Street sweeping is conducted by the Kirkland Public Works Street Division. Crews are equipped with three street sweepers that cover almost 250 lane-miles of roadway within the City. Sweeping typically begins in the north end of the City with a clockwise rotation. Areas east of I-405 are swept first, then crews work their way to the south end of Kirkland. From the south end, sweepers work areas west of I-405 and head north. Once all roads have been swept, the cycle to sweep all streets begins again. Based on existing resources, the City is able to sweep every road in Kirkland approximately 6-7 times per year. Sweeping is more regular during the fall/winter months of October through March where the goal is monthly sweepings. During spring to summer, sweeping resources are reduced in order to focus on other operations such as paving and mowing.
Street sweeping priorities are developed to protect public safety during traffic incidents (e.g. collision) and snow/rain/ice weather events and to provide a basic level of cleanliness and water quality protection throughout the City. Because the City sweeps streets on a regular basis, individual requests for sweeping in a particular area, neighborhood, or street are not accepted.
Street sweeping is folded into all of the other maintenance responsibilities of the Street Division including roadways, sidewalks, shoulders, paths, medians, trails, public parking lots and the parking garage at Kirkland Library. Crews are also responsible for streetlight, traffic signal, and traffic sign repair. Sometimes street sweeping priorities are shifted by emergencies, severe weather conditions, and garbage and recycling schedules.
In autumn, a great number of leaves fall from the trees into the streets, most often covering up the storm drain grates. Sweeping this large volume of leaves slows down the regular schedule but it is extremely important to remove the leaves before they clog the grate and enter the storm drain system. Street sweeping is vital to keeping Kirkland's storm drain debris- and contaminant-free.
In the winter, the regular sweeping schedule can be impeded due to intense snowy and icy conditions. During these events, maintenance efforts are concentrated on applying de-icer (when the timing and temperature are right), sanding streets, and plowing.
How residents can help to keep roads, sidewalks and storm drains clean and clear
As a resident or property/business owner in Kirkland, you are responsible for keeping sidewalks adjacent to your property clear of any debris or obstructions. Just as sidewalks must be kept clear of debris and obstructions, roadways must be kept clear too. Property owners are responsible for trimming vegetation in order to maintain visibility of traffic signs and to ensure a clear line of sight at intersections and driveways.
If you or a hired landscaper intends to remove leaves or grass clippings from your yard, please know that blowing them into the street is prohibited.
Leaves, snow, and debris can block rain water from flowing into the City's storm drain system and often cause localized flooding. A very helpful way to help keep the City's storm drain system properly working is to keep storm drains clear and to "adopt a storm drain" near your property. There are over 12,000 storm drains in Kirkland; your help in regularly maintaining one (or more) is greatly appreciated. Contact Public Works at 425-587-3800 or visit the Adopt a Storm Drain webpage for more information.
How to request road maintenance other than street sweeping
To report a street light repair, potholes, tree hazards in the right-of-way or flashing crosswalk and traffic signal malfunctions, contact the Public Works Department Maintenance Center at 425-587-3900 (24 hours) or Our Kirkland Customer Service Portal.