Seattle Freeway Revolt Activists collection, 1950-2019  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Compiler
Seattle ARCH (Organization)
Title
Seattle Freeway Revolt Activists collection
Dates
1950-2019 (inclusive)
Quantity
6.87 cubic feet (7 boxes)
Collection Number
6285 (Accession No. 6285-001)
Summary
Materials from individuals and organizations involved in Seattle's Freeway Revolt of the late 1960s and 1970s.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The years 1968 to 1980 marked a period of organized opposition to three major Seattle freeway plans: the R.H. Thomson Expressway, the Bay Freeway, and a massive new I-90 Mercer Island bridge. Citizen opposition, most intense from 1968 to1972, led to the defeat of the R.H. Thomson and Bay Freeway in citywide referenda in February 1972. Opposition to the freeways then focused on I-90 plans and included protracted legal challenges, interaction with regulatory agencies, and initiatives to reduce the project impact and scope.

From the early years of the freeway revolt until plans for the I-90 Mercer Island Bridge were finally resolved more than a decade later, activists were engaged in a variety of related issues. A wide range of organizations also became involved, from community associations to civic groups, environmental organizations, and more. This collection incorporates these diverse efforts.

The origins of this collection date to 2013, when a small group in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood convened to discuss ways to preserve the history of the freeway revolt. Those present agreed that this far-reaching citizen movement had largely faded from public awareness over the four-plus decades since it began. The “Ramps to Nowhere” in the Washington Park Arboretum--ramps that literally stopped in mid-air at the edge of the park--were familiar to many Seattle residents. But very few people seemed to know much, if anything, about how those old freeway ramps came to be there, or about the citizen revolt they symbolized. An important civic heritage was on the verge of being lost.

A group called Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated and Honored) was formed and set out to unearth as much information as possible about the freeway revolt. Through tracking down any and all living activists and others involved in the movement they were able to secure many files and artifacts. Seattle ARCH also reached out to local historians and information professionals, who enthusiastically embraced their efforts and provided valuable information, expertise and assistance.

Information provided by Anna Rudd and Priscilla Arsove.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains documents and ephemera collected from individuals and organizations involved in Seattle’s Freeway Revolt of the late 1960s and 1970s, including letters, meeting minutes, flyers, newsletters, press releases relating to citizen efforts to defeat Seattle freeway plans. To name a few: Citizens Against the RH Thomson Expressway (CARHT); University of Washington mathematics professor Maynard Arsove; Citizens Against Freeways (CAF); Margaret Tunks; Citizens for Sensible Transit; and Forward Thrust.

The collection focuses on the years 1968 to 1980 and documents organized opposition to three major freeways planned for Seattle: the R.H. Thomson Expressway; the Bay Freeway; and a new I-90 Mercer Island bridge. The R.H. Thomson and Bay Freeway in citywide referenda were defeated in February 1972. The collection documents efforts including legal challenges, interaction with regulatory agencies, and initiatives to reduce the impact and scope of the I-90 Mercer Island bridge.

The collection includes a print copy of the “Seattle’s Freeway Revolt: A Directory of Historical Resources.” See the administrative note field for series arrangement. See the related materials note field for link to online copy held by the Seattle Public Library.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Series 1:  ACTIVIST ORGANIZATIONSReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
Seattle's Revolt: A Directory of Historical Resources
2017
1
Introduction to the Collection: A User's Guide
2019
1.1 Citizens Against the RH Thomson Expressway (CARHT)
Box
1
1.1.1 Histories and timelines
1969
1
1.1.2 Organizational records
1969-1982
1
1.1.2.1 Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
1969-1970
1
1.1.2.2 Membership and financial records
1969
1
1.1.2.3 Meeting agendas, minutes and working notes
1968-1981
1
1.1.2.4 Correspondence, position papers, statements, testimony, press releases and working notes )
1968-1982
3
1.1.3 Bulletins, flyers and related materials
1969-1981
1
1.1.4 Maynard Arsove papers, not otherwise filed (also see No Expansion SR 520)
1969
3
1.1.5 News clips and articles about and by CARHT & CARHT representatives
1970
1.2 Citizens Against Freeways (CAF)
Box
1
1.2.1 Correspondence, position papers, statements, testimony, press releases and working notes
1970-1977
3
1.2.2 Bulletins, flyers and related materials
1968-1970
1
1.3 News clips and articles by and about CAF, TCC and WCST and their representatives
1968-1978
1
1.4 Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC)
1969-1972
1
1.5 Washington Coalition for Sensible Transportation (WCST)
1972-1977
3
1.6 Margaret Tunks papers, not otherwise filed
1969-1980
6
Citizens Against Freeways - Misc. Court cases
1972, 1974
1.7 The I-90 Majority/The IRATE 90 (also see Central Seattle Community Council)
Box
1
1.7.1 Organizational records
1
1.7.1.1 Correspondence, position papers, statements, testimony, press releases, working notes
1978-9180
1
1.7.1.2 Financial records
1978-1981
1
1.7.2 Bulletins, flyers and similar materials
1978-1982
1
1.7.3 News clips
1978-1979
1
1.7.4 John Barber papers, not otherwise filed
1971-1981

