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Kirkland city engineers seek public feedback on 100th Ave. corridor study

City of Kirkland - Contributed
City of Kirkland
— image credit: Contributed

Travelers along 100th Ave. NE now have the opportunity to help solve some of the traffic riddles that impede a one-mile section of the city’s third-busiest corridor. They can do this most immediately by completing a three-question survey on the project’s webpage, or by picking up a postcard at participating businesses along the corridor. The public can also offer feedback through Kirkland’s interactive online map. The survey, project information and “Suggest a project” feature can be found at www.kirklandwa.gov.

This feedback will contribute to an on-going study of the 100th Ave. corridor, from NE 132nd Street to NE 145th Street, and the design of its intersection with Northeast 132nd Street. Kirkland’s transportation engineers will be seeking feedback through the end of January. In February, they will present the findings of the survey, the corridor study and intersection design.

“The 100th Ave. corridor study is focused primarily on safety,” says Flora Lee, the city of Kirkland project engineer in charge of both projects. “The 132nd Street intersection design is focused on traffic flow. But since safety and traffic flow are directly related to each other both projects are really about both: safety and traffic flow.”

The study began in July, when Kirkland’s consulting engineering firm, Concord Engineering, began analyzing traffic flow at the 132nd Street intersection.

The 100th Ave. corridor — including Lake Washington Boulevard, Market Street and 98th Ave. NE — is Kirkland’s most direct north-to-south arterial. It connects Bellevue to Bothell; Highway 520 to Highway 522. For this reason, it is also one of Kirkland’s most traveled roads. More than 25,000 vehicles travel along it through the Juanita neighborhood. The corridor also has value to bike commuters, who recognize its potential to connect the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River Trail to the Highway 520 trail.

As it is currently designed, however, the corridor doesn’t have the capacity to satisfy all the demand placed on it.

“In the evening, the northbound traffic is so heavy, many vehicles, can’t go through the intersection,” said Dr. Xiaoping Zhang, the transportation engineer contracted to study the 100th Avenue corridor. “We call that cycle failure. It’s operating at a level of ‘E.’”

Improving the intersection design and the study’s findings could cost more than $3 million. Kirkland’s administrators are searching for state and federal grants.

“Grants are easier to get when you’ve got a study and a design in hand,” said Lee.

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