Key Sustainability Actions

female cyclist riding up Market Street near a striped bike lane

The Sustainability Master Plan identifies about 200 actions that the City and community can take over the next ten years to achieve our sustainability goals. Many actions are in progress; this page reports specifically on the top-rated and community priority actions. Actions may not be pursued in direct order of their ranking or priority due to funding, staffing, feasibility, and other considerations.

Last updated February 2022.

Top Rated Actions 

Each of the actions were rated according to how much they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support a healthy natural ecosystem, improve community health and quality of life, promote equitable outcomes for all members of the community, reduce use of fossil fuels or switch to greener energy sources, and cost to implement them.

person riding bike on Cross Kirkland Corridor trail from above, taken from NE 85th Street overpass Top-rated actions include:  

Prioritize walk and bike access to high frequency transit (LT-4.7)

  • Sound Transit's I-405 Bus Rapid Transit plan currently calls for a station at I-405 and NE 85th Street. Kirkland is assessing changes that could be made in the surrounding area to enable more people to access transit there. Learn more about the NE 85th Street Station Subarea Plan.
  • A prioritization measure for the Active Transportation Plan update (scheduled for Council in March 2022) is to make walking and biking safer.

Explore partnerships to improve transit access through first-last mile strategies (LT-5.2)

  • Staff are working with Sound Transit and King County Metro on first-last mile strategies related to Eastlink Restructure, Rapid Ride K-Line and Sound Transit STRIDE.

Create an incentive program to share energy efficiency savings in multi-family housing (BI-3.1)

  • The SMP projects a 3-6 year timeline for this action.

PD School Zone (2).PNG Increase the number of students walking, biking, carpooling and taking the bus to school (LT-4.5)

  • Staff from multiple divisions are collaborating to implement the Safe Routes to Schools program, adopted in 2020. Staff contributed to coordination of Walk and Roll to School Day events in October 2021 at four elementary schools.
  • Photo enforcement cameras are used in some school zones to reduce speeding. Learn about our school zone speed enforcement program.

Promote public transit use through incentives and a transportation demand management (TDM) program (LT-5.1)

community-van-with passengersEncourage carpooling and using shared mobility by providing incentives and ride-matching tools (LT-6.1)

Pictured, top to bottom: cyclist on the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail, signs for camera enforced speed zones at Rose Hill Elementary School, and the community van.

Community Priority Actions 

Community members provided extensive input and many suggestions for actions the City could pursue throughout the public involvement process in 2019. Some were identified as priorities by the community.

Community priority actions include:  

water bottle filling station and drinking fountain at Juanita Beach Park bathhouseSupport repair and reuse activities (SM-2.1)

  • Our recycling team worked with the Capitol Improvement Program to have water bottle filling stations installed at two parks in 2021. Another was recently installed at Marina Park. Two additional fountains are planned for 2022.
  • Kirkland is partnering with the Cities of Redmond, Bellevue, and Bothell for a regional reuse campaign in 2021-2023 using grant funds.

Establish a plan to have 100% renewable energy for the community (ES-2.1)

  • The SMP projects a 0-2 year timeline for this action.

pea-patch vegetable plots for residents at McAuliffe Park Develop a funding plan for development and operation of new P-Patches and community gardens (HC-1.1)

  • Identified in the new Park Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan as a community priority and will be incorporated into the Capital Improvement Program.
  • As part of the Feriton Spur Park expansion, Google is building an urban farm that will donate produce to food programs.

Support policy that encourages mixed use development and economic diversity (SB-2.3)

  • The SMP projects a 0-2 year timeline for this action.

Have all department decision-makers utilize the Sustainable Decision Making Matrix to evaluate alternatives (SG-1.1)

  • The SMP projects a 0-2 year timeline for this action.

Appoint a sustainability manager to coordinate implementation of the Sustainability Master Plan (SG-2.1)

  • A new Sustainability Manager position, staffed by a Senior Planner in the Planning and Building Department, started in January 2022 and has been funded for two years.