Series 2:  2 OTHER INVOLVED ORGANIZATIONSReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
2.1 Community Associations
Box
1
2.1.1 Central Seattle Community Council (CSCC);( also see The I-90 Majority/The IRATE 90)
1967-1982
1
2.1.1.1 Correspondence, position papers, bulletins
1970-1980
1
2.1.1.2 News clips
1967-1982
1
2.1.2 International District Improvement Association (Inter*Im)/Jackson Street Council
1954, 1982
1
2.1.3 Lakeside Avenue South Association
1976
1
2.1.4 Laurelhurst Community Club
1969
3
2.1.5 Leschi Improvement Council
1963-1976
1
2.1.6 Montlake Community Club
1968-1978
3
2.1.6.1 Announcements and newsletters
1968-1978
1
2.1.6.2 Correspondence and news clips, mostly related to RH Thomson corridor and houses
1968-1969
1
2.1.7 Mount Baker Community Club
1969-1970
1
2.1.8 Ravenna Community Association
1967-1972
1
2.1.9 University District Community Council
1971-1976
Box
1
2.2 Transit-focused Organizations
Box
1
2.2.1 Central Area Citizens Committee
1967
1
2.2.2 Citizens for Sensible Transit
1967-1968
1
2.2.3 Committee on Rapid Rail Transit and Focus on Freeways (both by Elmer Allen)
1970, 1976
1
2.2.4 Environmental Exchange for Transit Election Action
1970
1
2.2.5 Put Transit Across (Seth Jackson, Chair)
1975
1
2.2.6 Rapid Transit Only, Please
1970
1
2.2.7 Seattle Transit Alliance and Transport Quarterly, Seattle Consumer Action Network (SCAN)
1979-1981
1
2.2.8 Transit Patrons Association (David Sprague, Chair)
1970
2.3 Civic and Political Organizations
Box
3
2.3.0 Black Student Union, University of Washington
1970
3
2.3.1 Citizens Planning Council (CPC)
1961-1967
3
2.3.1.1 Bulletins
1961-1967
3
2.3.1.2 News clips
1961-1970
1
2.3.2 Democratic organizations
1979
1
2.3.3 League of Women Voters
1967-1974
3
2.3.4 Mt. Baker Community Action Group
1967
3
2.3.5 Municipal League of Seattle and King County
1967
1
2.3.6 Seattle Liberation Front
1970
1
2.3.7 Seattle Urban League
1969
1
2.3.8 Students Against Highway Lobby
1972
2.4 Environmental Organizations
Box
1
2.4.1 Environmental Works
1970
1
2.4.2 Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, Conservation Center and Sierra Club (Brock Evans, Northwest Director)
1966-1976
1
2.4.3 Mercer Island Environmental Council
1970-1971
1
2.4.4 The Shoreline League
1969
1
2.4.5 Washington Environmental Council (also see I-90 Shoreline Hearings Appeal)
1970-1971
2.5 Transportation Professionals’ Organizations
Box
1
2.5.1 Committee on Modernization of Electric Transportation (COMET)
1970-1972
1
2.5.2 Seattle Chapter, National Society of Professional Engineers
1970-1978
1
2.5.3 Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association (SPEEA)
1969-1972
2.6 National Organizations
Box
1
2.6.1 Highway Action Coalition, Washington, DC
1971-1973
1
2.6.2 Louisiana Student Association, New Orleans, LA
1972
1
2.6.3 National Coalition on the Transportation Crisis (NCTC), Washington, DC
1972
1
2.6.4 The Rolling Resistance, Troy, NY, and CONTACT, Arlington, VA, consolidated
1978-1980
1
2.6.5 Sierra Club, Transportation Activists Network, San Francisco, CA
1988

