Time to get something done about traffic noise in Kirkland | Letter
November 21, 2012 · Updated 5:42 PM
It is time for the Kirkland City Council to stand on the sidewalk at 102nd Court N.E. off N.E. 116th Street, between 5:30 a.m. to approximately 8:30 a.m. on any weekday mornings and tell the folks who live on that residential street that the noise level - which at times exceeds 84 decibels - is okay.
According to the city ordinances, the acceptable noise level for a residential street between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. is 50 decibels. From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. the acceptable level is 60 decibels. N.E. 116th Street is a residential street - there are businesses at the top of the street, but 99.9 percent of the street is residential.
According to online research regarding the harmful effects of constant exposure to noise levels above the recommended safe levels, this can cause health problems, including noise sensitivity resulting in hearing loss and/or psychological problems, and even heart problems.
Some residential properties have wooden fences that may reduce the noise to some level, but Westchase Townhomes, Spring Tree and several other properties have notion from the heavy traffic noise and some homes are less than 50 feet from the street!
In a telephone call to the Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Kirkland, he advised that, “There is an exemption for traffic,” so I asked him why then are cement walls built along the freeway for noise reduction to protect residential developments close to the Freeway?
It is one thing to keep building bigger and bigger apartment and condominium complexes in Juanita – that is nice for all the new folks who will move in to them – but what about the long-time City of Kirkland residents who now have no protection from the greatly increased traffic noise on their residential street?
With the 6 story apartment/condo units in Juanita that are currently being built, and the widely expanded road at the top of 116th, it seems inevitable the traffic noise levels will get even higher!
What will it take for the city to do the right thing to change this potentially harmful situation? Lower the speed to 25 mph? Recover the road surface with noise reducing asphalt? Construct protective walls or fences comparable to the protection provided for residential properties next to the freeway?
If you live on N.E. 116th and are having problems with the noise level, write the Mayor or call the mayor’s office and let’s get something done about this unacceptable traffic noise exposure on this residential street!
Adeline Crinks, Kirkland