You’ve known for a long time about the “ramps to nowhere” in the Washington Park Arboretum. Now the ramps, and the Freeway Revolt behind them, are getting attention from a documentary filmmaker.
Minda Martin, a University of Washington professor and experimental filmmaker, discovered the ramps on a walk in 2013. She is making the ramps, and the activists behind them, the subject of a new film. Montlake Community Club board members had the opportunity earlier this year to view a 5-minute film clip and were riveted and moved by the piece.
Martin’s film, to be completed in 2017, coincides with efforts by Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated and Honored) to preserve a piece of the ramps as a testament to those who fought against the R.H.Thomson Expressway and to civic activism in general.
On October 17, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of this proposal, moving an RH Thomson citizen monument closer to becoming reality.
The expressway would have removed swaths of Montlake and other neighborhoods (in fact, more than a dozen Montlake homes were bulldozed before the freeway was stopped). In making the film, Martin has been working closely with former activist Anna Rudd and Priscilla Arsove, daughter of the late UW Professor Maynard Arsove. Anna and Maynard, a long-time Montlake resident and MCC president in 1968, were leaders in stopping the freeway.
For more background, read Nathalie Gehrke’s Gates to Nowhere article.