Series 3:  3 TASK FORCES AND COMMITTEES WITH ACTIVIST PARTICIPATIONReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
3.1 Clean Air Task Force, Seattle Chamber of Commerce
1972-1973
Box
1
3.2 Citizens Organization for Rapid Transit Systems! (CORTS!), Washington State Senate,
1980
1
3.3 Forward Thrust, Environment/Transportation and Transit Project Reviews
1969-1970
3.4 Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (METRO)
Box
2
3.4.1 Transit Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
1969
3
3.4.2 MetroTRANSITion
1972-1978
2
3.5 Seattle City Transportation issues, assorted
1971-1972
2
3.6 Urban Transportation Citizens Advisory Committee (unidentified sponsor)
1970-1971

Series 4:  4 MAJOR FREEWAY PROJECTS Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
4.1 Overview Table of Major Freeway Projects
2019
4.2 R.H. Thomson Expressway [Empire Expressway until 1961] and SR 522 (also see Citizens Against the RH Thomson file)
Box
2
4.2.1 Histories and reports with maps
1966-1971
2
4.2.2 Montlake houses in right-of-way: Don Gibbs’ correspondence and related
1968-1970
2
4.2.3 Save the Arboretum, Rally and related materials
1961-1969
2
4.2.4 Correspondence, flyers and working notes, not otherwise filed
1967-1970
2
4.2.5 RHT news clips (also see Montlake houses)
1960
4.3 Bay Freeway (also see Citizens Against the RH Thomson file)
Box
2
4.3.1 Histories and maps
1970
2
4.3.2 Financial records: CARHT and Vote No Bay Freeway Committee
1971-1972
3
4.3.3 Minutes, correspondence, position papers, statements, testimony, press releases, bulletins, flyers and working notes
1962-1974
3
4.3.3.5 Arsove letters re: Vote No Bay Freeway campaign correct placement
1971-1972
3
4.3.4 Citizens’ lawsuit, correspondence and related materials
1970-1972
3
4.3.5 News clips
1960-1974
4.4 I-90 Third Lake Washington Bridge (aka I-90 Mercer Island Bridge)
Box
2
4.4.1 Histories and timelines
1974-2001
2
4.4.2 David Rudo meetings
1966, 1970
2
4.4.3 Corridor neighborhoods, housing, parks and Adler v. Brinegar
1962-1974
3
4.4.3.1 Correspondence, publications, photos, lists, maps and working notes
1967-1989
3
4.4.3.2 News clips
1966-1989
2
4.4.4 I-90 Design options
1970-1971
2
4.4.4.1 Mayor’s I-90 Citizens’ Advisory Committee correspondence, working notes and Report
1970-1971
2
4.4.4.2 Proposals by individuals
1967-1978
2
4.4.4.3 I-90 Citizens Committee (Earle Osborne, Chair)
1979
3
4.4.4.4 News clips
1974
2
4.4.5 Public proceedings
2
4.4.5.1 Air, noise and other environmental concerns
1970-1980
2
4.4.5.1 U.S. 13th Coast Guard District
1971-1972
3
4.4.5.3 State Shoreline Hearings Appeal
1971-1973
2
4.4.5.4 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1972, 1973, 1979-1980
2
4.4.5.5 Puget Sound Governmental Conference and transit
1971-1974
2
4.4.5.6 Withdraw and Substitute efforts (also see I-90 Majority)
1975-1980
2
4.4.5.7 Memorandum Agreement (aka MOA)
1976, 1977-1979
3
4.4.5.8 Safety issues: the Bulge and the Reversible lanes
1977-1980
2
4.4.5.9 METRO I-90 Transit Access
1978-1982
3
4.4.5.10 Environmental Mediation Panel, working notes only
1979-1980
3
4.4.6 Citizens’ legal actions
1970-1982
3
4.4.7 News clips, not otherwise filed (3 folders: 1962-69 including the infamous Nov 66 RH Thomson/I-90 Interchange drawings, 1970-74, 1976-90)
1962-1990
4.5 Other Proposed Freeway Bridges
Box
2
4.5.1 4th and 5th Lake Washington bridges
1967-1970
4
4.5.2 West Seattle bridge
1968-1975
2
4.5.2.1 Histories
1968-1977
3
4.5.2.2 Citizens for an Alternative to the West Seattle Freeway, correspondence, flyers, legal actions, and related materials
1972-1977
5
4.5.2.3 News clips
1970-1976, 1979

