Safer Routes to School Action Plans



The City recognizes that walking, biking, and riding the bus to school not only benefits children’s physical and social health but also improves circulation and safety in and around schools.

School enrollments are up 26% throughout the Lake Washington School District throughout the last 10 years, and projections suggest that these trends will continue to increase, with an additional 2,000 students expected by 2022. Due to this regional growth, more traffic is converging on schools at arrival and pick-up times. This leads to poor traffic circulation, congestion, inadequate parking and often unsafe conditions.

To address these issues, the City Council adopted the development of a “Safer Routes to School Action Plan” for each neighborhood in Kirkland as a part of the City’s 2019-2020 Work Program. The City Manager directed staff to work in partnership with the Lake Washington School District, law enforcement, design professionals, students, parents and neighborhoods to identify key steps to make walking, biking and riding the bus to school safer, more convenient and fun. In short, staff needs your input.

Important Information

The City Council adopted the Final Safer Routes to School Action Plans(PDF, 8MB) (PDF 8,480 KB) on September 1, 2020. 

See the September 1, 2020  Council memo and draft Safer Routes to School Action Plans. See the interactive map showing which projects are highest priority.

The Safer Routes to School Action Plans include the following elements. 

  • Engagement: engagement means listening to students, families, school administrators, and community throughout the decision-making process to ensure the public’s concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.
  • Equity: equity is about fair and equitable distribution of resources and ensuring safe, healthy, and fair outcomes for low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities.
  • Education: in cooperation with the Lake Washington School District, the education element improves safe walking and bicycling skills for all students and community members.
  • Encouragement: encouragement strategies are about having fun and getting more students walking and biking to and from school. Encouragement also embraces and promotes riding the bus and carpooling as simple, safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly options.
  • Enforcement: enforcement activities increase the safety of students walking and biking to school by targeting unsafe driving behavior.Such behavior includes speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists, illegal parking, and illegal turns in school areas.
  • Engineering: engineering is the design and implementation of traffic control devices and physical improvements to making walking, biking and busing to school safer and more convenient and comfortable.
  • Evaluation: evaluation includes collecting information and tracking data over time to measure the effectiveness of methods and practices in the Safer Routes to School Action Plans.

Walk Recommendations

Voting on the walk recommendations has closed.
Thank you for your participation. 630 individuals/families voted on the walk recommendations for the Safer Routes to School Action Plans.

Bike recommendations are being developed in collaboration with the 2020 Active Transportation Plan update process and are not included at this time.

Voting results were combined with the City's technical prioritization criteria(PDF, 115KB) (PDF 115 kb) in July and the final walk recommendation priorities were first presented to the City Council at their August 4 meeting.

The prioritization criteria is based on the Transportation Master Plan guidelines.


How Walk Recommendations Were Developed

See the Safer Routes to School presentation at the April 21 City Council Study Session: Memo and Powerpoint. Or watch the presentation by staff.

See the results of the Safe and Active Transportation Survey(PDF, 197KB) completed January 2020.

Download the free PedSafe flashing beacon app. It’s your own personal crosswalk rapid flashing beacon.  

Capital Projects Recently Completed

Elementary School Walk Route Enhancements

  • SANDBURG: Northeast 132nd Street (north side), from 84th to 87th avenues northeast
  • MARK TWAIN: Northeast 104th Street (south side), from 132nd to 126th avenues northeast
  • MARK TWAIN: 126th Avenue Northeast (west side), from Northeast 90th to Northeast 94th streets
  • PETER KIRK: Northeast 95th Street (north side), from 116th to 112th avenues northeast
  • PETER KIRK: 111th Avenue Northeast (east side), from Northeast 100th to 104th streets

124th Avenue Northeast Improvements

  • MARK TWAIN: 124th Avenue Northeast (west side), Northeast 90th Street to approximately Northeast 113th street