Redesign the U District / Wallingford I-5 Scar on September 16


Have you been looking for a way to get directly involved with the Lid I-5 movement? Now is your chance!

Join us on Saturday, September 16, for a design charrette focused on the segment of Interstate 5 dividing Wallingford and the University District. At this free public event we’ll build a vision for reconnecting these two neighborhoods that have been divided by the Interstate 5 freeway for more than half a century.

Community ideas–that is, your ideas–are needed to help broaden the conversation and build public support for this important campaign. Pedestrian links and lids for parks and affordable housing are expected to be popular concepts in a rapidly growing area that recently underwent a major upzone and is expecting a new light rail station in 2021.

The event will include a brief presentation on the origins and goals of Lid I-5 community effort, along with a summary of two previous charrettes focused in the downtown area. Participants will be divided into small teams to identify problems caused by the freeway and develop design solutions. Perhaps these efforts in First Hill and C/ID can offer some inspiration.

Here are the details:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER or fill out the form below
Saturday, September 16
12:30 PM – 4:30
University Christian Church, 4731 15th Avenue NE
Facebook page to share (optional)

The Lid I-5 Steering Committee is a volunteer group of Seattle residents advancing the concept of lidding Interstate 5 citywide to reconnect neighborhoods and create new land for public and private uses. The group is fiscally sponsored by the nonprofit Seattle Parks Foundation.

The Lid I-5 Steering Committee’s primary objective is initiating a Seattle Lid Feasibility Study. Partial funding has been offered by the Washington State Convention Center as a public benefit associated with its major expansion project. The City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development has confirmed it will manage the study if funding is secured.

Attendees at the Lid I-5 Community Open House in June 2017. Photo credit: Alex Garland Photography.

Existing freeway lids in the region include Freeway Park and the Washington State Convention Center above Interstate 5 and several lids over Interstate 90 and State Route 520. Dozens of other built and planned lid projects across the nation are helping growing cities reconnect street grids, reduce pollution, and restitch urban neighborhoods to improve quality of life, economic well-being, and public health.

Lid I-5 is a community organization working to continue the effort of lidding Seattle’s freeways for parks, housing, community facilities, and other public uses. They are 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

The Case for a Wallingford Crossing

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Amy Taylor

I feel like this group is diluting the primary goal of lidding I-5 in downtown by doing this… also, what about lidding I-5 in areas of the city that deserve more investment…. straight, white dudes of lid I-5 (seriously, are there even any women on your “steering committee”)? How about a lid connecting south Beacon Hill to Georgetown?

Mike Carr

Where are the areas of the city which deserve more investments? Based on what?

Amy Taylor

Areas that have historically been underserved, low access to vehicles/ high dependency on transit, low connectivity to other neighborhoods/city services, low access to parks/open space.

UW/ Wallingford hits some of these boxes, I guess I just wonder why they immediately went to UW/ Wallingford. Georgetown is so isolated, a neighborhood island surrounded by industry, and would benefit a lot by being connected to Beacon Hill. Also that side of beacon hill is steep and much more impacted by I-5 noise than UW/ Wallingford…..

Nick v

I think there are a lot of logistical problems with a lid connecting south Beacon Hill to Georgetown, elevation difference being the biggest.

A lid between Wallingford and U-District could be great! I would like to see a partnership with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and see what route options would work, I think 47th could be good, or they could extend the Wallingford Neighborhood Greenways on 44th/43rd. (Obviously with only bike/peds allowed on the lid part)


I hope they are able to learn from the mistakes others have made, such as the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, covering a buried freeway with acres of placeless nothing. “Parks”, i.e., dead space, are easy to plop down on architectural drawings but very, very difficult to make useful or attractive.

Mike Carr

With the high demand and lack of supply for Single Family Housing, this is a great opportunity to provide more houses for these two neighborhoods.