be provided background information, and set off for several hours of brainstorming, drawing, and mapping. The details are listed below.

What: Lid I-5 Neighborhood Design Charrette
When: Saturday, May 7, 8am to 1pm
Where: Capitol Hill Housing (1620 12th Avenue, Suite 205, Seattle, WA)
Who: Open to all (RSVP here)

I wrote an extensive report on this topic for The Urbanist late last year. Since then, the campaign team has attended nearly a dozen public hearings and meetings and has met with local elected officials on the importance of lidding the freeway during an economic boom. New housing and commercial space is being added quickly to the Center City, but there is no plan to add a proportionate amount of open space to accommodate thousands of new residents and employees. The airspace above the I-5 canyon is the only place left in the core neighborhoods to add a significant amount of new parkland. Seattle and dozens of other cities around the nation have already done the same, and it’s time to do it again.

  1. a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

The event will bring together neighborhood residents and businesses, community leaders, and professional designers with the goal of demonstrating widespread support for closing the divide caused by I-5 in the Center City and beyond. This campaign is focused on the public’s ideas for improving the quality of life in the heart of Seattle. In addition, the event will collect feedback on what improvements are needed for existing parks and streets in the vicinity of I-5, Freeway Park, and the Convention Center to make them lid ready.

People who can’t attend all morning can drop by any time to participate in other ways and connect with Lid I-5 campaign volunteers. Some elected officials and representatives of community organizations will likely be in attendance. It is expected that design teams’ final pin-up and presentations will begin around 12pm.

The event will have light refreshments and drawing materials on hand. For logistical purposes the campaign team is requesting that all event participants RSVP via the online form below. For any questions or to get involved, contact mail *at*

Scott Bonjukian, our Education and Programming Director here at The Urbanist, is also a volunteer with the Lid I-5 campaign.

This is a cross-post from The Northwest Urbanist.

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Scott Bonjukian is a car-free urban designer with a passion for sustainable and efficient cities. With degrees in architecture and urban planning, his many interests include neighborhood design, public space and street design, transit systems, pedestrian and bicycle planning, local politics, and natural resource protection. He primarily cross-posts from his blog at The Northwest Urbanist and advocates for a variety of progressive land use and transportation solutions.

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Anne Gray

Will the charrette provide a nursery with childcare, like Charrettes customarily did in the 1970s, to permit all to participate?

E Berune

I hope this charrette includes a discussion about equity and emphasizing the importance of lidding SOUTH of the convention center just as much as the north of it.

As it stands, infrastructure improvements seem to largely enhance the lives of north-enders, and initial drawings of the lid seem to think that SLU / Capitol Hill section is somehow more desirable that Yesler Terrace and the ID. When logistical excuses start to be bandied about, relating that the South I-5 would be more difficult to lid, look at where the information is coming from…


I hope the charrette includes at least a passing reference to civic priorities. How important is such a project really, at a time when we can’t afford even basic maintenance on existing infrastructure?