SPD began clearing out encampments in the CID under the I-5 on July 18. • Photos by Anakin Fung
SPD began clearing out encampments in the CID under the I-5 on July 18. • Photos by Anakin Fung

The Seattle Police Department began clearing the tents and encampments under the I-5 freeway starting Monday, July 18. The clean-up will continue through the week, with the goal of keeping the sidewalks and public areas clear for pedestrian traffic and tackling the drug dealing and other crimes that had taken root in the area. Homeless residents living in the tents will be referred to shelters and appropriate services. The sidewalks will be washed and kept clean for at least the next full month, according to City officials.

This move has been long-awaited by Chinatown-ID advocates, who had been complaining of problems for months. This action comes as a response to the Mayor’s task force on public safety, which recently issued a written report following six months of meetings. The task force recommendations included a call for direct action to remove the unauthorized encampment of tents and temporary shelters that had proliferated on King and Jackson Streets under the I-5 freeway.

Seattle police say they have made at least a dozen earlier attempts to remove the tents from this area of the CID, each time without success. City officials say they are working with InterIm CDA, which manages the parking lot under the freeway, and the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Transportation on a long-term strategy of altering the physical space to deter the return of the encampment and establishing positive community activities.

Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung
Photos by Anakin Fung

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