KIRKLAND, Wash. – Park Lane, the street that was created to “go to, not just through,” landed on this year’s Great Places in America list, one of five streets in the nation to win in the category of Great Streets. The American Planning Association (APA) compiles the annual list that recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces in the United States that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth and inspire others around the country.
City officials will accept the award on Friday, October 13 at 5 p.m. at a ceremony that will be held on Park Lane. The press and public are invited to share in the celebration, which will coincide with Kirkland’s monthly Art Walk.
“Kirkland is honored to have Park Lane recognized as one of the best streets in the country,” said Mayor Amy Walen. “When we rebuilt this vital downtown avenue, we set our goals high. Our community told us they wanted a walkable, vibrant and green destination place. Those essentials required imagination, curiosity and commerce. We are proud to have hit the mark and are grateful for a robust public process and a team of engineers, designers and contractors who fulfilled the dream.”
The APA’s Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces of 2017 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities, infrastructure, cultural identity and use of sustainable and innovative practices.
“The year’s designees demonstrate that a well-planned street can stimulate the economy, create a sense of place and energize an entire community,” said Cynthia Bowen, AICP, president of APA. “Through dedicated, community-wide engagement efforts, this year’s designees are creating better places for all and setting an example for other communities nationwide. Congratulations to these exceptional communities.”
In choosing Park Lane, the APA called the street a magnificent example of planning and urban design ingenuity. They said the relatively small, two-block street tells a compelling story of how prioritizing pedestrians pays big dividends in terms of commercial activity. They noted the woonerf-style concept, which views the street as a social space, rather than just a channel for vehicular mobility, and how it demonstrates that European-inspired urban design can work in a suburban American context.
In addition to Park Lane, APA also recognized the following streets this year:
- Congress Street – Tucson, Arizona
- Lincoln Avenue – Chicago, Illinois
- South Grand Boulevard – St. Louis, Missouri
- Main Street – Waterloo, New York
Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 275 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces around the country. Designees are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement and a vision for the future.
For more information about these streets, as well as APA’s Great Neighborhoods and Public Spaces for 2017 and previous years, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.
For more information on Park Lane, visit the City website at www.kirklandwa.gov and search “Park Lane."
The American Planning Association is an independent, not- for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit www.planning.org.