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December 18, 2015

Sound Transit 3 Candidate Projects: Analysis released by ST; City analyzing data

On December 4, 2015, Sound Transit (ST) released the evaluation of all candidate projects, including projects to serve the Eastside for its ST3 ballot measure. The candidate project list was approved by the ST Board of Directors on August 27, 2015 and three projects are of interest to the City of Kirkland:

  • Bus Rapid Transit on I-405 in the Express Toll Lane (Candidate Project E-02)
  • Light Rail Transit on the Eastside Rail Corridor* from Totem Lake to Bellevue to Issaquah (Candidate Project E-03)
  • Bus Rapid Transit on the Eastside Rail Corridor* from Kirkland to Bellevue (Candidate Project E-06)

*The Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) is a segment of the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC).

Kirkland staff and consultants are reviewing the results of ST’s analysis and will submit comments to ST by January 21, 2016. At its January 19 Regular Meeting, the Kirkland City Council will consider a draft response letter to be sent to the ST Board of Directors.

For ST3 information, go to www.soundtransit3.org. For efforts by the City of Kirkland regarding ST3, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/ST3.

Community input regarding transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor

The City of Kirkland has been conducting extensive public outreach regarding transit options on the CKC over the past two months.   Outreach has included a community Open House held on November 19 at the Kirkland Performance Center, as well as presentations at Neighborhood Association meetings, service clubs and business groups.

The City’s outreach efforts will be expanded moving into 2016 until the Sound Transit Board makes final decisions in June on what projects will be included in the ST3 ballot package that voters will be asked to vote on in the November 2016 General Election.  

Plans are being finalized for a second Community Update to be held on Monday, January 11, 2016, in the evening at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. More information will be distributed through City email newsletters and posted on the City’s ST3 webpage at www.kirklandwa.gov/ST3. 

A presentation summarizing community feedback will be provided to the City Council at its January 5 meeting. The City recognizes that some residents do not wish to see transit on the CKC and others do. Some of the key issues that the City has heard so far include: 

  • Concern that transit on the CKC could result in the loss of the interim trail as it exists today.
  • Concern about pedestrian/bike safety, noise, fumes, loss of green space, loss of community feel, and impacts to the environment, views, and property value should there be transit on the CKC.
  • Support for transit on the CKC to help address Kirkland’s traffic congestion if impacts and concerns can be addressed.
  • Concern that a transit way on the CKC would divide the corridor and reduce or impede the ability for pedestrians to cross it.
  • Desire not to have any transit on the CKC and a preference to have transit on I-405 instead.
  • Desire that transit on the CKC must serve Kirkland’s needs and not simply be “pass through” service for the region.
  • Support for either buses or light rail on the CKC; although buses are often seen as more able to address the concerns about impacts to the Corridor. 
  • Concern about Sound Transit’s willingness to build transit on the CKC at a scale and impact that maintains Kirkland’s community character and quality of life.
  • Desire to understand Sound Transit’s ridership analysis and other information contained in the project templates issued on December 4, 2015.
  • Desire for more education and outreach about the options so that the community will be better informed.

The Kirkland City Council and staff appreciate all of the feedback that has been received so far and are listening carefully.   City officials are working closely with Sound Transit and City consultants to develop options to address the concerns that have been raised while also providing the transit service that Kirkland residents and businesses need.   The City Council will be discussing this issue at its January 5 and January 19, 2016 meetings.

Should you have specific questions or concerns regarding the City’s efforts, please email ST3questions@kirklandwa.gov or call 425-587-3800.

Now Open! Houghton/Everest Shopping Center bridge and trail connection

The connections keep coming on the CKC! The bridge from the CKC to the Houghton Shopping Center is complete. A temporary path is in place along the apartment parking lot and driveway until City crews complete the permanent walkway connection to and crossing 106th Avenue NE. You can now walk on the CKC to the Houghton Shopping Center to do your shopping. Wetland mitigation is being done through a Puget Sound Energy (PSE) mitigation program at no cost to the City. Invasive plant material has been removed and the final planting is in progress and will be complete by the end of the year. Check out photos on the CKC Facebook

Volunteers continue to rock on the CKC! NE 55th Street Stairs are nearly done

Another connection to the CKC is nearly complete thanks to volunteers. A new trail connection at NE 55th Street to the Houghton Neighborhood near Carillon Woods is nearly complete (pending the installation of hand railing).  Close-by neighbors pooled resources to buy the wood, Dunn Lumber donated the hardware, and the City supervised construction, provided the gravel, and will be supplying and mounting the hand railing.  Check out this new CKC connection at the Houghton Porch.

