February 29, 2024 This Week in Kirkland - Text Version

Published on February 29, 2024

This Week: Council Preview | Rec Registration Coming Soon | Downtown Construction | Fire Station Remodel

City of Kirkland Washington sent this bulletin at 02/29/2024 04:46 PM PST

February 29, 2024

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City Council Meeting Preview

The next meeting of the Kirkland City Council is on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. This will be a hybrid meeting, and community members are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via Zoom. 

Here’s a brief overview of some of the items on the Business Agenda for the March 5 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m.:

  • Council will consider authorizing the issuance of one or more series of Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds for fire station renovations and Transportation Benefit District safety projects for students, families, and workers.
  • Council will consider amending the Kirkland Municipal Code related to purchasing.
  • Council will receive an update on the 2024 Legislative Session.
  • Council will receive an update on the progress of the Urban Forest Six-Year Work Plan.

Prior to the above business agenda, the Council will also hold a Study Session starting at 5:30 p.m., where they will discuss:

  • An update on the Cascade Water Alliance water supply negotiations. 
  • A first briefing on the Guiding Principles and Housing Element Policy as part of the 2044 Comprehensive Plan update. 

Meeting details:

The business meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is preceded by a 5:30 p.m. study session. The agenda for the February 29 meeting will be available on the City website prior to the meeting on the Kirkland City Council agendas webpage. You can also receive meeting agendas in your inbox by subscribing to “City Council Agendas” on the Kirkland email lists subscription page.

How to watch:  Kirkland City Council meetings are streamed live and can be watched after the fact on the City of Kirkland Facebook page and the City YouTube channel, in addition to the livestream on the City website. Meetings are also televised on Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Ziply Cable Channel 31. 

How to participate:  Members of the public wishing to address the Council may do so in-person or via Zoom during the “Items from the Audience” part of the agenda. That part of the agenda occurs at the beginning of the Council’s business meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Information on the comment sign up process to provide comment to the City Council, and on attending the meeting virtually, is available on the City Council webpage.

Written comments can also be submitted to CityCouncil@kirklandwa.gov. For additional questions, please call the City Clerk’s Office at (425) 587-3190. 

Stay in the know: you can also get a preview of what’s coming up at Council in the coming weeks and months by checking out the City Council Agenda Calendar. Please note: this calendar is subject to frequent change and does not constitute legal notice. 

Be Right Back: Fire Station 21 Getting an Overhaul

If you’ve driven past Fire Station 21 at Forbes Creek, you’ve undoubtedly seen the construction fences. The fire station isn’t shutting down – at least not permanently. 

The City has started work to modernize Fire Station 21 to meet fire department and community needs. The renovation of Fire Station 21 will help us meet best practices to improve firefighters’ efficiency, workplace health and safety, while incorporating earthquake resiliency, extending building life, and improving energy efficiency.

Learn more about Fire Station 21’s renovation.

First CPR Class at Fire Station 22 a Success

Thank you to the 25 Kirkland community members who came and filled every seat at our very first CPR Class at the newly renovated Fire Station 22!

This ongoing class is a partnership between Medic One Foundation (MOF) and the Kirkland Fire Department (KFD). MOF instructors are certified to teach the class. Kirkland firefighter and EMS Officer Randy Scott was there to answer KFD-specific questions and help with hands-on training. 

This class was such a success, we’re already planning the next CPR class – stay tuned for more info

Get Ready for a Brand New Pedestrian Scramble

You heard it here first: an amazing new pedestrian plaza is coming to Kirkland Ave and Lake Street this year! But hold onto your hats, folks – there will be some impactful construction coming in the meantime.

Kirkland’s Lake Street Pedestrian Scramble will improve safety and function at downtown’s most prominent intersection. The contractor plans to begin work in late March. 

When complete, the intersection will function as a pedestrian plaza, allowing people to cross in every direction while its new traffic signals hold vehicular traffic on all four legs of the intersection. Just like now, vehicles will be able to proceed through the intersection when the traffic signal lights are green.

And to enhance the beauty and appeal of our downtown core, the project will elevate the intersection to be level with the adjacent sidewalks. It will replace the asphalt pavement with decorative pavers and concrete. The area will also get upgraded curb ramps, traffic signals and a (less visually exciting but equally important) stormwater system beneath the streets. 

