Communications Program Manager
Topics will include Citywide Transportation Connections Map and Safer Routes to Schools
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The community is invited to a Transportation Connections Workshop on Saturday, June 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. to help guide the City's vision for a resilient, connected transportation network.
The Transportation Connections Workshop will focus on the creation of a Citywide Transportation Connections Map and the development of Safer Routes to School Action Plans for all Lake Washington School District schools in Kirkland.
Citywide Transportation Connections
For decades, the City of Kirkland has created new residential streets and pedestrian pathways to connect areas that were isolated from the City’s traffic grid and pathway network by cul-de-sacs and dead-ends.
The City’s key criteria when identifying possible street or pathway connections includes the benefit to fire and police response times, creating multiple route options for vehicles, seeking safer routes to schools for students and their families, and reducing congestion from developments that increase the amount of people living in a neighborhood.
Kirkland’s practice has been to create these connections one development at a time — first by identifying the essential connection and then waiting for private development to build it. One of the challenges with identifying them one at a time, however, is that neighborhoods might not know if a connection is planned before the City or a developer starts to build one. The City has also included connections as part of the neighborhood planning process, however not all the neighborhood plans have been updated with these connections. As a result, the City Council directed staff to create a single, city-wide transportation connections map that shows all the planned street and pathway connections, and to create the map in consultation with Kirkland’s residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. The final result will be a map that communicates Kirkland’s vision of a resilient transportation network that improves access for firefighters and police officers, traffic flow for those driving or bicycling throughout Kirkland, and community connectivity for those on foot or with mobility assistance devices. The final map will be included in Kirkland’s 2019 update of its Comprehensive Plan.
Community members are encouraged to view a short informational video at:
http://bit.ly/TransportationConnections. More information can also be found on the Citywide Connections page on the City website. Please note that the citywide transportation connections map provided on the City website is a draft and will evolve as stakeholder feedback is collected. Online comments can also be provided.
Safer Routes to Schools
The City recognizes that walking, biking, and riding the bus to school not only benefits children’s physical and social health, it also improves traffic circulation and safety in and around schools.
During the last 10 years, Lake Washington School District enrollments are up 26%, 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 public elementary, middle, and high school 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.
To learn more about the Safer Routes to Schools project view a short video at http://bit.ly/Safer2School or visit the website at https://www.kirklandwa.gov/safer2school.