WSDOT’s community design process has revealed a big difference between the Montlake and Roanoke Lids: people are actually excited for the latter. The Roanoke Lid’s lack of freeway ramps and uninterrupted space will likely make it a neighborhood asset — should it ever get built. Below are four of the latest issues and ideas WSDOT design consultants are considering. So grab a beer, have a look and vote your preference:
1. Terraced vs sloped surface. The terraced surface option creates flat areas for a soccer field and sport courts. The sloped surface creates an amphitheater like space that undulates down toward Delmar.
2. Views from the lid. Feedback from last month’s Portage Bay Bridge Architecture design meeting was supportive of both the box girder bridge type and the cable stay option. Here is a comparison of the views from the Roanoke Lid for each bridge type:
The box girder bridge has no structure above the roadway (but requires more columns underneath) and allows for uninterrupted views of Portage Bay, UW and Lake Washington. A cable-stay bridge requires six towers rising above the Roanoke Lid, but its thin cables preserve some of the view beyond. This is a classic aesthetic choice: man or nature? Note: WSDOT does not intend to demolish the Cascade Mountains, despite not showing them in these drawings.
3. Usage under the freeway. WSDOT owns the space under the current path of 520. Seattle Preparatory School owns the steeply sloped property to the south. A possible land swap agreement could mutually benefit the both, by allowing Prep to park their school busses under the freeway and the public to have a trail and park to the immediate south in the open light. First the status quo “baseline” plan, then the “swapped” plan:
4. Pedestrian crossing over I-5. WSDOT’s baseline design provides a new 30′ wide pedestrian and bike crossing over I-5 at Roanoke. A second option would build a separate 14′ wide ramp to the south for pedestrians and allow bicyclists to cross in bike lanes on the existing overpass.
The next community design meeting in mid-July (details TBA) will address the much more challenging issues of the Montlake Lid. To prepare community feedback, the MCC has arranged for WSDOT’s current design drawings to be put on display next week. Details here.