Neighborhood Traffic Control

The Neighborhood Traffic Control Program (NTCP) was established in 1993 to address Kirkland residents' concerns about high traffic volumes and speeds on residential streets. The program offers solutions ranging from low-level intervention measures, such as pavement markings and striping, signage, and deploying a portable speed radar trailer, to high level intervention measures, such as speed cushions, traffic circles, and curb bulbs. The level of intervention is determined through City traffic studies of vehicle speeds and volumes.

This program is managed by staff in the Public Works Transportation Division and has an annual capital budget of $50,000. In addition to speed concerns, this program also addresses other traffic-related safety concerns on non-arterial neighborhood streets such as traffic volume increases, construction traffic impacts, and impeded sight distances due to overgrown vegetation. 

Contact Police Non-Emergency Line

Residents with traffic concerns that require police enforcement, such as illegal parking, abandoned vehicles, drivers not stopping at stop signs, and trailer parking, should contact the Kirkland Police Department directly at their non-emergency phone line: 425-577-5656

Specific Requests 

Residents with specific neighborhood traffic concerns may submit a request through the City's Our Kirkland portal, using "Traffic Concerns" as the type of issue.

Our Kirkland Portal

Image of a flow chart of the Neighborhood Traffic Control Service Request Process

Explanation of the diagram above, which illustrates the neighborhood traffic control service request process:

Depending on the type of resident service request, it will either be directed to the Police Department or to the Public Works Department. Service requests related to abandoned vehicles or illegal parking will be referred to Police for Traffic enforcement. Service requests related to sight distance concerns, sign requests, or other infrastructure requests are directed to Public Works for data collection and engineering assessment. Speeding complaints may be directed to either department depending if a short term targeted enforcement is needed, or if other infrastructure investments such as signage, pavement markings, or traffic calming are needed. If Public Works installs new infrastructure in response to a speeding complaint, such as pavement markings, a follow up traffic study will be conducted prior to considering additional measures such as speed radar signs or traffic calming devices.

Neighborhood Traffic Calming

If you have concerns about vehicle speeding on your street, traffic calming measures may be considered for implementation following Policy R-20(PDF, 89KB). Please submit a service request through Our Kirkland using the issue type “Traffic Concerns – Neighborhood Traffic Calming.” City staff will evaluate your request using the following criteria.

Traffic Calming Screening Checklist

  • The street is not an arterial.
  • The street has no more than two lanes.
  • The speed limit is 25 miles per hour or lower.
  • The street has average daily traffic volumes of at least 300 and less than 4,000 vehicles.
  • At least 15% of the vehicles are exceeding the speed limit by at least 5 miles per hour as determined by a traffic study.

Check if a recent traffic study has been done in your neighborhood. If recent speed and volume data are not available, the City will conduct a traffic study. 

Based on the recorded speeds and volumes of a particular street, a Transportation Engineer may recommend one or more of the following traffic calming measures.

Phase One (Low intervention, vehicle speeds in excess of 5-7mph of the speed limit):

  • Request for Police speed enforcement at a specific time of day
  • Deployment of the portable speed radar trailer
  • Added signage related to school zones
  • Upgrades or replacement of existing signage
  • Roadway striping

Phase Two (Medium intervention, vehicle speeds in excess of 5-7mph of the speed limit):

  • Additional/revised roadway striping
  • Permanent radar speed signs
  • Curb bulbs
  • Traffic circles

Phase Three** (High intervention prior traffic calming measures have been implemented and speeding persists in excess of 7mph of the speed limit):

  • Additional/revised curb bulbs
  • Additional/revised traffic circles
  • Speed cushions
  • Raised crosswalks

**For Phase Three traffic calming measures, there are additional criteria that must be met prior to implementation:

- The street is not on a primary emergency response route or bus route.
- Traffic volumes should include no more than 5% long wheel based vehicles.
- At least 15% of vehicles must be exceeding the speed limit by at least 7mph as determined by traffic studies.
- Pre and post implementation traffic studies are conducted on the street of the traffic calming device and on parallel or connecting local streets to determine network impacts.

Phase Three measures also require neighborhood engagement:

- The City will identify the area of influence of the traffic calming measure, which is typically the residences immediately on the street of the traffic calming intervention and connecting local streets.
- The City will seek comment from the neighborhood area of influence by conducting door-to-door outreach or distributing a mailer with information on the traffic calming measure. The comment period is typically two weeks from the date of mailing.
- Based on neighborhood comments, the City will revise the design or location of the traffic calming measure(s) as appropriate.

