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 include 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. When complete, the city-wide transportation connections map will illustrate Kirkland’s vision for a resilient transportation network, which will improve access to 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.
Join the conversation!
During the spring and summer of 2019, the City will be collecting feedback through a variety of civic engagement activities, including neighborhood association meetings, booths at community events, and community meetings to collect feedback on the draft citywide connections map.
Sign up for the City's weekly email newsletter, This Week in Kirkland, to stay up to date on this civic conversation.
Frequently Asked Questions (under development)
What is the timeline for the citywide connections map?
Winter 2018: City Council directs Kirkland staff to create a city-wide connections map, depicting pathway and roadway connections in all relevant neighborhoods.
Winter 2019 to Fall 2019: Kirkland's staff engages with public about specific roadway and pathway connections.
October/November 2019: City Council adopts the Connections map, as part of its annual update to the Comprehensive Plan.
What do you mean by "resilient transportation network"?
The two maps below depict two different communities that use two different land-uses to provide for the same number of homes with equal distance between destinations. The street-ends of the cul de sac community depicted on the left force all drivers to funnel onto the same arterial streets, often resulting in traffic congestion. This differs from the grid network (depicted on the right), which offers drivers a variety of route-choices. Providing for multiple route options makes the traffic grid more resilient, which ensures that emergency responders always have direct access to residents in need of help and residents always have access to their homes, even if one of their streets is closed.