Share story

Sketched Dec. 30, 2015

The idea of capping the Interstate 5 concrete canyon with a park in downtown Seattle may seem pie-in-the-sky to some. But that’s just what Mercer Island did in the 1990s.

A sign at the entrance of Aubrey Davis Park honors the legacy of the former mayor who brought the project to fruition.

Davis is remembered for saying this about I-90: “We don’t want to see it. We don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to smell it.”

And his wishes came true. The only clues of the freeway below are some towering ventilation shafts at the very top of the park.

I don’t mind them, though. They frame a much more pleasant scene than a maze of traffic lanes, especially on a bright winter day when the snowcapped mountains are out.

The tennis courts next to the ventilation shafts offer an splendid view of Lake Washington and Seattle’s downtown skyline. I saw a man flying a toy drone here, but he left before I could add him to my sketch. Elsewhere in the park I saw people shooting hoops at the basketball courts, kicking a soccer ball and cycling on the Mountain to Sound bike trail.