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City of Kirkland to host workshop on 100th Ave., seeks comments

The Northeast 124th Street intersection on the 100th Ave. Northeast Corridor is one of the busiest in the city.  - Reporter file photo
The Northeast 124th Street intersection on the 100th Ave. Northeast Corridor is one of the busiest in the city.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Hundreds of Kirkland residents have already contributed to the city’s on-going study of 100th Ave. Northeast and the design of its intersection with Northeast 132nd Street by offering their critiques of that arterial in a questionnaire. Now, residents will have an opportunity to put those critiques on the map—literally.

City of Kirkland engineers are planning a 6 p.m. workshop Jan. 13 at Juanita Elementary School, 9635 NE 132nd St., to better understand the ways residents experience 100th Ave. Northeast and its intersection with Northeast 132nd Street.

“We’ve been accumulating and analyzing lots of data since we began the study in July,” said Dr. Xiaoping Zhang, the Concord Engineering consultant currently studying the corridor and intersection. “We know traffic counts. We know where the accidents occur. And this is all valuable. But we also need to understand the public’s experience along that corridor.”

At the meeting, participants will draw on their experiences along the corridor to critique each of the study’s three alternatives, which Zhang will present in the forms of 10-foot maps.

Zhang has been studying 100th Ave. Northeast from its intersection with Northeast 132nd Street to Northeast 145th Street since July, when the city of Kirkland first contracted with Concord Engineering to get a better understanding of Kirkland’s third-most traveled corridor.

The 100th Ave. corridor — including Lake Washington Boulevard, Market Street and 98th Ave. Northeast — 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 in the queues can’t pass through the intersection during one signal-cycle,” said Zhang, “We call that ‘cycle failure.’ It’s operating at a level of service ‘E.’”

Improving the intersection and the corridor could cost more than $3 million. Kirkland’s administrators are searching for state and federal grants. “The corridor study and intersection design provide the foundation for how we improve the corridor,” said Kirkland’s project engineer Flora Lee. “They also make us more competitive for the grants that will help fund those improvements.”

For project information go here.

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