Comment on a lid over I-5 in U District plus Neighborhood Safety

Friends and neighbors,

Last month, I met with Mayor Bruce Harrell’s public safety team and local business owners who have been victims of crime. It was important to listen to their stories of the financial devastation they have faced from repairs and stolen property, which often is not covered by insurance.

There’s much we can – and must do – from the large scale of funding behavioral health and ensuring we train behavioral health professionals to the small step of the city offering mini grants to help shop owners replace smashed windows. Shop owners expressed immediate appreciations as Deputy Mayor Burgess shared the availability of those funds.

This experience reminded me of the importance of public safety and the meaningful work the legislature accomplished to improve it during the 2023 legislative session. We passed bills to increase reentry support and services, provide offramps for treatment for those suffering from substance use disorder, increase access to diversionary programs, and expand recruitment and retention efforts for local police departments. These efforts will help get people the treatment they need, break the cycle of poverty-driven crime, support victims of crime, and improve safety for everyone in our community.

I am committed to working with Mayor Harrell, local business owners, and community members to make our city a safer and more prosperous place for everyone.

Photo Courtesy: City of Seattle

We Can Reduce Traffic Congestion, Increase Housing and Open Space With a Lid Over I-5 in the U District:

I am committed to securing state funding to plan for a lid over I-5 between NE 45th and NE 50th Streets. Last year, I advocated for $700,000 to fund a design feasibility study for this project, and while it was not funded, I will continue to prioritize it in the upcoming legislative session.

A lid over I-5 would have many benefits, including:

  • An opportunity to plan for affordable housing.
  • Reducing traffic congestion on NE 45th and other nearby streets.
  • Improving bus access to the UW and other destinations.
  • Greatly improving safe pedestrian and bike access between the UW and Wallingford.
  • Creating possibilities for open space and other community amenities.
A cross section of I-5 with a lid overhead. (WSP / City of Seattle)

Share Your Thoughts on Lidding I-5

The U District Partnership is hosting an upcoming Community Vision Workshop on Thursday, November 9th in the U District to explore priorities and opportunities for a potential highway lid over I-5 between NE 45th and 50th Streets. Participants will be able to engage in priority setting exercises and share ideas for what they’d like to see with new land created around and over I-5 in North Seattle. This is an important first step to hear community input as state and local leaders consider funding this project in the future.

Event Details

  • What: Lid I-5 Community Vision Workshop
  • When: Thursday, November 9, 5:30-8:00pm
  • Where: Gould Hall – 3950 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Anyone is welcome to attend and participate, and registration is free. To learn more click here.

Thank you,

Representative Gerry Pollet
46th Legislative District
Pronouns: he/him/his