Before and (possibly) after.
Before and (possibly) after. Freeway Park Association

Look, we all know Freeway Park is, forgive us, a bit of a dump. Yes yes, it’s much better than what was there in the 1970s — a hideous freeway scar — and it’s vastly preferable to have any park built on top of the highway than nothing at all.

Justice is on the ballot in November
Vote Carolyn Ladd by November 3rd for a more progressive justice system

But oof, no thank you to all the weird mystery-liquid puddles, the wood amenities falling apart, and the randomly placed maintenance sheds and toilets. That's not even to mention the terrifying unlit sections, the no-smoking areas that are nevertheless constantly filled with smokers, and the mystifying flow of foot-traffic now that conventions have started banning pedestrians from entering the park for security reasons.

For these reasons and more, the Freeway Park Association will embark on a massive construction project to transform the park in 2022. They’re finalizing plans now, and they would like your input on their plans, pretty pretty please.

Here are the big-picture priorities: better lights and signs; irrigation that actually works; accessibility improvements; entrances that indicate this is a nice place, rather than a shadowy place to get mugged; and most excitingly, fountains that you can actually play in. (Thrilling news for our local merfolk!)

Support The Stranger

But there are a lot of forms that those improvements could take, which is where you come in. The FPA is running a survey through August 5, asking for input on your top priorities: Would you rather have new lighting throughout the park, or bike racks? Clearer views at the entrances, or better bathrooms? You’ve got $10 million to play with, how would you fix Freeway Park?

For example, the Upper Lawns area (where the cosplayers take all their photos during Comic-Con) could get sightlines extended so it looks less like a maze. The 8th Avenue entrance, which currently looks like a maintenance entrance that the public isn’t supposed to enter, could get a nice inviting staircase. And Seneca Plaza, which was once a fun fountain to splash around in until the water was turned off, could get a dedicated concierge!

These are just a handful of the available options. Go take the survey, and go nuts with your dreams for the park. In a perfect world, a lid would extend all the way north and south to completely cover the freeway throughout the city (or the freeway would be demolished altogether); but until that day comes, at least let our mermaids free to frolic in the fountain.