The City of Kirkland is updating the Active Transportation Plan (ATP) based on the 2009 Active Transportation Plan (PDF 8MB) as well as Kirkland’s 2015 Transportation Master Plan (PDF 19MB) in which the first three goals are:
- T-0 Safety: By 2035 eliminate all transportation related fatal and serious injury crashes in Kirkland
- T-1 Walking: Complete a safe network of sidewalks, trails and crosswalks where walking is comfortable and the first choice for many trips.
- T-2 Biking: Interconnect bicycle facilities that are safe, nearby, easy to use and popular with people of all ages and abilities.
Today, the benefits of increased health outcomes, environmental benefits and reduced auto trips are increasingly being recognized as additional reasons to encourage more trips being taken by active modes. However, not all bike and pedestrian connections can get people where they need to go, and people still express concerns about safety.
The update to this plan will incorporate new innovative solutions that are designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities for residents and visitors to feel more comfortable when choosing to walk or bike. It will also focus on completing connections, improving bike parking and considering technologies that can both facilitate travel by walking and bicycling and also to help the city better evaluate how many people are walking and bicycling in Kirkland.
The plan will:
- Provide data about the benefits of active transportation.
- Demonstrate the progress from the 2009 Active Transportation Plan.
- Evaluate the existing planned bicycle network for any updates and evaluate pedestrian improvements needed to connect people to transit, to the Cross Kirkland Corridor, to activity and job centers, neighborhoods, etc.
- Outline an implementation plan for how the City can complete the recommendations outlined in the plan.
When the City of Kirkland’s first Non-Motorized Plan was adopted in 1995, such plans were relatively rare. Walking and bicycling evolved from being considered a novelty to a necessity and a valid mode of transportation. The term change from ‘non-motorized’ to ‘active transportation’ seeks not only to be more inclusive of people who use motorized wheelchairs and other motorized mobility devices but also to recognize walking and bicycling for what they are rather than what they are not.
The City has made great strides to increase safety and connectivity by filling in gaps in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, making crossings safer, developing the interim Cross Kirkland Corridor, adopting a Complete Streets Policy and working with schools on walking routes and encouraging kids to walk and bike.
- Community Engagement: Fall 2019 – Winter 2020
- Analysis and Plan Development: Spring – Summer 2020
- Draft Plan – Engagement with Community and Leadership: TBD
- Final Plan and Council Adoption: TBD
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting budget constraints, the Active Transportation Plan community engagement and recommendations will be put on hold while the city slowly reopens and recovers from budgetary constraints. The plan will seek to implement the proposed strategies and innovations and with that comes budget requests which will be unlikely to be approved at this moment in time. However, the city is still moving forward with opportunities to make it safer to walk and bike such as seeking grant funds to implement high-priority safety projects, completing Kirkland's first two neighborhood greenway projects and designing and building Kirkland's first protected bike lanes. The city also received funding for a third greenway project. Please stay tuned for more information about this planning effort.