Evaluate establishing a sustainability opportunity fund for the City match portion of sustainability grants (SG-7.2)

  • Will be discussed as part of the development process for the 2023-2024 Budget and 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Program. The SMP projects a 3-6 year timeline for this action.

Pictured, top to bottom: water bottle filling station at Juanita Beach Park and pea patch garden plots at McAuliffe Park.

Highlighted Actions

Selected actions are highlighted below for their timeliness and importance to the community.

Green building and neighborhoods

Incentivize net-zero energy buildings through Kirkland’s Priority Green Building Program (BI-1.1)

  • Staff are working on revising the voluntary incentivized Priority Green Building Program to include all building types and a launch of this updated program is being targeted for April 2022.

Encourage major development projects to be high performing buildings (BI-2.3)

  • Staff is working on code amendments to fulfill this action and target adoption of the code amendments in spring 2022.

tree planting Run tree planting programs to increase tree canopy cover on private and public property (EV-10.5)

  • The City provided rebates for planting 135 trees during spring and summer 2021. Tree planting rebates are available again in 2022.
  • This action is included in the Urban Forestry team's 2021-2026 Work Plan, though currently only partially funded. Funding is being sought.

Proactively seek and acquire land to increase parkland and parks (EV-8.1)

  • The City acquired a parcel in Juanita Heights to convert to parkland.

Equity and welcoming

Perform a comprehensive organizational equity assessment to identify gaps in equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of City policy, processes and procedures (SG-4.4) - completed

  • The Draft Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Belonging 5-year road map was created and has been released for public comment.

Identify, develop, and implement actions to help end interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism, increase social equity, and support environmental justice in Kirkland (HC-10.1)

  • See our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging resources.
  • The centerpiece of Kirkland's 2021-2022 budget is the "Community Safety Initiative,"(PDF, 175KB) which includes actions designed to make Black community members feel safe and respected, eliminate structural racism, and make Kirkland more equitable. It allocates funding for community safety partners, community and police safety investments, and housing and human services. Kirkland Community Court -- a non-traditional approach that works to provide practical, targeted solutions rather than traditional punishment -- launched March 10, 2021.

Secure funding for more shelter and daycare facilities (HC-6.2) - completed

  • City Council utilized the Human Services Reserve and CDBG-CV funding to increase support to agencies providing shelter and day services to people experiencing homelessness.

Evaluate existing recreational programs and facilities to ensure equity for all populations (HC-13.3)

  • The current initiative expanded the scholarship program to ensure access regardless of socioeconomic status.


shop-local-logo.jpg Partner with Chamber and Kirkland Downtown Alliance on promoting “Buy Local” (SB-2.2)

City Facilities and Staff

Establish protocol that allows all potential city staff to work from home a minimum of two days per week (SG-2.3)

  • As city staff returned to city facilities in August 2021, many departments offered increased flexibility for working from home multiple days a week.

Blue electric car parked by a charging station at City Hall

Actively move toward an all-electric City Fleet with complementary charging station infrastructure (SG-1.5)

  • Fleet installed 12 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for Building Inspectors at City Hall.
  • Staff is working with a consultant to create an EV Master Plan for City vehicles that will include all needed to implement it.

Explore creating an anti-idling policy for City-operated vehicles (SG-1.11)

  • Community members are leading a business- and resident- focused anti-idling campaign.


Complete the Greenway network by 2030 (LT-4.9)

  • Construction of the Rose Hill Greenway is nearly complete.
  • Completing the full network is a strategy for the Active Transportation Plan update (to go to Council in Spring/ Summer 2022).

Strive to achieve Platinum status with walk and bicycle friendly communities’ certifications (LT-4.2 and 4.3)

  • The Willows Road Regional Trail Connection has been installed to bridge the gap between the Eastside Rail Corridor and the Redmond Central Connector, which will eventually provide a seamless non-motorized trail from Renton to Woodinville.
  • Once the Active Transportation Plan is adopted (slated for Spring/ Summer 2022), the city will apply for an upgrade to the Bicycle Friendly Community Analysis.

Pictured, top to bottom: planting a tree, Shop Local logo, electric car at charging station