The contractor, New X, Inc., plans to complete the project by December. 

To rebuild the intersection, New X, Inc., will have to close down the intersection for eight continuous weeks, starting in early April. 

For the latest information, please check this page: www.Kirklandwa.gov/lakestreetpedscramble 

Parks Spring Registration is March 19

Save the Date for Spring/Summer 2024 Recreation Registration!

The 2024 Spring/Summer Activity Guide will be available in early March.

Prepare for Spring/Summer 2024 recreation program registration by updating or creating your account now. Did you move? New phone number? Want to add new family members to your account? Visit kirklandparks.net and click on the Account tab in the upper left-hand corner of the page. You can also call us at 425-587-3336.

And don't forget to mark these registration dates on your calendars:

• Kirkland resident registration for camps and non-swim programs opens March 19, 2024 at 7 a.m.

• Kirkland resident registration for swimming, pool rentals and all aquatic programs opens March 20, 2024 at 7 a.m.

• Registration for all non-residents opens March 21, 2024 at 8 a.m

Test to Become a Kirkland Police Officer

Public Safety Testing (PST) is the testing administrator for Kirkland Police Department (KPD). PST is holding upcoming exams at locations they don’t always frequent, so if you’ve ever considered a career in law enforcement, now may be a good time to take that first step!

PST will hold Law Enforcement Written and Physical exams, as well as Dispatcher Written exams at these locations: 

  • Sunday, March 10th - Auburn, WA
  • Saturday, March 16th - Union Gap (Yakima), WA
  • Sunday, March 24th - Ellensburg, WA

For more info check out Public Safety Testing and be sure to select Kirkland Police Department! KPD is also hiring lateral police and lateral corrections officers.

Nisqually Earthquake Anniversary

Damage to the Cadilliac Hotel in Seattle from the Nisqually Earthquake

This week is the 23rd anniversary of the Nisqually Earthquake. On February 28, 2001, at 10:54 a.m., a 6.8 magnitude quake rocked the Puget Sound region and caused significant structural damage to many buildings.

Fortunately, there were limited injuries, despite ground shaking that lasted nearly 40 seconds.

There are far more faults than just the Cascadia or Seattle Fault, so to help you learn your risk, please check out this map from WA State Dept of Natural Resources to see if there is a fault, current or historical, that’s hiding under your home or place your frequent.

See how you can be prepared in an emergency.

Roundabout or Traffic Circle? Be in the Loop

They’re both circular and involve cars. But Kirkland has both roundabouts and traffic circles - two distinctly different transportation tools.

A modern roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. Roundabouts are designed to keep travelers moving, increase traffic capacity and make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. There are no traffic signals or stop signs in a roundabout. Drivers entering the intersection yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Roundabouts can have a single-lane of travel or multiple lanes around the center island.

Key things about driving through roundabouts:

  • Yield to drivers already in the roundabout
  • Stay in your lane; do not change lanes
  • Do not stop in the roundabout except at crosswalk locations to allow pedestrians or cyclists to cross

neighborhood traffic circle is much smaller than a roundabout. In Kirkland, neighborhood traffic circles are used as traffic calming devices to slow traffic down on neighborhood streets. Traffic circles may have stop signs or yield signs.

Key things about driving through intersections with traffic circles:

  • Treat the intersection as you would a regular intersection. Stop where stop signs are posted, or yield to the first driver arriving at the intersection where yield signs or no signs are present.
  • Drivers must come to a complete stop at stop signs. When it is safe to do so, drivers may proceed around the traffic circle.
  • When proceeding, travel only to the right side of the circle to go around – never take the short way to the left.

Though it can be confusing because both roundabouts and traffic circles are round, each serves a different purpose.

Be safe going around town! See more info about Neighborhood Traffic Calming in Kirkland. 

