Park-Wide Improvements

Park-Wide Improvements


While the park’s main path is well lit, the rest of the park is very dark. In our public outreach, we heard from many people that this situation makes them feel uncomfortable walking through the park after dark.

Lighting improvement details

Through multiple “layers of light,” the design strategy illuminates park circulation routes, gathering spaces, and some of the park’s iconic walls, fountains, and planting areas. The intent is to make Freeway Park easier to navigate and more welcoming in the early morning and evening hours.

Image showing light illumination examples from different heights and angles.

Image showing light illumination examples from different heights and angles.

Image showing light illumination examples from different heights and angles.

Examples of layered of lighting, including moonlighting, path, and landscape lighting in other parks and cities.

Directional or informational signage

The park’s stairways, walls, dense plantings, and meandering paths can be disorienting. While the park was meant to be a place of exploration, today it is hard to see into the park or understand how to move through it.

More details about directional or informational signage improvements

The directional or informational signage strategy includes a “family” of signs throughout the park, including entrance markers, maps featuring the park’s primary areas and features, directional signs, and interpretive elements. The goal is to keep signage minimal, but easy to see and use.

Examples of different sign shapes, sizes, and design.

Primary park entrance marker

Park map monolith

Directional or informational signage

Examples of different sign shapes, sizes, and design.


The park’s mature planting areas and huge trees create a lush, serene environment. For many people, this is the reason to come to the park: to be inside a beautiful, forest-like landscape.

More details about planting improvements

Today, some planting areas are flourishing (A) while others are failing (B). In some parts of the park, trees cast heavy shade that makes seating or lawn areas uncomfortable (C) or block important views (D).

We will improve the park’s planted areas to be more attractive, more sustainable, more comfortable, and easier to maintain. Options include infilling or replacing plants in some areas, thinning others, and selective pruning and removal of some mature trees to improve safety or to accommodate important design alterations to the park.

Image of healthy plantings in Freeway Park.

A. Healthy plantings in Freeway Park.

Image of failing plantings in Freeway Park.

B. Failing plantings in the Box Gardens.

Image of failing grass in Freeway Park that was a result of too much shade.

C. Deep shade and failing grass.

Image showing how overgrown trees in Freeway Park have blocked views to downtown Seattle.

D. Freeway Park’s view to downtown Seattle and Puget Sound is blocked by mature evergreen trees.