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Kirkland's study to improve Juanita Drive is flawed | Letter
The Juanita Drive Corridor study that the city of Kirkland is conducting is a welcome step in improving that roadway. Safety is and should be a prime consideration.
However, there are many other issues that should be studied with a view towards making Juanita Drive not only safer, but also a more enjoyable driving experience. The lower section of Juanita Drive where commuter congestion is the worst is an ugly mishmash of power poles and power lines, with jersey barriers, driveways, and garbage cans lining both sides of the road.
I have never seen so many overhead electric, telephone, cable and other utility lines in one place. That section of the road looks out to the south at Lake Washington and could be a beautiful and scenic drive. It is not.
Two of the study’s “guiding principles” are to: “Maintain the corridor’s unique identity and natural landscape” and “protect the extraordinary natural environment.”
These principles should be an integral part of the study to ensure that recommendations related to improving the overall aesthetics of the roadway, including the removal or mitigation of utility poles, power lines, and jersey barriers, remain a significant priority. Unfortunately, it appears that very little attention has been given to these “guiding principles.”
A four-lane highway with jersey barriers on both sides of the road would likely serve the purpose of moving more traffic more safely through the Juanita corridor, but I doubt many Kirkland residents, especially those most closely affected who live in the Finn Hill and Juanita Bay areas, want a super highway in their backyards.
I encourage local residents to provide input to the study so it becomes a worthwhile project with recommendations that make sense for our area and that improve the overall driving experience and beauty of Juanita Drive.
Jon Carter, Finn Hill