King County plans to replace the outdated Houghton Transfer Station with a modern facility in the Northeast King County service area by 2029. The new station aims to enhance recycling, reduce landfill waste, and provide sustainable waste management. King County is collecting public comments on the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station (NERTS) draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which contains studies of two potential site alternatives and a no-action alternative. A draft EIS is a planning tool to identify potential environmental impacts of a project such as NERTS. The drafting process involves thorough research, analysis, and consultation with experts which helps decision-makers and the public by shedding light on impacts and potential mitigation to reduce these impacts.

King County Solid Waste is hosting three upcoming events for the community to review and comment on the NERTS draft EIS. These public hearing meetings offer an opportunity to learn about the content of the Draft EIS and provide public comment. These meetings are:

  • Wednesday, March 6, 6-8 p.m. at Lake Washington High School
  • Thursday, March 7, 6-8 p.m., virtually via Zoom, and
  • Wednesday, March 13, 6-8 p.m. at Woodinville High School.

Visit the project website to submit your comments via the online Open House through April 9. You will find more information and the Draft EIS at Northeast Recycling & Transfer Station Draft EIS Open House - King County, Washington

Join us to Make Kirkland’s Parks Better Together

Show your love for Kirkland's parks by volunteering with the Kirkland Parks Beautification Program. Team up with Parks Management staff to help with weeding, planting, mulching, and more as we make our parks even better together. There are four events scheduled for March. 

  • Sunday, March 3, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at Van Aalst Park [register
  • Saturday, March 9, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at Mark Twain Park [register
  • Wednesday, March 20, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at Heritage Park [register
  • Thursday, March 21, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at Fisk Family Park [register

Join the fun, dedicated team of 50+ Green Kirkland Stewards and help restore the beauty of natural parkland in Kirkland.

Stewards are volunteers who share their love of green spaces by leading other volunteers in restoration projects in our parks with help from the Parks Department.

Last year, 56 Green Kirkland Stewards and more than 1,800 volunteers helped restore more 325 acres of natural area across our City. Let’s keep that going!

To learn more about being a Steward, check out Ongoing Volunteer Roles on the Green Kirkland website. Orientation begins March 14!

Traffic Alerts

Lake Street Pedestrian Scramble

Puget Sound Energy continues five weeks of utility relocations this week in the Kirkland Avenue and Lake Street intersection.

Crews will be working from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to relocate Puget Sound Energy’s existing electrical vault on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Most of the work will take place on the southwest corner of the intersection. However, the relocation could require some work on the southeast corner, as well as one night of work in Kirkland Avenue’s intersection with Main Street. That night is March 19 to March 20.


5th Ave South Water Main Update

Fifth Avenue South, between Sixth and Seventh streets south remains closed this week while a Kirkland contractor upgrades the water main beneath the street. Eighth Street South is open, but reduced to one lane, with alternating traffic.

The path that links Seventh and Eighth streets south remains closed, as well.

Kirkland’s Fifth Avenue South and Eighth Street South water main contractor closed the pedestrian path that links Eighth Street South to Seventh Street South. Strickland and Sons will re-open the path in the spring when its crews complete the water main upgrades.


Additional Construction Projects

Find out about additional construction projects here.

Upcoming Events

Business Pitch Competition – Live Pitch Finale

Date: Wednesday, April 3

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Location: Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave

Hear our local businesses pitch ideas at a chance to win money!

The Live Pitch will be judged by a panel of three judges in a competition for the grand prize awards. All contestants will be required to give their pitch in-person. Judging Criteria for Live Pitch: Winners of the competition will be announced following the live pitch event. There will be one $5,000 winner in each category: People’s Choice, Start-Up, and Expansion.

For more information, and to register, visit the event page.

Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station Public Hearing

Date: Wednesday, March 6

Time: 6 - 8 p.m.

Location: Lake Washington High School, 12033 NE 80th St

King County will be collecting public comments on the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station Draft Environmental Impact Statement, (NERTS) which contains studies of two potential site alternatives and a no-action alternative. They are accepting public comment on the Draft EIS until April 9, 2024 online and at two in-person events, such as this one, and one virtual event.

You can find out more information and read the Draft EIS at Northeast Recycling & Transfer Station Draft EIS Open House - King County, Washington.

For more events from the City, visit our Community Events page. For up to date happenings around Kirkland, visit ExploreKirkland.com/Events.

Want a monthly Events Guide delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our Events Newsletter.

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