But wait, there’s more! Connection from 116th Avenue NE is complete in Highlands Neighborhood

Finishing touches are complete on the stairs from the north end of 116th Avenue NE to the CKC trail thanks to volunteers. The bridge linking the trail to the CKC was completed by city crews in October. 

Inaugural Holiday Musical Lights celebration was a big hit! Check out the lights through December

Thousands gathered on December 4 as Mayor Walen led the official light switch flip to light up the CKC! Be sure to visit the Google/SRM Family Fitness & Play area through the month of December to be wowed by the light show engineered by very talented Googlers. The best way to experience the show is to walk or bike to the site (no public parking allowed on Google campus). Check out some awesome “from above” pictures on the CKC Facebook.

Park Board unanimously approves proposed name for public improvements area on CKC at Google

On December 9, the City’s Park Board considered and unanimously approved to recommend the name “Feriton Spur” to the City Council for the area on the CKC that was improved by SRM Development and Google.  The improvements are encompassed in a 900-foot long by 16-foot wide paved trail of the CKC and include: full basketball court, sand volley ball court, TRX equipment, playground, children’s zip line, public seating area, bicycle racks, picnic tables and chairs. The staff memo the Park Board (PDF, scroll to page 38) notes that SRM, the Kirkland Heritage Society and local historians researched possible names and proposed “Feriton Spur” as it was the name of the spur that left the Eastside Rail Corridor at this location to deliver and pick up commerce.    Also, the name Feriton first appears on the Northern Pacific timetable in 1909. The Park Board’s recommendation is scheduled to be considered by the City Council at its January 19, 2016 meeting.

King County Council approves rail removal on the Eastside Rail Corridor; Jan. 8 celebration and Jan 9 ERC Summit planned

On November 9, the King County unanimously approved the phased removal of obsolete rail tracks on the Eastside Rail Corridor. There will be a celebration of the rail removal legislation on Friday, January 8 beginning at 1 p.m. followed by a tour bike tour hosted by Cascade Bicycle Club (see next section). Meet at the southern end of the CKC at 108th Avenue NE for the celebration and start of the ride.

The ERC Regional Trail Master Planning process continues and an ERC Summit is planned for January 9, 2016, 9 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. You are invited to join owners and community advocates to identify ERC opportunities in mobility, land use, recreation and culture. Learn about the vision for the ERC and discover what others have learned in planning and building multi-use corridors around the country. Limited space is available. Register for the Jan. 9, 2016 ERC Summit.

For more information about the summit, contact Frana Milan, frana.milan@kingcounty.gov or David St. John, david.st.john@kingcounty.gov. Subscribe to receive King County updates on the ERC.

Cascade Bicycle Club Hosts Cross Kirkland Corridor Bike Tour & Happy Hour, Jan. 8

Please join Cascade Bicycle Club for a bike tour of the CKC on Friday, Jan. 8 to help realize the vision of the Eastside Rail Corridor and to kick off the Eastside Rail Corridor Summit, which takes place on Saturday, Jan. 9. The ride will showcase Kirkland's five+ mile interim trail and participants will have the chance to experience the CKC first-hand and hear from experts and leaders in the community along the way. The ride will start at the 108th Avenue NE where the rail removal celebration is being held (see previous section) and will end at Chainline Brewing Company where participants are invited to stay for a post-ride happy hour. 

Community Conversation: Art on the CKC, Jan. 20

The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) invites you to a continued conversation regarding art on the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Please join the Commission and Guy Michaelsen, Principal of the Berger partnership to continue exploring ideas of art activations on the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC). The conversation will be held on January 20, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Kirkland Justice Center in the Totem Lake Room (11740 Northeast 118th Street Kirkland, WA 98034). Please RSVP through Event Brite

Building off of the CKC Master Plan, the KCAC is leading efforts to imagine how art, in a variety of forms, including performance, interactive, ephemeral and permanent, can be incorporated in the corridor experience. A prior outreach event took place on November 16, 2015. The November 16, 2015 presentation and comments collected can be found at www.kirklandwa.gov/arts.

Questions and comments can be direct to Philly Marsh at pmarsh@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3013.

December Brown Bag cancelled

As much as is happening on the CKC, we’re going to take a “lunch break” in December because of the holidays. The January brown bag lunch is scheduled for Monday, January 25, 12 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. These Brown Bag lunches are a great way to talk with staff and specific issues and they open to the public. For more information contact kpage@kirklandwa.gov or call 425-587-3011.

Happy Holidays and we hope to See You on the CKC in 2016!

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