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Urban Planning & Policy

UDP works with local stakeholders and policymakers on a variety of policy and urban planning issues, including mobility and transportation, long-term visioning for our changing built environment, housing policy, support for the creative sector, infrastructure planning, and construction management. The initiatives below are a major part of our projects and priorities for the district.

Lid I-5: North Seattle

A growing coalition of stakeholders from the U District, Roosevelt and Wallingford are considering the possibility of building a lid over a portion of I-5 between NE 45th and NE 50th Streets. There is renewed attention to freeway lids on the national stage and in other areas of Seattle, like downtown, South Park, and Montlake. Led by UDP, the North Seattle group began meeting in the summer of 2022 to build support for the project. The group hopes to secure funding for a feasibility study, similar to one conducted for the Lid I-5 downtown group. In 2023, UDP led a community visioning workshop for the lid. 2024 activities will include community advocacy and outreach to public officials and education and engagement at local events. Learn more about Lid I-5 North Seattle here.

U District Arts and Culture Initiative

In 2022, UDP launched a new Arts and Culture Initiative focused on creating long-term partnership and vision to support the diverse arts and culture organizations in the U District. Through a series of large stakeholder group meetings and small working group meetings, the initiative has created a vision and strategic short and long term directions for a collaborative effort. In 2023, UDP secured $87,000 in funding from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to support 13 U District arts organizations’ events and programming. Priorities for 2024 include an inventory of arts and culture assets and spaces in the neighborhood, and design and planning of a large-scale neighborhood arts event for 2025.

Seattle Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Plan

UDP serves as a major advocate and liaison to the City of Seattle through the design and finalization of the draft Seattle Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Plan, both scheduled to be adopted in 2024. In these planning efforts, the UDP prioritizes growth and prosperity of our business community, safe and cohesive mobility for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and drivers, and the unique and growing built environment of our buildings and major commercial corridors. Learn more about the Seattle Transportation Plan and One Seattle Comprehensive Plan

NE 42nd Greenway Revisioning

UDP is collaborating with neighborhood stakeholders on an engagement and conceptual design process to re-envision the sidewalk and street space of NE 42nd St between UW campus and Brooklyn Ave NE. The goal of the project is to redesign 42nd Street as a place for people to experience and stay, and which will act as a welcoming and accessible gateway between the UW campus and the U District. Priorities include creating a pedestrian-friendly environment along the corridor, which could include widened sidewalks for accessible passage, outdoor seating for adjacent businesses, strengthened connections to the Allegro Alley and the Ave, and mature trees and planting. There may also be planning around temporary events and activations. See the draft plan here

Rapid Ride J Line and 11th Ave Paving Project

Providing fast and reliable bus service for the neighborhoods of Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and University District, the current bus route 70 is planned to be upgraded to a Rapid Ride bus line. Rapid Ride buses provide enhanced speeds, headway reliability and public realm improvements like new paving, protected bike lanes, and adequate accessibility. Planned to be finished in 2026, the J Line will terminate at U District Station. This project will be coupled with a protected bike lane on 11th Ave NE from Eastlake through the U District. Both projects begin construction in 2024. The UDP is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro to ensure the public realm updates associated with the bus and bike projects provide the most benefit and least impact for the neighborhood. Learn more about the Rapid Ride J Line and 11th Ave Paving Project

Sound Transit Development Site

Sound Transit plans to redevelop a parcel of land on the corner of NE 45th St and Roosevelt Way NE, currently the site of Rosie’s Tiny Home Village. Sound Transit will select a developer for the site in 2024. UDP has engaged with Sound Transit and prospective developers regarding community considerations for a new development, including affordable housing and a successful alley vacation by City Council in 2023 to pave the way for a larger affordable housing development. A developer for the site will be selected in 2024. Learn more about the Sound Transit project here.