The 2018 Community Survey results are in, and Kirkland received top marks as a great place to live.
The 2018 telephone survey of city residents revealed that most residents (82 percent) think that life in Kirkland is excellent or very good.
“We’re very pleased to report once again that people love our city,” said Mayor Amy Walen in a press release. “This survey is an important snap shot of how we are performing, and it provides critical insight into what’s working, what needs improving and what we should prioritize when it comes to investing tax dollars. A key challenge for the council will be how to maintain the high quality of life as our city grows and we welcome so many jobs, new shops and new families to Kirkland.”
This is the seventh in a biennial series of resident surveys commissioned by the city of Kirkland. The purpose of the surveys is to gauge the needs and wants of the community as part of the city’s budgeting process. This year, a random sampling of 512 registered voters living in Kirkland were called during the week of April 26 to May 4, 2018.
The overall survey ratings are consistent with previous years. When asked what they like best about living in Kirkland, respondents cite parks, location, water/waterfront, community, safety and schools. Their main concerns include growth and traffic/congestion. This survey revealed that more people are satisfied with the availability of stores than in previous years, and a strong majority (90 percent) like the mix of goods and services available in the city. This is the highest resident satisfaction in these areas since 2012.
Most residents (81 percent) are satisfied with Kirkland’s infrastructure, which includes such things as streets, sidewalks and roadside landscaping.
City services are considered important by a majority of residents, including fire and emergency medical (94 percent), police (86 percent), maintaining streets (81 percent), managing traffic flow (78 percent), pedestrian safety (78 percent), protecting the environment (78 percent), and city parks (77 percent). The city’s top performing services remain Fire and Emergency Medical services (87 percent), recycling and garbage collection (86 percent), Police services (83 percent) and city parks (83 percent).
The two lowest performing City services were affordable housing options for vulnerable residents (16 percent) and managing traffic flow (35 percent).
“The city recognizes affordable housing and traffic congestion as big challenges, both in our region and in Kirkland,” said Kirkland city council member Tom Neir, Chair of the council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee in a press release. “To help address affordable housing, thecouncil adopted the Housing Strategy Plan, which provides the City Council with options to promote affordable and special needs housing throughout the city. We also continue work on building a permanently sited women and family shelter in Kirkland for those experiencing homelessness.”
“And for traffic congestion, we continue to implement Kirkland’s Transportation Master Plan,” added Neir. “The Transportation Master Plan outlines transportation strategies and investments that support multiple modes of transportation: walking, bicycling, transit as well as cars. It also guides our collaborations with regional partners like King County Metro, Sound Transit, Washington State Department of Transportation and other cities.”
The results will be used for developing priorities in the 2019-2020 biennial budget process. The entire 2018 city survey can be found on the City’s website. For more information, please contact Assistant City Manager Jim Lopez at Jlopez@kirklandwa.gov or (425) 587-3212.