Following the implementation of traffic calming measures, the City will conduct a follow-up traffic study (typically 6 months after) to monitor vehicle speeds and volumes and determine if additional intervention is needed.

Signs Requests

The City follows federal guidelines defined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for the installation of traffic control devices such as signs and pavement markings. The criteria used to justify the installation of signs depends upon the specific sign type under consideration, which may include crash history, traffic speeds, traffic volumes, and sight distance.

Stop Signs and All-Way Stop Signs
Because residents frequently request installation of stop signs, it is important to clarify that the City of Kirkland does not install stop signs to reduce speeding. The City follows the recommendations in Section 2B of the MUTCD and only considers installation of stop signs where there is a need to clarify right of way at an intersection, where there may be limited sight distance, or there is a crash pattern that can be addressed with installation of stop signs. If a location request for a stop sign fits one of these scenarios, a Transportation Engineer will review requests on a case-by-case basis. 

Speed Limit Signs
Changes to speed limits are currently determined by operating speeds and approved by the Transportation Commission and the City Council in accordance with Policy R-17(PDF, 274KB).

Note that all neighborhood greenways have lower posted speed limits of 20mph to prioritize walking and bicycling travel.

For neighborhood speeding concerns, please refer to the Neighborhood Traffic Calming section above. 

No Parking Signs
No parking signs may be considered where parking restrictions are needed and red curb is not present (refer to Policy R-6(PDF, 120KB) and the Neighborhood Parking section below). Parking restrictions may also be considered in instances of sight distance impediments (refer to Sight Distance Evaluations below). 

Warning Signs
Warning signs may be necessary to alert drivers of unusual roadway conditions such as low overhead clearance or curves. Requests for these types of roadway signs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Crosswalk Requests

The City follows Policy R-33(PDF, 87KB) for evaluating locations for crosswalks. This policy includes a checklist of safety and operational requirements including stopping sight distance, pedestrian safety enhancements, turning vehicle impacts, lighting improvements, connectivity to sidewalks, trail and/or paved shoulders, and ADA compliance. Requests for crosswalks can be submitted through Our Kirkland and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs)
Requests for pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at crosswalks should be submitted through Our Kirkland using “Suggest a Project” as the type of issue.

Pedestrian Flags
For pedestrian flag requests, please refer to Policy R-22(PDF, 121KB).

Sight Distance Evaluations

The City follows Policy R-13(PDF, 668KB) for the evaluation of sight distance at intersections and driveways. For roadway user safety, intersections and driveways must be kept clear of sight line obstructions such as vegetation, fences, or parked vehicles. Requests for vegetation trimming or parking restrictions related to sight-distance concerns can be submitted through Our Kirkland and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Driveway Curb Painting
The City may authorize residents to paint up to five feet of red curb on either side of a driveway to prevent parked vehicles from blocking driveways and to maintain sightlines. Please refer to Policy R-19(PDF, 356KB).

Neighborhood Parking

For public residential streets, on-street parking is typically allowed on both sides of roadways wider than 24 feet, unless otherwise designated with no parking signs or red curb markings. For residential streets less than 24 feet wide but wider than 20 feet, parking is typically allowed on one side of the road. Streets with a double yellow centerline must have a half-street width greater than 17.5 feet (or a total street width of 35 feet) to allow on-street parking. Refer to Policy R-6(PDF, 120KB).

Residential Zones
The City does not currently have a policy for residential permit parking zones, i.e. streets or areas that restrict public parking to residential only use. Generally, restricted parking zones result in spillover parking problems on adjacent streets, and the City does not have the resources to manage and enforce restricted parking zones. For those reasons, the City does not create restricted parking zones from residents' requests.

Driveway Curb Painting
The City may authorize residents to paint up to five feet of red curb on either side of a driveway to prevent parked vehicles from blocking driveways and to maintain sightlines. Refer to Policy R-19(PDF, 356KB).

If a vehicle is illegally parked within 30 feet of a stop sign, blocks access to a fire hydrant, or blocks access to a crosswalk or driveway, please report violations to the Kirkland Police non-emergency line: 425-577-5656.


Refer to Policy R-30(PDF, 470KB) to request the installation of a new streetlight.

Existing streetlights in Kirkland are maintained by the City's Public Works Department, Puget Sound Energy, or another agency. Streetlight outages may be reported through Our Kirkland or 425-587-3900. You will be informed if a streetlight is maintained by Puget Sound Energy.

Streetlight issues can be reported to Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5733 or on their website. View examples (PDF) of PSE pole numbers.