After reading the article “Coloring Inside the Lanes,” the article reminded me of why the designers of the SR 520 Eastside renovation decided to put in multiple “lids” over the existing 520.
Lids are in essence a massive bridge over a road, that can sometimes be longer than wider, and they have a dual purpose. One is simply to have a road connect the north side (Kirkland) to the south side (Medina and Bellevue). Another perk however is that the design shows for there being a major park. This is needed because before the 520 was put in place in the past, all of the communities were much closer knit. At the time the road went through, so did a divide in the community and the 520 become a dividing line for schools, voting and things of that nature. The purpose of these parks on the lid is meant to bring these communities back together.
The paintings in Portland, although minor, brought entire communities together. It created other community events and local shops, as well as bring an identity to the people. The more in tune to the community people are, the better the social equity becomes. People begin to look out for each other and selflessness increases. This helped with the local economy in Portland, and it also can help in situations of natural disaster. Communities that work together accomplish much more.
To bring it back to the Lids on the Eastside of Seattle, they have the potential to accomplish a similar feat as Portland has. The new sense of community hopefully brings the north and south side of the 520 together, as well as gives the residence the allusion that a major highway isn’t going straight through their neighborhood. I feel that the designers nailed this on the head, and it has already worked on the I-90 remodel a few years back.