December 7: A Critical Moment for the Lid I-5 Movement


The future of the grassroots effort to lid Interstate 5 in Seattle depends on your support at a critical event next month.

On December 7, 5:00 – 7:00 PM, the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) will host an open house showcasing ideas for the public benefit package offered by the WSCC Addition project. The location is 705 Pike Street, Room 2AB. There will also be opportunities for online comment.

The Lid I-5 Steering Committee will be there to share our short term goal: securing funding for a robust technical analysis of where lidding I-5 is most reasonable citywide, what the new land should be used for, and how the freeway can be improved for commuters and neighbors alike. You can learn more on the campaign website.

We know the momentum to fix I-5 and reunify neighborhoods is growing, but we need your help to demonstrate this energy to local officials and the general public. Your attendance and show of support will send a strong message and help strengthen our cause.

Please click here to RSVP on Facebook and plan to join us.

If you have a Lid I-5 button, please wear that or pick one up at our table! You can also check out our report on the May 2016 design charrette, hear about positive changes we made to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, and learn how to get more involved.

The event will feature many other organizations working to improve community livability, including our partners at Freeway Park Association, First Hill Improvement Association, and Melrose Promenade.

Thank you for your continued support and your commitment to making Seattle a better city for all. Stay tuned for chances to help us promote this event over the next few weeks, and we look forward to seeing you on December 7.

Lid I-5 is a community organization working to continue the effort of lidding Seattle’s freeways for parks, housing, schools, and other public uses. They are officially sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation, a philanthropy-based organization that encourages public-sector investment and private-sector giving to help create, activate, and care for public spaces throughout Seattle. For information, visit

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>where lidding I-5 is most reasonable citywide

I know all this talk is about Capitol Hill, but lidding between the U district and Wallingford would be much easier and would improve quality of life and the walkshed to the new light rail station dramatically.


That would be nice, but lidding is expensive, and if anywhere in the entire state deserves a lid first (or other freeway noise reduction projects), it is Capitol Hill/First Hill. Outside of maybe South Lake Union, this area is the most densely populated stretch of land in the state and hosts a bunch of tourists throughout the year. There are tens of thousands of people who live and work within a few thousand feet of the freeway here, which is considered to be a health hazard.

I’d love to bury the entire freeway, but we need to prioritise projects that will benefit the most amount of people. The most egregious example of this not happening is the fact that we put a lid on Mercer Island, which benefits very few people considering the price.


Sure I get that lidding is expensive, but the north of the ship canal lid would be much easier from an engineering standpoint because each side of the highway is the same elevation roughly. The on and off ramps are also set up in an ideal configuration. You could probably lid from 43rd to 52nd for the same price as a block in Capitol Hill.


I’m all for both. I’m not sure how many funding sources could drip into this, but it would help if Seattle legislators could do a better job of forcing the state and WDOT to spend a more equitable amount of road funds in the city as they do in other parts of the state. With new revenue unlikely to materialize anytime soon, we need to do a better job of fighting for our projects and stop sending cash over the mountains. If East Washington doesn’t like living within their means, they can work with us to find a better tax package, but that is not going to happen when they take more from the pot than they put in.


What about tolling? Does the repair/replacement of I-5 qualify under current rules, and increased ability to toll sounds like it is in the works at the national level (though may prove hugely unpopular and immediately abandoned, I suppose).

And/Or a state initiative for subarea equity for gas tax revenues?

Mike Carr

The most egregious example will be ST3!

Al Dimond

How much does lidding actually improve local air quality? If so much pollution is emitted along the freeway won’t the pollution generally disperse pretty similarly with a lid as without it?