Letters to the Editor

Comments on South Kirkland Park & Ride TOD

Many very enlightening disappointments were revealed in the Kirkland City Council’s vote to proceed with the Transportation Oriented District (TOD) – including the council’s decision to exclude the neighborhood from influencing what goes on in their neighborhood. Council limited their ability to determine the outcome. Why am I not shocked? They’ve done it before. Why don’t they just quit having neighborhood meetings if they’re not going to listen to them? Once the development is started even in the planning stage, the mitigation measures will not solve or even ease the problem.

No council member even mentioned or discussed traffic. Lake Washington Boulevard and 108th Ave. N.E. are already congested for more than three hours a day. Yes, council could require impact fees from Metro to add capacity to our roads but the council has refused to add capacity. I don’t think they will. The city could require the county and state to add capacity to their roads so as to allow traffic to get from the park & ride to their homes. I don’t think you will. They could make 108th Ave. N.E. and Lake Washington Blvd. toll roads, make them scenic routes and through a barcode system, charge those who do not live in Kirkland. I don’t think you will. I think the council will do what it wants without regard to the neighborhood concerns and our quality of life. The council arrogantly and autocratically decided to proceed independently. Who’s running the city?

Much of the discussion was about affordable housing. It’s interesting that the $6.25 million grant was for park & ride improvements, not affordable housing. What’s there now doesn’t even qualify using TOD criteria. It must be developed. Affordable housing was an earmark added by special interest especially at this location. To qualify for the units, it will be expensive. Even in the moderate affordable housing category of 80 percent, it will not even come close to the market value of the unit. The council should get back to representing the citizens of Kirkland, protect and enhance their freedoms and do so by treating everyone equally and with respect.

Robert L. Style, Kirkland

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