Connecting with neighbors and local businesses is the center of Kirkland’s new Summer Sundays pilot program.
The weekly Sunday event will have Park Lane closed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to encourage people to walk along the street, visit the businesses and listen to live music.
Park Lane was originally conceived as a “festival street,” meaning it has been intended to be regularly closed off to vehicles to allow pedestrian use. In 2015, the city completed a renovation of the road and opened it for use as a “festival road.”
Kellie Stickney, communications program manager at the city, said the idea to start a regular event to put the Park Lane to use came about when a member of the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods approached council about piloting the program.
The pilot began in June and has been held every Sunday since. Each week brings some tweaks and changes as the city monitors how citizens interact with the event.
“It’s a pilot and things are changing,” Stickney said. “Currently it’s the west side of Park Lane that’s closed…We are trying what works, what brings people down. [We] want people to come down and support local business.”
Park Lane features a mix of restaurant and retail shops, including an art gallery and a fitness studio.
“There has been a good response from community members engaging in the activity that’s going on,” Stickney said.
On July 14, Park Lane featured yoga and jugglers alongside live music from two musicians on either end of the street.
One of the areas Stickney said the city is working on is educating Kirkland residents and visitors on where they can park. On Sundays, she said, the library’s 420 parking spaces can be used for general parking. which makes it perfect for those looking to walk around the city and visit Park Lane.
The pilot program will run every Sunday until Sept. 22, Stickney said. Each month the city will collect feedback from business owners regarding how the project is impacting them. Citizen feedback from community leaders is also being gathered and will be presented to the city council during analysis of the pilot.