Series 5:  5 RELATED INITIATIVESReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
5.1 Overview Table of Related Initiatives
2019
2
5.2 Citizens’ legal challenge to Omnibus Highway Bill of 1969
1969
2
5.3 Repeal the 18th Amendment, State Initiative 37
1970
2
5.4 Cut the Gas Tax, State Initiative 274 (related to new variable gas tax)
1968-1972
5.5 Vote YES 348 Committee (complement to Repeal the NEW Gas Tax, State Initiative 348)
Box
2
5.5.1 Correspondence, press releases, working notes and related materials
2
5.5.2 Bulletins, flyers and related materials
1977
2
5.5.3 News clips
1977
5.6 Seattle Initiative 21: Put Transit Across (I-90)
Box
2
5.6.1 Transit 21 Initiative and signature drive
1979-1980
2
5.6.2 Transit 21 election campaign
1980
5
5.6.2.1 Correspondence, minutes, bylaws, position papers, statements, and working notes
1979-1980
5
5.6.2.2 Bulletins, flyers and related materials (2 folders)
1980
2
5.6.3 News clips
1979-1980
5
5.6.4 The legal challenge: selected pleadings, correspondence and working notes
1980

Series 6:  Ancillary MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
Maynard Arsove by Priscilla Arsove and related materials
Personal narrative developed for this collection
2002-2019
2
John Barber
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2016-2019
2
Ruth Brandwein and related materials
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
1970s, 1989-2019
2
Emory Bundy, introduction by Priscilla Arsove
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2013-2017
2
Brock Evans, introduction by Priscilla Arsove
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2015-2017
2
Don Gibbs, Saving a Neighborhood, Saving a City
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2019
2
Jean Godden
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2016, 2019
2
Bill McCord
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
1970-2019
2
Anna Rudd, Women of the Seattle Freeway Revolt and other Ruminations
Personal narrative – developed for this collection
2019
2
B. Eugene Smith documentation for Chap. 10, Montlake an Urban Eden
1959-1976
2
C. The Montlake Community and RH Thomson Expressway, A Case Study; Margaret Connon Johnson
1979
4
SR 520 before No 520 Expansion Misc
1978-1994
4
No 520 Expansion Trans Lake Study; V. Gunby
1995-1999
4
Misc. No 520 Expansion
1994-2010
4
Misc. Correspondence
1995-1999
4
SR-520 Relevant Articles
1999
4
Arboretum and SR 520 Environmental Concerns
1995-1999
4
Prohibition of Tolls on SR 520 Bridge
undated
4
Dissenting Report of the Trans-Lake Study
undated
4
Problems with expansion of SR 520
undated
4
Prohibition of Tolls on SR 520
undated
4
Before the Washington State Highway Commission - Findings
1970
4
Misc. I-90 Reports
1969-1978
4
Misc. Report Booklets
1967-1969
4
Misc. Reports relating to Public Transportation
1967-1980
4
Environmental Statement SR 90 - JCT SR 5 to West Shore Mercer Island
1972
4
Final Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume I: EIS Text
1977
4
Final Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume II: Comments and Responses
1977
4
Final Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume III: Technical Appendix Part A
1997
4
Final Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume III: Technical Appendix Part B
1977
4
Final Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume IV: Environmental Analysis for 4(f) Determination
1977
6
Access Report - I-90
1971
6
Mercer Island I-90 Design Report
1971
6
I-90 in Seattle: A Design Teams Response to the Problems of the Freeway in Seattle
1970
6
I-90 Transit Access Study: Phase I Final Report
1979
6
Draft Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume I Part A
1975
6
Draft Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume I Part B
1975
6
Draft Environmental Impact/Section 4(f) Statement; Volume II- Technical Appendix
1975
6
"Seattle and I-90" Booklet, Seattle PI 1972 Election Special (originals), Seattle Magazine
1969-1972

Series 7:  RELATED EPHEMERAReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
6
Bumper stickers
1969-1980
7
CARHT letterhead and envelopes
undated
7
I-90 and Transit 21 - letterhead
undated
7
"Don't Pave the Lake Put Transit Across it" t-shirt
undated
7
"Stop I-90" Seward Park Run-A-Thon t-shirt
1979 June 24
7
Early CARHT mailing list on index cards
1968-1969
7
"Welcome to Seattle, Portal to the Pacific Northwest" postcard
undated
OS Map
Urban Transportation Plan - City of Seattle Transportation Planning Committee
Currently in Preservation
1969 February 10

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Community activists--Washington (State)--History--Sources
  • Express highways--Washington (State)--History--Sources
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Corporate Names :
  • CARHT (Organization : Seattle, Wash