Interstate 90 public hearing

When Interstate 5 was built as the north-south freeway through Seattle in the 1960s, 40,000 people were displaced. Citizen opposition to further freeway development defeated plans to build the R.H. Thomson Freeway (parallel to I-5 on the east); construction of the Bay Freeway (connecting I-5 to the waterfront) was indefinitely postponed.

On January 27, 1970, the Seattle City Council held a public hearing to get citizen advice on how to respond to a State Highway Department design and agreement for a ten-lane extension of Interstate 90 through Seattle's Central Area. An estimated 900 people attended the hearing in the Rainier Room at Seattle Center. The meeting was recorded on audio tape. Here are some voices from that hearing.

Councilmember Tim Hill, meeting introduction (excerpt)

Robert Eyre, speaking about history of I-90 planning

Ed Banks, Central Area resident

Tom Gayton, Mt. Baker area resident (excerpt)

Pat Emerson, president, League of Women Voters (excerpt)

Carl McCray, Urban League

William Merry, Automobile Club of Washington (excerpt)

Unidentified speaker

Kathy Howlett, Black Panther Party (excerpt)

The entire public hearing can be heard here. Citation: Public Comment at Seattle City Council I-90 Meeting, January 27, 1970. Event ID 129, Seattle City Council Legislative Department Audio Recordings, 4601-03.