Putting a lid on the interstate through downtown Seattle could create new space for parks and housing, reduce pollution, and reconnect the disrupted street grid.
Doug Trumm reports on Seattle's "quiet" release of the Lid I-5 Feasibility Study, which highlights the benefits of capping freeways in cities. The report, funded through a community benefits package from the Washington State Convention Center expansion project, was "designed to understand the technical and financial feasibility of lidding the freeway and to look at opportunities for maximizing public benefits."
Trumm assesses the top takeaways from the study, which analyzed the potential impacts and effects of putting a "lid" on a 17-acre area of Interstate 5. According to the study, the lid could accommodate a 2.5-9.8 acre park, reconnect the street grid, reduce noise pollution, and improve stormwater drainage. The project would also create more space for housing construction in Seattle's dense downtown. "WSP did some structural engineering analysis to determine how much development could go atop the lid, and, while each section is different, the short answer is a lot. Bicknell’s 2019 article on earlier lid feasibility research had hinted midrise and some highrise development was possible. The final report estimated up to 4.7 million square feet of new housing is feasible–enough space for 4,500 homes–and between two and five million square feet of commercial/office space."
Lid I-5 Seattle's Scott Bonjukian told The Urbanist that "getting some more money for studies and planning in the next state transportation package is the next major goal."
The Surprising Oil Tax in the Inflation Reduction Act
President Biden has made reducing gas prices paramount in his administration, so it was likely a surprise to hear a Republican senator last Sunday warn TV viewers that a revived and increased oil fee in the climate bill will increase their gas costs.
The Tide Has Turned Against Open Streets
Once a promising development for advocates pushing for a less car-centric future in cities, the open streets movement has ceded significant ground to cars since the height of the pandemic.
San Antonio Office Tower To Become Residential
With the building more than half vacant, the new owners of the Tower Life Building plan to convert the historic tower into residences that could include affordable housing.
Department of the Interior Forced to Intervene on the Colorado River
More questions than answers on the Colorado River this week as the federal government failed to deliver on threats to force Southwest states to cut back on water use.
Explaining Rent Inflation
The delayed effects of changes in rent costs make rent inflation a difficult figure to pin down.
Dallas Names 66-Mile Bike and Walking Trail
When complete, the newly named DFW Discovery Trail will incorporate 50 miles of existing trails into a regional ‘super highway.’
Chaddick Institute at DePaul University
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Cohousing Association of the US
City of Crystal River
Sun City Center Community Association, Inc
City of Mesa
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